Updates from local centres: the first 100 days
Our local centres in Brighton, Yorkshire and North East & Tees Valley are now 100 days old. We asked representatives from each centre to give us a quick update with what they’ve been up to – they’ve definitely been hard at work!
“Since its formal launch, the Digital Catapult Centre Brighton has been working closely with our two initial corporate partners American Express and Gatwick Airport to develop our first significant projects. We were delighted to welcome American Express’ worldwide CTO Nik Sathe, who flew over from Paulo Alto to discuss their involvement with around 50 small businesses.
We are currently in the midst of an introductory programme of events and activities, with last week’s event on the Internet of Place attracting close to 200 attendees. That theme and our activity in Brighton was picked up by the Guardian. This is only the beginning.” – Phil Jones, Managing Director, Wired Sussex
“The Digital Catapult Centre NETV currently has 12 projects in the pipeline, with four already in progress – involving organisations like Engie, Newcastle City Council and North Tyneside Council. We’ve welcomed a number of key figures and interested partners into our colourfully decorated Centre, including the General Manager of Nissan UK.
We are currently hosting the Geek Talent Summer School, a unique project that works with Gateshead College and New College Durham to give school and college leavers better access to job market information and opportunities. On Wednesday 17th June (today) we look forward to welcoming Claire Braithwaite, the newly appointed Head of Tech North to the Centre for a meet and greet with local tech companies.
In the next 100 days, we aim to develop a full project process that can be given to potential project candidates to illuminate ‘the fear of the unknown’. We’re looking forward to establishing some long-term relationships with organisations like Nissan, and we hope to see our Centre being used more effectively by more SMEs.” – Amy Watson, Communications Manager, Sunderland Software City
“After our very successful launch, we hosted a lunch which gave SMEs a first glimpse of what the Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire offers and how to get involved. Their feedback is being incorporated into our programme of events. These include information sessions and networking events to meet co-founders and a chance to engage with data specialists.
Over the last couple of months, the Centre has been working on a number of interesting projects. These will bring together SMEs, academics, public and private sector organisations to develop innovative digital solutions.
We have also been successful in our application to organise a digital health workshop at a prestigious IEEE conference, to be held in Liverpool later this year with support by the University of Liverpool. Pit Stops, drop in clinics, hackathons and information days for SMEs are also on the way.
We’re excited about supporting the innovation and development needs of health, social care and digital sector SMEs by enabling them to access and understand the ‘art of the possible’ in the data value chain.” – Janine Hamilton, Project Manager, University of Bradford
Jenni Young, Marketing and Centres Director at the Digital Catapult, said: “They say that the UK digital sector is fast paced. The fact we’ve managed to quadruple the number of Digital Catapult Centres in the space of five months is testament to this. It’s been a huge achievement for everyone involved and has meant a rapid learning curve for all, a chance to reach out and collaborate with some incredible people across business, startups, academia and the public sector.”