The stars of the North East’s booming IT and technology sector took centre stage at the BT Dynamites 14 awards.
Computing pioneer Peter Hunt, who founded Newcastle-based Orchard Information Systems 35 years ago, took the awards’ blue riband Grand Prix prize for his contribution to the industry.
Top prizes also went to inspirational firms and individuals leading the development of virtual reality car showrooms, nurturing children into computing and a mobile gaming and community app taking the social media world by storm.
Innovation, skills, collaboration and growth were the focus of the inaugural BT Dynamites which gave a showcase to the region’s thriving IT and tech sector for the first time.
Charlie Hoult, chairman of Dynamo North East, which stages the awards, said: “This is not the ‘Desolate North’ - we are in a booming industry as big for the region as the Nissan supply chain or the chemicals sector.
“I hope our cheers are heard in Westminster and Silicon Valley – or at least the local universities – because IT and technology is a bright spot in the North East landscape.”
More than 300 business leaders packed Newcastle Civic Centre’s banqueting hall to honour those who have helped build the IT and tech sector into a thriving industry supporting 32,000 jobs. Two thousand new posts are expected to be added to the sector by the end of this year.