Recruitment is under way to fill the top job at the newly created TechNorth project designed to boost the collective standing of northern technology clusters.
As part of Tech City, UK the TechNorth offshoot is recruiting for a head to lead the programme which will establish coordination between the Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and the North East tech clusters.
Amongst a number of roles currently advertised through Tech City – including the a head of marketing and head of inward investment – the overall head role will report into Tech City chief executive officer Gerard Grech.
The head will lead creation and implementation of a strategy to “accelerate” the North’s digital prowess, and in doing so will work to attract talent, entrepreneurs, venture capital and inward investment.
The job description paints the head as a cluster “superconnector” who will be responsible for an annual budget of around £2m for the next three years.
Along with the four other senior level jobs advertised, the successful candidate will be based in one of the seven key TechNorth cities, which include Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool.
TechNorth was launched by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in October as part of his Northern Futures project – a platform designed to give northern people a voice in policymaking.
The body promises to do for the northern technology clusters what Tech City UK has done for East London. It will also link UKTI support and resources with existing technology businesses to help them grow.
Its launch was welcomed by a number of North East technology industry organisations, including Ignite100 and Sunderland Software City.
Speaking at the time Mr Clegg said: “We’ve listened to local business leaders and there is a clear need for us to seize an opportunity to capitalise on existing tech talent by creating a northern tech hub to rival Berlin, New York, or Shanghai.
“My ambition, over time, is to double the number of tech jobs in the North, creating a stronger economy. To put this in context, it is estimated there are about 200,000 ICT jobs in the region currently.
“Time is of the essence, so I’m in Sheffield today to bring creative minds from across the North together so that we can grow this from an idea into reality.
“As a first step, I am announcing the creation of TechNorth, an extension of Tech City UK, tasked with promoting a world-class tech cluster spanning five cities in the North.”