Posts byChris Dymond

Skills Accelerator – consultation submitted & draft roadmap released

A couple of weeks ago we submitted our Summary Report to the South Yorkshire Skills Accelerator, compiled from your feedback as digital tech and media employers and partners. Our collective findings will inform the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) and provide a framework for developing the provision of digital skills and training for the future.

Our recommendations, along with those from other sector bodies and skills providers from across the South Yorkshire economy, have now been reviewed and the SYSA has published the draft LSIP, including a “Roadmap for Delivering Change”, which summarises what the SYSA intends to do in order to address the challenges it has uncovered. The background

Sheffield Digital Tech and Media employers, we need your help!

We’re calling on you to help us contribute to the Local Skills Improvement Plan and reshape South Yorkshire’s technical skills system - there are four things you should do…

In South Yorkshire, the LSIP is being led by Doncaster Chambers, in partnership with the Chambers of Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield. Evidence provided by employers about their skills needs, as well as engagement with skills providers, will enable the skills system to be more responsive to local challenges and opportunities, and better equip learners to

Digital tech & media business networking

Let us know your thoughts about our plans for future networking events.

We don’t want to focus on sales opportunities or being sold to, but instead on engagement, collaboration and knowledge exchange with other digital business leaders in the city. We want to foster conversations about how our digital tech and media firms can work together for their benefit and the benefit of the city. Here’s a

Opportunities to join UTCs as trustees or governors

Chris Dymond is reaching out to the tech and creative communities to join the governance boards of Sheffield’s UTCs.

I joined the steering committee that had been put together to develop the idea of a Sheffield based UTC in 2012. This was after Richard Wright, then chief executive of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, came to a meeting of the Creative and Digital Industries Sector Group I was hosting. He wanted participants for a

Sheffield Digital Ecosystem Update

The second issue of our Sheffield Digital Ecosystem Update is here, giving you a snapshot of the city’s digital tech sector.

We wanted something that we could send out physically every three months so that there is a continual drum-beat saying hey, pay attention to us, there’s amazing things going on here, and Sheffield might be different than you think it is! It was amazing to hold the first ever version in our hands in the

Our community’s response to LEP strategic economic plan

Read the full text of Sheffield Digital's response to Sheffield City Region's plan for 2020-2040.

The term “Digital” is used in many places throughout the plan, but we feel it is often used too loosely and should be qualified wherever it appears, in order to clarify the specific aspect of ‘digital’ under discussion. In order to help to better define terms, we have written a short primer and glossary for

Sheffield Digital Showcase #5 – watch the talks!

You can now watch all of the talks from the fifth Sheffield Digital Showcase.

The purpose of the Showcase events is to get together to celebrate digital products, services, campaigns and experiences that are made in Sheffield and to introduce audiences both online and off to the people who made them. People who attend learn about our tech industry across the whole range of markets and application areas, and

Announcing Sheffield Digital Showcase #5!

The Sheffield Digital Showcase returns for a Christmas Special on the 12th December at the Workstation.

From Triple-A video games, to media platforms for inmates; from major reality TV series to immersive data visualisations; from engineering in virtual reality to places where kids can build things from cardboard and code, we’ve been warmed and inspired by the fantastic things that are produced right here on our doorstep. You can see these

Announcing Meta-Meetup #4

Meta-Meetup is the meetup for people who organise meetups, and those who would like to, and we're holding the next instalment on Monday the 25th November at Spaces, Acero on the Digital Campus.

The Meta-Meetup is an opportunity for event organisers to meet and exchange tips, collaborate and pool resources in order to make each other’s events more successful. Many of the meetups are ‘tech meetups’, but not all – the meta-meetup is open to anyone who organises regular events around particular topics or for specific communities in

Sheffield Digital acquire the Open Tech Calendar! (At least temporarily)

We're very excited to announce that we have, as of Friday the 1st November 2019, entered into an agreement with JMB Technologies (James Baster) to take over the ownership and running of the Open Tech Calendar!

