Posts byChris Dymond

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 Sheffield is about to get a new blockchain meetup centred around the distributed operating system Elastos, along with funding opportunities for developing new applications on the platform. The

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

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

Sheffield City Region ‘Vision’ Report Launch

During 2016 several local ‘anchor institutions’ worked together to articulate a vision for the region’s future, and how to get there...

You may recall, (if you are a *really* avid reader of our blog!), that roughly a year ago we reported on an initiative that was being led by the two Sheffield universities, the Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust together with the region’s LEP and local authorities to “generate a refreshed and compelling long-term vision for

Superfast South Yorkshire’s Connectivity and Innovation Vouchers Scheme

Earlier this month SFSY launched two new voucher schemes to help local firms access high speed broadband, and make transformational use of it.

Firstly a quick refresher for those who don’t know what Superfast South Yorkshire does: Superfast South Yorkshire (SFSY) is jointly funded by funded by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK – a central government organisation), BT and the 4 South Yorkshire partner Local Authorities (Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster & Rotherham). It’s mission is really two-fold: Provide fibre connectivity

The 2017 State of Sheffield Report

Last week saw the launch of this year’s State of Sheffield report - here are some of the interesting bits...

Every year since 2012 the Sheffield City Partnership Board has commissioned a report to take a clear-eyed, warts and all look at the city, its challenges and opportunities and how it compares to other places. Each year the focus is slightly different, and over time the reports provide an increasingly expansive view of Sheffield and

A follow-up from our open letter on Public Wifi

Last month we published an open letter from the tech community about Sheffield's Public WiFi initiative - here's the follow up.

Here’s a quick update on the response from our open letter regarding city centre WiFi. As I’ve previously mentioned on Slack, the response to our letter from the council has been very positive and open. As well as email responses from councillor Bramall and Ed Highfield, I had a follow up conversation with David Oliver,

Sheffield startup AMT leads on advanced 3D Printing tech

Additive Manufacturing Technologies is leading a £625K consortium for advanced 3d printing post-processing

Additive Manufacturing Technologies Ltd were founded in 2015 by Joseph Crabtree, and are the world’s first company focused on developing digital tech solutions for post-processing 3D Printed parts. They have just been awarded £625k by Innovate UK and consortium members including UK inkjet manufacturer Xaar plc, based in Cambridge, and Atomjet Ltd, to develop a next-generation

Digital Policy Conflab #2 – “Spatio-sectoral planning”

We're hosting a public round-table discussion, in conjunction with Creative Sheffield, to find out more about the proposed digital hubs in Sheffield

I know. “Spatio-what??” Let me explain: For the second Sheffield Digital Policy Conflab, we’re working with Creative Sheffield to host a public round-table debate on the topic of what digital technology areas, or ‘clusters’, the city is looking to support (the sectoral bit), and where are the best places for that support to be located (the

An open letter regarding the city centre WiFi initiative

Here's the letter we sent to Sheffield City Council regarding the provision of Public WiFi in the city centre

Earlier this month, Sheffield City Council announced that it is seeking providers to offer public WiFi access to the city centre that will cover the city’s Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID). Public WiFi has long been a discussion point within the digital community, and regularly comes up in conversations at Geek Breakfast, The Platform events,

Sheffield Library BIPC

A quick explanation of the services offered for startups by Sheffield Library’s Business and Intellectual Property Centre

The Library has been in the local news a fair bit recently, as the council investigates leasing the central library building to be converted into a hotel, and moving library services to a new bespoke building in the city centre. I’m not going to write about the relative merits of such a plan – certainly not

Update from Policy Conflab #1

The first Digital Policy Conflab was held last month, here's a summary of what happened.

What was the purpose of the event? One of our three missions at Sheffield Digital is to represent the digital sector to policy-makers locally, regionally and nationally, in order to enlist their help in making the city a better place to start and grow digital tech businesses, to provide them with good information and advice,

Sheffield Smart Lab ‘Demo Day’

The Sheffield Smart Lab has helped 9 projects build connections and run pilot programmes in the city over the last 12 months

Last Thursday, the 29th September, the Sheffield Smart Lab hosted a ‘Demo Day’ to showcase the winning solutions from Sheffield’s first Smart City technology accelerator. The Sheffield Smart Lab was set up in September 2015 as a partnership between Sheffield City Council, Amey and Ferrovial Services. It invited entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, both in Sheffield

Sheffield Startups Make the Finals

Sheffield startups Tutora and Mobile Power go through to the finals of two premier UK startup competitions

Two major startup pitching competitions were held in our fair city earlier this month: The Sheffield round of Northern Stars on the 8th, and the first of three national Pitch@Palace tour events on Tuesday the 20th. In both competitions Sheffield-based technology startups won through to the next round. Northern Stars – Tutora Northern Stars is Tech North’s

Announcing Digital Policy Conflab #1

We're hosting a digital policy debate on Monday 19th September

Following on from the outline policy framework I talked about back in July, we’re going to hold an open session to discuss digital policy on the 19th September between 4 and 6pm in the Creative Lounge at the Workstation. As I’ve said previously, we think it’s important that we have a strong idea of which

Maker Assembly comes to Sheffield

Andrew Sleigh from Maker Assembly explains what to expect from the event later this month.

