A year of work in progress – day 176

Day 176 – 16 October 2014

Wow! We won something. Perhaps my suit wasn’t unlucky after all. Digital Durham won Collaborator of the Year at last night’s inaugural Dynamites Awards Event held at Newcastle Civic Centre. So we won the first ever award at the first ever event. I was truly surprised (in a genuine not what everyone says kind of way). Fortunately I didn’t have to make a speech but I would like to thank the team, my wife for her ongoing support and everyone else who has ever known me and made me who I am today. We got a handsome trophy in the shape of a stick of dynamite (milled from a block of pure aluminium) and a certificate. If only I had an office wall to hang it on.

The event was excellent with three hundred and fifty people from across the ICT industry in the region attending. For a first attempt it was spectacular and sets a very high bar for next October. Dynamo is really starting to make a difference. The North East is an exciting place to be.

Speaking of which, just before lunch Neil, Steve and I met with John from Business Durham to talk about the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence. They are working on engaging with businesses operating within key North East industries which can use satellite applications (technology and data) to gain a competitive advantage in a global market sector. Targets include offshore oil, gas and renewable technologies, transport and logistics and software and applications development.

It was a chance encounter with John’s boss that made me aware of this programme and I’m glad that fate had made it happen. It never ceases to amaze me how can seemingly survive in parallel universes, working in similar areas and not ask who else might be interested in such stuff. Still, we’ve met up now. It’s very exciting and something that fits nicely into the Dynamo and Combined Authority agenda. Any conversation which includes big data, space travel and trains is fine by me.

After lunch I took the award and certificate to their spiritual home at Digital Durham’s World Headquarters in Spennymoor. It was fortuitous that I was down that way for a meeting with the government’s representatives on the long awaited for Mobile Infrastructure Programme, which aims to do for mobile what (the award winning) Digital Durham is doing for fixed broadband.

The MIP was publically announced in July 2013 and it’s over a year (just) since we last met with Lionel. The aim is to make it easier for the communications and telecoms industries to grow while providing strong sustainable growth to rural communities. They are going to do this by erecting masks in areas which would otherwise not be commercially viable. Sounds familiar!

Learning points for today: the length of your VGA cable is a limiting factor; CEMS could be control and environmental management from space; Synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) is a form of radar which is used to create images of an object, such as a landscape and; space may well be my final frontier.

Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – feeling good and got a lot done.

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