When we set up Sheffield Digital back in 2015, one of the very first things we wanted to do was to bring together all the tech-related events that happen in Sheffield into a single calendar we could publish. The Sheffield Geeks community had already been using the Open Tech Calendar to curate a local meet-up calendar,

Sheffield Digital Showcase #4 – watch the talks!

You can now watch all of the talks from the fourth Sheffield Digital Showcase.

The purpose of the Showcase events is to shine a light on the things that are produced in Sheffield’s digital tech industry across the whole range of markets and application areas. It’s a regular opportunity to get together to celebrate the people and teams who are doing great work. People who attend learn about what

Quarterly Briefing Q2 2019: Focus – The “Four Pillars” of Sheffield’s Digital Tech Identity

The focus of this edition of the Quarterly Briefing is on what is unique about Sheffield's digital technology industry and which 'verticals' we have particularly strengths in.

Sheffield has a long history of computing and applied software development stretching back decades. Indeed, The University of Sheffield was one of the very first educational institutions in the world to offer Software Engineering as an undergraduate degree in the 1980s, and the city has been fertile ground for collaborations between academia and industry in

Quarterly Briefing Q2 2019 Headline Info

Each edition of the briefing we compile some facts and figures that look at a different aspect of Sheffield’s tech sector, along with a set of current priorities.

Economic Figures Some of the statistic we use are from public sources, but others are original pieces of analysis compiled for us by Dr Andrew Johnston at Sheffield Business School. The 2018 Tech Nation Report estimated the total number of people engaged in digital technology roles in the Sheffield and Rotherham tech cluster at 22,034.

No Deal Brexit – Guidance and Videos

Following the event last Wednesday in which Dom Hallas from Coadec presented the Government's official advice for tech firms in the event of a disorderly exit from the EU, here is the guidance document itself as well as videos from the event.

Here are a link to Coadec‘s guidance document, along with a recording of Dom’s presentation and the Q&A panel with additional contributions from Paul Driver from DCMS, Kathleen O’Donnell from Fragomen and Glenn Jacques from BRM Solicitors. The briefing Document: No deal: Guide for Startups (Coadec, 2019) Dom Hallas’ briefing Q&A Panel Contact For further

Advocacy Update for September 2019

Mel, Chris and others we know very often participate in fora where Sheffield's economic strategy is discussed. Where possible, we want to share what gets talked about at these meetings, so that everyone has a chance to be more involved if they want to be.

We cover 4 engagements in this September update: A First Tuesday Business Breakfast at C/M/S. A Sheffield Digital Board Meeting. An economy.SHF meeting. A Sheffield Hallam University Department of Computing Industrial Advisory Board meeting. Some context… We have four main objectives when we engage in these fora: Improve the opportunities for business and individuals in

Who’s Prepared for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit?

We have partnered with the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), The UK Tech Cluster Group and Tech Nation to provide essential information to local tech firms, in the eventuality of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Briefing for the local Tech sector Attend this briefing to find out about the key issues that will impact tech and digital companies in the event of a no deal outcome and what you can do to make sure that your business is fully prepared for all eventualities. Areas of focus will include steps to

Sheffield Digital Autumn Showcase

Our Digital Showcase returns on Thursday the 26th September to celebrate five more exceptional digital projects produced in and around Sheffield.

The Digital Showcases are for industry pros and the general public alike – the format is similar to a talk show, with guests invited on stage to explain their projects by showing the work and process with images or short videos. The host is our own Chris Dymond, who will ask questions to delve into

Sheffield Digital Showcase #3 – watch the talks!

You can now watch all of the talks from the third Sheffield Digital Showcase.

The purpose of the Showcase events is to shine a light on the things that are produced in Sheffield’s digital tech industry across the whole range of markets and application areas. Together we celebrate the people and teams who are doing great work and we educate people about what our tech industry is all about,

Sheffield Digital Summer Showcase

Sheffield Digital Showcase returns for its third edition on Thursday 27th June, once again in association with The Platform, to celebrate the terrific digital work that is produced in and around our fair city.

The Digital Showcases are for industry pros and the general public alike – the format is similar to a talk show, with guests invited on stage to explain their projects by showing the work and process with images or short videos. The host is our own Chris Dymond, who will ask questions to delve into

Announcing AR’ City – Sheffield’s 1st Playable City Festival!

