Catapult Centre to boost digital jobs and funding
A national centre set up to rapidly advance the UK's best digital ideas is appointing a local enterprise partnership-led (LEP) consortium in the North East to establish a Digital Catapult Centre in Sunderland, aimed at generating jobs and funding for businesses.
The Digital Catapult Centre North East & Tees Valley, due to open in March 2015, will be one of three centres, including ones in Bradford and Brighton.
The three local centres will share a united aim of generating thousands of new jobs, driving innovation at a local level and creating millions in linked investment and future funding by 2025.
The North East-based consortia led by the North East LEP and Tees Valley LEP was selected following an open call for partners in July 2014 and chosen from 17 LEP and local consortia bids.
Ed Vaizey, minister for the digital economy, said: "It is an exciting time to be a tech business in the UK. Our digital economy is already one of the strongest markets in the world, valued at more than £100bn."
Neil Crockett, chief executive of the Digital Catapult, added: "The truth is the most exciting digital innovation is happening in local communities, like those across the North East and Tees Valley, who are bringing together new ideas, businesses, universities and the public sector.
"As a national centre, it is important we support and collaborate with these local innovation communities who are doing amazing things in our focus areas."
The project will be led by Sunderland Software City on behalf the North East LEP and Tees Valley Unlimited. Other key partners involved include Newcastle University, Durham University, University of Sunderland and Teesside University.
The Digital Catapult initially will support the LEPs with resources and collaborative support of up to £500,000.