The Future of Tech North and how Wakefield can get involved
Tech North have a new CEO and have organised a series of engagement events across the North. Our Chair, Dan Conboy, attended one of these events yesterday in Sheffield and writes about what this could mean for Cognitiv.
Cognitiv are always looking for ways in which we can extend the reach of our members and develop partnership with others across our region. It's our mission to promote the excellence of the creative, digital and IT businesses in our district and also forge links with others who can help us all to prosper.
So when Tech North was launched in 2014, we were excited about the prospects.
Initially it looked like Tech North was finding its feet and we didn't hear that much from them. Then there was the departure of their CEO, Claire Braithwaite, earlier this year.
But we were keen to reach out to Tech North and, at our invitation, Laura Bennett from Tech North attended our Digital District event in February and pledged her support to working with us in Wakefield to ensure we are part of their digital tapestry in the North, alongside our slightly noisier neighbours in Leeds, Sheffield and Barnsley.
This month Tech North announced a new CEO, Richard Gregory, and a series of engagement events across the North. The purpose was to share details of the Tech North vision and gather feedback.
I had the pleasure of meeting Richard at yesterday’s event. He has extensive global commercial experience and recognises the opportunity to coordinate and market the North as a global tech destination, but doesn't underestimate the challenge due to the sheer scale of the region.
What does it means for Cognitiv and us here in Wakefield?
Tech North isn't trying to emulate what we do, but rather acknowledge and support us. Over the months ahead we'll be ensuring that Wakefield is part of the Tech North landscape and conversation.
I was asked by a few people at last night’s event - 'What's going on in Wakefield? What's it known for?'. In truth, the answer isn't clear yet. We don't yet have a defined identity - but therein lies the opportunity.
Wakefield today may not yet have this story, but it's ours to create. As Cognitiv continues to grow, as we benefit from new major projects like Rutland Mills and Wakefield College’s Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre, we have the opportunity to understand and articulate our place - our story - in the North.
That's why being part of Cognitiv right now is so exciting and so important. If you're not yet a member, but want to help us carve out Wakefield's place on the tech map, there couldn't be a better time to join.