Ar' City is a two-week festival of urban creativity led by young people from across the city.

This is a guest post written by Ar’ City festival director, Zak Ahmed from youth learning agency AALFY, who explains what it’s all about and how to get involved. More than half the world’s population now lives in cities, yet, the conversation about how cities grow is often focused on policy and technology rather than

Sponsorship Opportunities at the World Educational Robotics European Open 2019

Sheffield's young robotics teams are gearing up to win qualification for this year's World Educational Robot Contest.

Qualification process Once again, Sheffield is hosting a qualifying round of the Global WER Contest. The WER European Open will take place on the 27th and 28th July at the University of Sheffield’s Octagon Theatre. 90 kids from all over the UK will be competing, along with teams from China, Turkey and Mexico. They will

Sheffield Digital Showcase #2 – watch the talks!

You can now watch all of the talks from the second Sheffield Digital Showcase.

Much of the digital work created here, from new software platforms to marketing campaigns, video games to art installations, is recognised around the world but little known in its home city – our Showcase series brings this work to a wider local audience. The event was once again held in association with The Platform –

Announcing the 2nd Sheffield Digital Showcase

Sheffield Digital Showcase returns on Thursday the 21st March, once again in conjunction with The Platform, to celebrate some of the terrific digital work that is produced here in Sheffield, and nearby.

In each of our Showcase events we invite 4 or 5 individuals or groups who are responsible for producing significant digital work to the stage to tell us about their achievements. We’ve decided to change the format somewhat from the first event back in November, and instead of 10 minute presentations, we are asking presenters

Sheffield Quarterly Tech Briefings – design partner wanted!

Design our new regular briefing document to inform policy makers and leaders at national and regional level about Sheffield's digital tech industry.

In pursuit of this, we now have a plan in place, along with a small pot of seed funding from Sheffield City Council, to get a prototype off the ground and help us to produce the first two issues. In order to do this, we need some design help and are looking to partner with

There’s a new blockchain meetup in town!

Cyber Republic is a new meetup centred around the distributed operating system, Elastos.

This is a guest post from Jono Kirk. Jono is a Sheffield-based tech enthusiast, childminder and boxing instructor. Get in touch with him on Twitter at: @elastos_sheff The group is for blockchain enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and developers interested to learn more about the new secure, decentralised “Internet 3.0”. Let’s talk about smart contracts, DApps, the internet

Everything you wanted to know about Computing in Schools but were afraid to ask…

Chris reports from the Computing in Schools Delivery Group’s “One Year On” event at the Royal Society.

This is a summary of all the information he gathered there – it’s perhaps not for the general interest, but if you’re an individual or firm interested in getting involved in computing education, it could be invaluable. –– Chris It was a great opportunity to meet people who are working to improve the teaching of

Episode 23: From Sheffield to Shanghai with the UK’s first World Educational Robot Contest finalists

We talk to this talented team of Sheffield children about their incredible journey so far – and they haven’t even left the UK yet!

Download the mp3 file Subscribe in iTunes Subscribe to the RSS feed The WEP has been a global competition since 2013, and these Sheffield kids are the first to represent the UK in the world finals, and it’s amazing to hear them talk to so passionately about their work and the competition. Winning their spot

Announcing Sheffield Digital Showcase

Our new event series launches at The Platform on Thursday the 22nd November, from 5:30pm.

We really want more of the great digital work that gets done in our city to be known about and celebrated more widely, especially by young people who might consider choosing a career in the industry. From new software platforms to marketing campaigns, video games to art installations, immersive XR experiences to digitally fabricated products,

Notes from Meta Meetup #3

On Monday the 15th October we held the latest in our series of ‘meetup for people who organise meetups’

Many of the event organisers run well-established meetups, but there were also several new series in the early planning stages. The venue was Spaces at Acero, which recently opened in the Digital Campus. Spaces, who are based in Amsterdam and now operate workspaces all over the world, have fitted out the ground floor of the

Apply for the Inaugural UK Business Tech Awards

Chris has been invited to the Judging Panel but entries need to be in by the 14th September!

