If there was one idea that came out of last week’s event in Plymouth which succinctly communicated why Tech South West was founded in the first place, it was this: ‘We are bigger together’.
Held at Plymouth Science Park in partnership with Plymouth Software and Agile South West, more than 30 organisations were represented at Tech South West Plymouth last Thursday (20th October).
Topics discussed during the roundtable conversations and group activities included:
- How we showcase and shout about local successes
- How we can work with local schools, colleges and universities better on specific tech projects
- How to get better at connecting and collaborating with like-minded organisations across the region
- Plans for Tech South West in 2017
Shaping the Future
Talking about the event, Philip Letts, CEO of Exeter-based blur Group and Chairman of Tech South West, said: “It’s fantastic that organisations in and around Plymouth want to be part of Tech South West and help shape its future.
“This year we’ve been gathering views from across the region, and finding out more about the tech sector’s priorities and the companies and people who are keen to support it and get involved. The positive response from members and events in Pool, Bristol, Exeter and now Plymouth has been very encouraging.”
Chris Blunt, Director at Plymouth Software, which partnered with Tech South West to organise the event, said: “Tech South West Plymouth 2016 was a great success, bringing together a range of digital creatives, developers, engineers and business owners from across Devon and Cornwall.
“I was inspired by the wealth of ideas and feedback. It clearly demonstrates the weight of enthusiasm and energy of our tech communities.”
Sized for Success
The South West is perfectly positioned - both geographically and demographically - to become a leader in technology and innovation: not just on a national level, but globally.
There are over 10,900 tech companies across the region, from Bristol to the Isles of Scilly, employing almost 135,000 people (5.2% of the region’s entire workforce). In the Bristol & Bath areas, there are six technology jobs per 100 residents, and in Exeter there are seven.
The most successful leading tech nations and regions tend to have a population in the region of 3 to 10 million. The South West has a population of approximately 5.3 million. The South West’s tech sector is also growing at its fastest ever rate and currently generates £3.3 billion in goods and services every year.
And by 2020, it is estimated that the tech sector in the South West will grow to £4.2 billion - growth of about 27% over the next four years.
These numbers paint a very positive picture for tech in the South West. But is it enough?
We Are Bigger Together
The South West’s tech sector is certainly headed in the right direction. It’s growing fast and an increasing number of top tech companies and talent are relocating here. Moreover, these trends look set to continue and are showing no signs of slowing.
But, as pleasing as recent figures are, we can’t rely on numbers and numbers alone to showcase the South West as a global leader in technology and innovation, or to build a case for tech businesses to adopt the South West as a base for their operations.
We’ve worked hard over the past 11 months to get where we are today with Tech South West. There’s still a long way to go, mind, and we can’t do it alone.
We are bigger together.
Sign up for a free Tech South West membership today. Get involved and shape what comes next for tech in the South West.
If you have any queries about other opportunities within Tech South West, such as Ambassador or Sponsorship roles, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
*Feature image courtesy of Tony Edwards