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Shortlist revealed for Dynamites 21 awards

The shortlist for a regional tech and IT awards night has been revealed.

Dynamites 21 returns for an eighth year on November 11 at Newcastle’s Civic Centre.

Shining a spotlight on tech companies and their talented workforces, this year’s shortlist includes a number of SMEs and some of the North East’s largest businesses and organisations that have critical IT departments.

Cate Kalson, Dynamo director and judging panel chair, said: “Judging this year was tough and we were hugely impressed by the strength and depth of entries, which made selecting the winners a tough job.

“It’s fantastic to see so many examples of world-class innovation in our region, and the stories of the talent behind the innovation are inspiring.”

The shortlist includes:

Best use of data:

Connect Health


Kani Payments



Equality, diversity and inclusion:


Later Life Audio and Radio Co-operative


Growth explosion:

Everflow Water



So Post

Innovator of the year:

Durham University




Project of the year (corporate):

Fueled – Qwake

Iamproperty – movebutler

Opencast – eConsult/Opencast Digital Health

Project of the year (public sector/not-for-profit):

Difrent – Transforming NHS recruitment

DWP Digital – Passport benefit checker

DWP Digital – New style employment and support allowance

Rising star in memory of Nate Sterling:

David Fairbairn – Tharsus

Elena Lanzarini – Wordnerds

Jack Sheriff – Connect Health

Peter Bakare – Nutritroops

Skills developer:

Baltic Apprenticeships

Nicole Robson – Saggezza


Tech for good:

Connect Health

Nebula Labs

Notify Technology Ltd

Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust and the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and Cumbria

Tech champion:

Dylan McKee – Nebula Labs

Jamie Hardesty – Sunderland Software City


The Experience Bank

This year’s categories also include the people’s choice award, with the winner coming from the 37 shortlisted entries and chosen by a public vote. To vote, visit

Voting closes at 5pm on Friday, October 15.

This year’s judging panel included Cate Kalson, Dynamo director; Karen Elliott, senior lecturer/associate professor, Newcastle University; Andrew Gill, Northern regional head, Waterstons; Nigel Moralee, diversity, equity and inclusion program manager, Sage; Rachel Murphy, chief executive, Difrent; Nick O’Reilly, chief technology officer, NHS Business Services Authority; Simon Parker, IS director, Home Group; Paul Swaddle, head of technical solutions, NBS; and Fareeha Usman, founder of Being Woman and EDI innovation manager at Dynamo North East.

Charlie Hoult, Dynamo chair, added: “Networking has always been a huge part of the Dynamites and this year, more than any other year, tech folk are looking forward to being in the same room.

“The Dynamites are a great way to celebrate the fabulous talent that continues to drive the region’s tech sector.”

Dynamo is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, as part of the Catalysing Innovation 2021-23 in North East Clusters project, delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork.