A crack team of influential decision-makers has been assembled to help speed growth and close the skills gap in the North East’s digital sector.
The Digital Leaders North East (DLNE) programme, launched in December and backed by major public and private sector organisations, has announced the seven members of the steering group that aims to drive the region’s digital transformation.
The group will use its collective knowledge and expertise to help influence and shape new thinking around the various digital transformation programmes in the region.
DLNE was launched by Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, and aims to raise awareness of the region’s ongoing digital transformation as well as giving business owners and leaders a forum in which to share ideas.
The seven members, which are spread across the public and private sector, alongside a number of academic fields, are: Charles Sellers, managing director, Vantage Point Technologies; David Jeffries, head of DigitalCity and graduate enterprise at Teesside University; Bob Paton, managing director, Accenture; Dr Rob Wilson, director of the KITE University Research Centre at Newcastle University; Simon Hanson, North East development manager at the Federation of Small Businesses; Marianne Whitfield, managing director, Cobweb Information and Adrian Hancock, chief executive, Socitm.
Gary Coyle, chairman of DLNE, said: “Attracting such creative and visionary people to drive DLNE is a major coup for the North East. Each member was chosen because they share the same goal; to make a real difference to the region. Choosing these members was difficult as there are so many talented people currently working in the region’s public, academic and business sector. However, we believe that we have found the right mix of people, with the right mix of skills and experience, to take our vision forward.
“The North East has enormous potential to grow as a region but it needs key stakeholders to start talking to each other and collaborate, with more joined-up thinking between all sectors. By strengthening DLNE through these appointments, we believe we can be an important means of bridging that gap.”