Ed Vaizey impressed by North East tech during Dynamo visit
The Government’s digital minister has praised the North East tech scene and said education is key to filling the skills gap.
The keynote speaker at the Dynamo conference, Ed Vaizey – the Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy – said he was impressed after visiting French gaming company Ubisoft during his trip.
Ubisoft is the studio behind popular franchises Just Dance and Assassin’s Creed.
“There are fantastic successes here [like that of Ubisoft],” he said.
“Two messages have come across – firstly, a lot of people living here don’t realise what a success story it is. People in London know more about the region’s success than North Eastern people do.
“The second thing is the desperate shortage of people with the right skills.
“The more people know what is happening, the more people can tell schools, changing the mindsets of pupils and teachers.
“We need to get universities and colleges more involved.”
The Minister talked up the role Digital Catapult, Tech City and Tech North can play in selling the North East’s tech successes and attracting investment.
The conference, hosted by Northumbria University, is in its third year and was attended by more than 350 delegates and around 50 speakers, with a variety of workshops and talks on offer.
Alex Depledge MBE, founder of Hassle.com, and Dame Stephanie Shirley, a child refugee from Nazi Germany who pioneered female involvement in tech, also made keynote speeches.
Nick Bell, vice president of Snapchat, joined the conference via Skype.
Dynamo chairman Charlie Hoult said: “We have some got some amazing speakers this year.
“And it’s great that the Minister for the Digital Economy is here today, spending time seeing what the North East has to offer.”