A huge injection of funding has been awarded to DigitalCity Innovation (DCI) at Teesside University, which will create more jobs in the Tees Valley – and further its position as a global leader in digital.
The £1.9m grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) means DCI can expand and continue its work through DCI fellowships, industry placements and sharing expertise to support businesses and social enterprises.
DCI is continuing its work in attracting and keeping graduates in the region to develop their digital skills and to improve job prospects.
Laura Woods, Director of Academic Enterprise at Teesside University, which is delivering the programme, said: “We are delighted the ERDF has recognised the work DCI has done in developing digital talent, businesses and expertise in the region.
'This funding will allow us to continue our work and to develop other areas of DCI.
'Since 2008 almost 200 companies have been created which has made a big economic impact on the Tees Valley.
'We have positioned DCI, and the Tees Valley as a whole, as a centre of digital academic excellence and expertise. This funding means our work in this area can continue to grow and build upon the already thriving digital community we have founded here.'
Cllr Neil Foster, Deputy Chair of the ERDF Local Management Committee, which engages key partners in the overseeing of the strategic delivery of the Programme in the North East, said: 'This project builds on the successful DigitalCity initiative which is helping to nurture and grow digital and creative industries and ensure talented graduates stay in the North East to develop their digital skills.
'This ERDF funded project will help graduates to forge a successful career and also allow local businesses to reap the rewards from their skills and knowledge, creating jobs and boosting longevity and performance.'
DCI runs a highly regarded fellowship scheme, central to the award. DCI Fellowships offer a £4,000 payment for living costs, expert business start-up mentoring and an Innovation Training Programme which helps to develop their business skills.
Mark Hill, Technical Director of DigitalCity Innovation, said: 'This funding is recognition of the huge importance of digital in the Tees Valley.
'DCI fellowships have created flourishing companies in the digital sector and companies are emerging all the time.
'We are looking forward to working with digital fellows with engineering, science and technology backgrounds to launch even more new companies in the region.
'And we are extending our outreach to more traditional industries so they can see how digital can help their business to grow.
'Using digital technology quickly and being ahead of the pack can make all the difference and give one firm a direct competitive advantage over another.
'DCI will also be continuing its work with community and voluntary groups in the region to take advantage of the wealth of digital expertise available through DCI.'
The DCI programme began eight years ago to create a super-cluster of digital media technology companies in the Tees Valley and to work with Tees Valley graduates to grow the cluster, via DCI fellowships to create jobs, businesses and wealth.
This new programme, which runs until 2015, will be delivered by a team of seven employed by the university.
23 July 2012
Funding boost to support digital technology sector
Northern Echo, 25/07/2012, p.22
A bid to make the region a world-class centre for digital technology skills has secured a cash injection from Europe. The £1.9m grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) means that Digi