Yes, I am going to be one of the judges for these awards, which are being held on the 20th November in Marble Arch, but the deadline to enter is now fast approaching and I would like to get more Sheffield firms to put an entry in. One of the things I like very much

Sheffield Digital’s Annual General Meetup

We’re holding an event for members, sponsors and partners to look back, make plans and celebrate with us.

What’s it all about? Perhaps more than anything, we wanted a way for us to give everyone the space and opportunity to shape what we do going forwards. We are still working on the programme and will release more information about the evening as we firm things up, but we can say that we will:

What are Kollider Projects up to?

News on Kollider’s progress and plans, and its interim space at Barkers Pool House.

Who are Kollider Projects? Kollider was founded by Nick Morgan and Adrian Hackett as a vehicle to “orchestrate collections of projects that generate social, cultural and economic regeneration.” They believe that, “…people and their ideas lie at the heart of innovation and are focussed on uncovering, scaling and selling IP, innovation and talent, rewarding innovation

Sheffield Free Public WiFi update

Sheffield’s public WiFi system is now just a few short weeks away from launch, here’s what to expect.

First of all, it’s worth mentioning at the start that ‘Sheffield Free Public WiFi’, as its SSID will be named, is looking like it will be the largest and densest city WiFi system in the whole of the country by the end of the Phase 5 rollout, by which point it will have deployed more

Sheffield 5G Urban Connected Communities

Sheffield is bidding for up to £100m to build a massive 5G Testbed connecting Sheffield and Rotherham city centres, and it needs your support!

Mark Gannon, who is Director of Business Change and Information Solutions at Sheffield City Council, is leading the effort along with counterparts at Rotherham Council, to develop a bid for Sheffield and Rotherham covering the two city centres and the urban conurbation between them. But he needs support from companies and organisations who would like

Spearmint Rhino legal challenge

A new Judicial Review has been granted and objections to the venue’s license renewal will be accepted until the 15th May.

As far as we can tell, they are operating legally and have not caused any undue nuisance or problems to our direct knowledge. But we are aware that some people have had negative experiences, especially walking to the train station late at night when the club is open, and we wonder whether these are shared

Smart City IoT Hackathons from the Sheffield Things Network

The Sheffield Things Network is teaming up with Sheffield Hardware Hackers and Makers to run a programme of ‘smart city’ hackathons.

About the Sheffield Things Network The Sheffield Things Network is a group of people who are creating a community-owned internet of things network across the city. It is one of hundreds of communities across the world who are doing so under the Amsterdam-based “Things Network” umbrella. The technology they are using to do this is

Sheffield City Council’s Technology 2020 Strategy supplier day

Head along on 23rd March to see how your company can become a technology vendor for the Council.

About the supplier day The Council are keen to take a multi-vendor approach to making its Technology 2020 Strategy happen. This event is an opportunity for you to find out exactly what that means and how you can get involved. This is from the Eventbrite page for the supplier day: “Sheffield City Council is constantly

Discussing the digital economy with senior Chinese economic statisticians

Follow-up from the visit of Chinese government statisticians who came to learn about the digital economy.

They asked us whether we would be willing to meet with a delegation of senior Chinese economic statisticians, who were interested in the digital economy for mutual exchange and learning. About the delegation The delegation consisted of 17 statisticians from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of the People’s Republic of China, who are currently

£4,000 worth of kit to be won in Sheffield smart city competition

Urban Flows Observatory at the University of Sheffield launch their first city-focused internet of things competition.

Urban Flows Observatory is founded by the University of Sheffield’s departments of Civil & Structural Engineering and Automatic Control & Systems Engineering. It is studying the city’s energy and resource flows as part of a three-year, multi-million Euro international academic collaboration. As part of this project, the observatory is launching a public competition to help

Sheffield’s 1st Annual Digital Conference – OUTPUTS

We're going to use this page to publish all the outputs from the conference as they become available - please check back over the next week or two to see the latest content!

