Innovation is part of the fabric of the North. As the cradle of the Industrial Revolution there are numerous examples of innovators living here who have helped to shape the world through their inventions and advancements; transforming not only the way we do things but also the way we think.
Today is no different. As we find ourselves in the midst of a digital revolution, the North is awash with people who are helping to advance our future. I never cease to be amazed by the breadth and depth of talent across the region – by the people who have the energy, passion and the drive to make change happen.
As the digital lead for EY in the North West, one of the things that I enjoy is getting to meet inspirational people behind early stage digital and tech businesses – they are helping to put the North on the map as a digital powerhouse.
It’s no surprise that the Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review included Digital as one of the North’s key strengths and prime capabilities that will help to drive economic growth in the region and help to close the productivity gap.
GVA growth in the Northern digital sector by 2050 is predicted to rise from £9.5 billion in 2011 to £41 billion. That is staggering, and it leads me to wonder what the possibilities really are when the current pace of change is unprecedented.
Just as with the Industrial Revolution, entire sectors and industries are being disrupted and the people driving this change are fundamental to our economy.
If we collaborate more
The more I immerse myself in the digital ecosystems and networks across the region, the more I am inspired and intrigued by what more could be achieved if we collaborated effectively and shared our successes more widely.
One thing I have learnt in the last few months is that working with early stage, fast growth businesses is a two way street. While I am able to share EY’s knowledge, connections and experience, I benefit enormously from the opportunity to learn from people who are at the cutting edge of tech and digital.
So I was delighted when the opportunity came along to support Northern Stars. It allows EY to celebrate and support the people who are prepared to take a chance on their ideas.
As a firm we’re committed to helping stimulate a culture of enterprise and we’re excited about getting to know the innovators behind the ideas and those who are part of the Tech North ecosystem, not just at the final, but in the weeks and months afterwards.
The lineup of finalists for Northern Stars is amazing – it represents the hugely diverse people and businesses that are helping the North to become a global powerhouse. It is an honour and a privilege to be a part of their journey.
Watch this space, the North is ready to shine.