Today sees the publication of One Region One Sector One Statement, a document that sets out to establish the North East as a world leader for creative digital and tech Innovation. It has been a labour of love, developed over many months, by a small team from across the sector in the region. The real driving force has been Jim Mawdsley, CEO of Generator and Digital Union, with Jamie Hardesty, North East Entrepreneur Engagement Manager at Tech Nation, using his journalistic skills to write it all up. My own part has been very small indeed.
Like everyone involved in this venture, I have a passion for the North East. I have been convinced for many years that the best way, indeed the only way for us to grow the region and compete on a national and international stage is to combine the strengths we have and work together. Too often the region has been riven by political infighting and low ambition. Whilst we have many good things to shout about and are strong in many sectors, we must recognise that we are a small region in a big world. Greater collaboration amongst the businesses, academia and local government is one way in which we can differentiate ourselves.
The biggest challenge in writing the statement was not finding content to put in but rather working out which bits to leave out. When we met as a group to move it forward everyone would say what about x or how about y. Throughout I was reminded of that old joke ‘I didn’t have time to write a short report so I wrote a long one’. Brevity is an art.
In the end, as with all things, the statement is a compromise, a shop window to show the kinds of things that are available rather than the whole picture.
As the document says, ‘The statement proves the rich, diverse, dynamic and innovative qualities the North East possesses which are leading to the rapid growth of the Creative Digital and Tech Sector.’
I am hoping that we revisit the statement and include different companies and initiatives. In this way we can further enhance the already growing reputation of the North East.
Well done to everyone involved. You can find the statement here.