DigitalCity driver behind £174m tech economy

By : |April 10, 2014 0

UK: DigitalCity, Teesside’s digital supercluster, has over the past decade made a massive impact on the regional economy rejuvenating business, buildings and stimulating employment.

DigitalCity was set up in 2004 to “to create a vibrant, successful and self-sustaining supercluster based on the digital technologies, digital media and creative sectors and their enabling capabilities”.

Today, Middlesbrough and Stockton are ranked at number 16 in a list of the UK’s digital hotspots by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, the only hotspot north of Birmingham.

Teesside University has always been a front-runner when it comes to computing and digital with a world-class reputation. It was this reputation for excellence that led the DigitalCity initiative, to harness the ability of students and encourage them to turn their skills into businesses.

Long before boot camps became familiar in the tech world DigitalCity launched its fellowships to support fledgling businesses offering support and access to the best mentors in the business and digital sphere.

Meanwhile, the Boho One building in Middlesbrough was established to offer start-ups a social space, affordable rents and a package of support to aid their transition into the successful business world.

The result of this ‘Garages to Global’ philosophy has been the emergence of award-winning companies such as games studios Double Eleven and Coatsink Software and innovative digital companies such as Sound Training for Reading, that can improve a child’s reading age by two years in six weeks and Transfer Go, which last year had a £12m turnover.

Cutting edge companies such as Animmersion are making very real differences in the way in which we live our lives – its ‘Pain Garden’, developed together with Professor Denis Martin at Teesside University, and Arthritis UK, is giving sufferers of severe pain a new way of describing the impact of pain on their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Other companies such as Spearhead Interactive are using gaming technology and virtual reality equipment to help train off shore engineers and even soldiers.

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