Heroes who are helping as part of the nation’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic will be honoured at this year’s Tech South West Awards.

Launching with a live online event on Friday May 1, the annual awards cover Bath, Bristol, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire, recognising and celebrating talent, creativity, business success, education, leadership and diversity across the technology sector.

Last year the UK Hydrographic Office in Taunton, Bluefruit Software in Cornwall, University of Plymouth, Rocketmakers in Bath and Ultraleap in Bristol were amongst the winners for awards including Best Startup, International Success, Tech Entrepreneur of the Year, Sustainable Tech, Tech Education Initiative and Research Award.

This year, in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, Tech South West will be announcing details of a special Hero Award to honour the work of tech organisations and individuals responding to the pandemic, and helping in innovative ways, as well as unveiling fundraising plans to support the World Health Organisation’s work to tackle the virus. 

The live launch 10-10.45am on Friday May 1, will be hosted by Tech South West chair Toby Parkins and co-founder Dan Pritchard, and is free to join via bit.ly/TSWALaunch. As well as guest interviews, people will learn about the full run down of categories, what the judging panel will be looking for and how to enter.

Toby Parkins, chair of Tech South West, said: “These are incredibly tough times which is why we need to shine a light on the amazing work that tech organisations are doing right now. Whatever the economic consequences, and they are in many cases severe, it is clear that we are going to need technology and innovation to aid the recovery. Across the whole economy, the tech community in the South West will be pivotal to that work.”

The awards opened for entries on Friday May 1st at www.techsouthwest.co.uk/awards with the deadline Friday 24th July. Shortlists will be announced in September, with details of the awards ceremony to be announced in the summer.

Dan Pritchard, co-founder of Tech South West, said: “The tech community is resilient but of course there are huge challenges being faced. The Tech South West Awards have already shown just how adaptable and collaborative that community is, and those attributes are going to be essential over the coming weeks and months. This year’s awards will pay tribute to people and organisations doing amazing things, in their particular specialism, or reaching out and helping others far and beyond their day-to-day work, in unprecedented times.”

To celebrate local successes from across the region, local tech cluster awards also feature, running in partnership with Digital Northern Devon, Digital Plymouth, Digital Taunton, Software Cornwall, Tech Exeter, TechSPARK and Silicon South. 

These area-specific accolades reward companies, organisations, programmes and initiatives which have delivered a positive difference in their local communities and beyond.

The first 11 organisations supporting the Awards as Partners and Sponsors will also be announced at the live launch.

The awards can be entered at www.techsouthwest.co.uk/awards from Friday May 1.