On Wednesday 31 August, we’re holding an event called Maker Assembly at Roco in Sheffield. It’s an opportunity for makers of all kinds to gather together and share their experiences, and reflect on their own experiences of making and also learn about other cultures, histories and approaches to making. What do we mean by “making”?

Proposing a “Digital Policy Framework” for the Sheffield City Region

Last month Mel and I went to a workshop and came out with the beginnings of a policy agenda...

Last month Mel and I attended a workshop convened by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership that invited the participants – about 20 of us – to think about what a ‘digital strategy’ for the city region might look like. This is a big and complex topic for debate, and much of the session

What might Brexit mean for our tech industry?

Getting an early handle on the implications of Brexit on the national and local tech sector...

Following the result of the referendum last Friday, I’ve started to compile a list of resources related to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union that will most likely impact our tech sector. Some of these are specific to our sector, and some apply generally to business and investment. Obviously, this is not a comprehensive

The Digital Powerhouse Report 2016

The report looks at the innovation potential of the Northern tech clusters & makes 14 policy recommendations.

Last week Tech North released the Digital Powerhouse report, in conjunction with the RSA and Impact Hub. This report essentially lays out the credentials of the northern English technology clusters and makes the case for a number of recommendations to boost the tech industry in the North. As you’d expect, most of the data in

The Shadbolt Review is out

Sir Nigel Shadbolt has led an independent review of computer science degree accreditation and graduate employability.

Last week saw the publication of the Shadbolt Review – an independent review commissioned by the UK Government, and led by Sir Nigel Shadbolt, to look at how computer science degrees are accredited and how the system can better support the skills requirements of employers. The full report is available at the UK Gov website.

Thinking Digital Newcastle, 2016

Dan Sumption takes us through the intellectual smorgasbord that is the Thinking Digital conference.

Last year, I remember talking to Chris Dymond and Saul Cozens just after they returned from Thinking Digital conference in Newcastle/Gateshead. They raved about how good it was. So did others I’d seen mention it online. I decided to go the following year and, as the 2016 tickets were already on sale, I booked one

Tales from the #VibrantSheffield Live Lab

Grant Thornton's recent Vibrant Sheffield event was exhilarating, but was it diverse enough to be a true watershed moment?

“I walked through hot coals last Friday”, he said. “It’s been pretty stressful then, helping to organise this?” “Four times.” I paused… “Wait, you actually walked through hot coals?” “Yup. Never thought I’d do something like that.” “Right. Blimey. So. How did you feel afterwards?” “Amazing. Like I could do anything!” I was in the

Grant Thornton ‘Vibrant Economy’ Live Lab

Grant Thornton are running a 'Live Lab' as part of their Vibrant Economies programme on the 12th May at the Millennium Galleries.

Grant Thorton, the global professional services firm, have kicked off a major programme to stimulate ideas and actions that can create what they are calling a ‘vibrant economy’, which is one that better realises the shared potential of businesses, cities, people and communities across the UK. As part of this effort they are conducting a

Tech Nation 2016 – Part 2

Part 2 of this series takes a look at the underlying data and methods used in the report.

In this post I’m going to look at how the 2016 Tech Nation Report has been compiled and how it’s tried to address some of the shortcomings in other reports that try to analyse the digital industry. This is the second of several posts I’m writing about the report, please see the first post in the

Tech Nation 2016 – Part 1

Our initial look at the 2016 Tech Nation report - this part covers background, structure and headline figures.

This is going to be the first of several posts about the 2016 Tech Nation report – it’s a big complicated report that uses a lot of different data sources and statistical methods, and therefore requires careful analysis to determine what it means. To kick off I’m going to top and tail the report –

R&D Tax Relief and Patent Boxing

A quick primer on some ways tech firms can save on their tax.

Research and Development Tax Credits and Patent Boxing are UK Government schemes, intended to encourage and reward firms that create new technological advances and value for the British economy. While a large proportion of more established companies avail themselves of one or both of these schemes, I suspect that many newer and smaller firms don’t

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships @ SHU

Sheffield Hallam University are running an event for employers on the 25th February

On Thursday February 25th, from 1-4pm, Sheffield Hallam University are holding an event called “Higher and Degree Apprenticeships: Addressing the Skills Gap”. The purpose of the event is to introduce their plans for these apprenticeships to employers, including a focus on “digital technologies” so, as this is a pretty new concept in education, here’s a short overview