A year of work in progress – day 198

Day 198 – 19 November 2014

Last night’s Dynamo board was really interesting. The drive there wasn’t. Getting across the Tyne these days is a nightmare. South to North or North to South, it makes no difference. All the roads have been dug up. Getting from Tanfield across Newcastle to get to Hoult’s Yard by five just wasn’t going to happen and so I was a little late.

Instead of the usual meeting we had a long discussion about what we have achieved so far and the next things that we needed to concentrate on. Our consensus was that we had made great strides in the skills arena. Bob gave us an update on progress with the University Technical College and the apprentice hub. Both are exciting and are going to deliver substantial benefit. I took an action to look at how careers advice is given in schools as part of the initiative to get more girls interested in ICT.

So what next? Probably a greater focus on the companies working in and delivering technology across the region, gaining an understanding of what is out there and providing advocacy so that, as opportunities arise then the North East on the agenda. We have a great story to tell and we need to be telling it more often. Leading and not pleading was the expression used.

Once again I started at Tanfield today. I had another session with the folding and inserting machine company and so moved the Senior Leadership Team meeting there. Steve was off and Lee was also involved in the demonstration so we were thin on the ground. There wasn’t much on the agenda, just the usual updates, but we did agree the ICT projects for next year’s prioritisation process. It was a bit of a slog though.

After lunch I made my way to Newton Aycliffe for the Space Sector Conference and Trade Show. I would have used a pool car but they had been taken away from Tanfield due to a problem with rats.

The blurb said that the conference was an opportunity to showcase satellite applications, financing opportunities and the potential of small satellite technology for the energy and transport industries. My interest was more to do with Big Data.

The morning session would probably have been better for me as it covered opportunities and applications as well as the knowledge sector. The afternoon was more about how to grow a small and medium enterprise (SME) using satellites as well as sources of finance. Still there were a few interesting stands, opportunities to network and I learnt a bit about crowd funding and getting your business (literally) off the ground.

There’s a whole new world out there.

Learning points for today: An audit trail is the polite way of saying checking up; video is definitely not my media; before you start a business identify the need you are going to fill, first sources of finance come from three Fs (friends, family and fools) and; the hub for space education in the North East is in Ashington.

Today’s enjoyment rating 6/10 – got better as it went along.

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