North East entrepreneur Rob Earnshaw has taken the helm of a project aimed at driving the growth of digital industry in the Tees Valley.
The 29-year-old, who founded Creative North, wants to use DigitalCity to improve people’s lives through digital technology, as well as promoting women in technology and driving economic growth through disruptive technology.
DigitalCity is led by Teesside University and is described as a “major catalyst for economic regeneration throughout the Tees Valley.”
The project has already helped to create hundreds of new companies and jobs as well as working with existing businesses to improve their digital skills.
It has helped bring millions of pounds per year into the local economy and helped create the North’s only digital hotspot as ranked by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
Rob said: “The digital industries are the fastest growing sector in the UK economy, and the North East is the fastest growing region in the UK.
“Until recently the UK was the fast growing economy in the developed world and since the industrial revolution our region has not been able to boast this. We are right in the heart of all that at DigitalCity so it’s an extremely exciting time to be coming here.”
Rob’s main priorities at DigitalCity will be:
In 2015, he founded Creative North, a campaign to make the North’s creative and digital sectors equal to London.
Rob, who is listed in the GuardianObserver Future 500 Rising Stars, also helped set up the National Youth Film Academy which showcases the talents of young actors and film makers from across the UK.
He works with several regional and governmental organisations including the North-East Local Enterprise Partnership and advisory boards for the Department of Culture Media, and Sport and Department for Communities and Local Government.
Teesside University’s pro vice-chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) Professor Jane Turner, said: “We are delighted to welcome Rob to DigitalCity.
“As well as a wealth of experience across the digital and creative sectors, he brings an infectious enthusiasm, ambition and focus.
“I am sure he will be a great success in keeping the Tees Valley at the forefront of the digital agenda.”