Those who have been in my company for more than fourteen seconds will know that I have a great interest in the success of the North East region. I have been trying for many years to work with its component parts to improve collaboration.
Sometimes I have been successful and at other times not but God loves a trier. For me though and presumably the rest of humanity if I am right, the future of the world lies in collaboration and co-creation. This is why I keep going and why I find myself involved in whatever regional groups I can blag my way into.
Last week was our last meeting of the North East Combined Authority Digital Leads’ Group. Now the Combined Authority hasn’t had the best of press over the last few months but that does not reflect the large amount of cooperation that goes on between the local authorities in the region. We work very well together and will continue to do so. The meeting was a reflection of that.
We talked about our 5G test bed plans and were one of three organisations that was mentioned in the Government’s National Infrastructure Commission report on 5G and so that is looking good. Conn would have given us an update but he was in London at yet another 5G event, banging our drum.
Gren went on to tell us about the digital skills work that is underway. He has created a map of activity and I was amazed to hear that there are over one hundred and twenty initiatives going on across the region. We are going to use the map to see what works where and what could be used elsewhere. Indeed, we may get to the point where we provide the different initiatives for each other.
Paul brought us up to speed about the regional data initiatives while Steve let us know about the same but in the Internet of Things arena. Both of these are at an earlier stage then the skills work and I am confident that they will tell us a similar breadth of activity.
It all bodes well and as this year comes to a close it looks like 2017 is going to be a year for the North East to shine even brighter.