We’re using this post to publish outputs from Sheffield First Annual Digital Conference, which took place on Wednesday 15 November, 2017. Content made available so far (either embedded or linked to in this page): Trello Boards √ Catherine Howe Keynote slide deck √ Lighting Talk slide decks √ Social media storify √ Content yet to be added: All

Notes from Meta-Meetup #2

Local meetup and tech event organisers gathered at Google Digital Garage last month. Here's what went down.

About 15 of us gathered at the Google Digital Garage last week for the second Meta-Meetup – the meetup for people who run, or would like to run, meetups and tech events. Everyone got to meet and chat for the first 45 minutes while people arrived. And Google laid on pizzas and soft drinks for

Meta Meetup follow up

Reviewing the first meetup for meetup organisers and what we’re doing next.

Back at the beginning of the Summer, which feels like an awfully long time ago now, we held the first ever Sheffield Meta-Meetup at the Google Digital Garage at Barkers Pool. We wanted to bring together as many meetup organisers as possible, so they could network, share knowledge about their events and talk about what

Sheffield CC publishes the first Digital Coalition plans

Details of the Council's emerging digital approach are now available to read online for the first time.

Mark Gannon, Director of Business Change and Information Solutions at Sheffield City Council, has published the alpha version of the Council’s ‘Digital Coalition’ plans on Medium, and you can now read about them here. As many of you know, especially those who listened to episode 2 of our (awesome, by the way) podcast, we have

Announcing Digital Conflab #3: Building a Digital Coalition

Come and help us shape Sheffield's digital future, in conjunction with Sheffield City Council and Creative Sheffield.

As many of you know, this Summer we welcomed Sheffield City Council on board as a Regional Partner. What you may not know is the extent to which that relationship is part of a much broader discussion about how we, and others, can combine forces to help push forward digital agendas across the city: in

SCR Hard-to-Fill Vacancies Survey

A new region-wide survey aims to understand where skills gaps are and why employers find some positions hard to fill.

Sheffield-based recruitment firm, Benchmark, has been commissioned by the Sheffield City Region to conduct research looking specifically at skills gaps and hard-to-fill vacancies in the region. Part of this research is a survey asking employers’ opinion and it would be great to get as many digital and tech employers into the report as possible. The

Sheffield’s Digital Snapshot Report

Our (honest, if slightly biased) take on the excellent Digital Snapshot report covering Sheffield's creative digital sector.

As many in the local tech scene will know, the Digital Snapshot Report was launched earlier this month at a lovely event at DINA on Cambridge Street. This is the fourth in a series of reports commissioned by Prof Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City & Cultural Engagement at the University of Sheffield. They are designed to

Introducing MakerHub

Laura Bennett provides an update on MakerHub CIC's pivot and plans for the future.

We’ve got a good thing going on in Sheffield I’ve written before about the entrepreneur ecosystem here: about how friendly everyone is and how introductions are readily made. My friend Elizabeth Shassere echoes this, writing about her first forays into entrepreneurship in this city. I was commissioned in January to write a report on the

Tidings from The Platform: Hackspaces, Makerspaces & FabLabs

We curated the March edition of The Platform and invited people who run local makerspaces to come along and tell us about them...

The Platform is a series of regular events hosted by the Showroom/Workstation for people in the creative industries to present and talk about their work. They usually take place on the last Thursday of the month, and for the March event Sheffield Digital were asked to curate the programme (we’ve done this several times before

Report from Digital Policy Conflab #2 – Spatio-sectoral Planning

Info on all the new incubators and related initiatives from the February Conflab event.

On Tuesday the 28th February, we conducted the second in our series of Digital Policy ‘Conflabs’. The purpose of these conflabs is to bring people together to explore and discuss issues of relevance to the digital tech community in Sheffield, and to provide a forum for the community to openly engage with policy-makers, organisations and

Briefing Paper from Digital Policy Conflab #2 – Spatio-sectoral Planning

Here's the briefing paper I wrote on the Sheffield tech incubator ecosystem for our Digital Policy Conflab #2. Notes on the session itself will follow...

Background In the March 2015 Budget, the UK Treasury pledged £11m in capital funding to create three digital technology hubs in the North in order to stimulate economic activity as part of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’. This funding was divided between Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield, with Sheffield’s initiative given the moniker ‘MakerHub’ in order to connect