Posts byMel Kanarek

Introducing Talent23

Talent23 (T23) is Sheffield Digital’s “year of talent and skills”

Sheffield Digital is working on a plan to make 2023 a “year of talent and skills”, with a focus on activities to help address the talent and skills gap for the region’s tech businesses. We know we can’t fix everything in a year and this needs to be a long-term effort, but we hope that

A report from South Yorkshire’s first Tech Summit

Mel Kanarek provides an overview of what happened at the region's first Tech Summit, and asks "What's next?".

The event opened with a short address from Oliver Coppard, the South Yorkshire Mayor. We know that Oliver is pro tech and digital and understands its potential in the region, and this was echoed in his remarks. He closed by saying, “This is South Yorkshire’s first Tech Summit but it will not be our last.

Important updates to the R&D Tax Relief Scheme

Provided by our partners at Shorts, here are some important things that you need to know if your company is submitting a claim. These follow changes announced by HMRC as part of new tax legislation that takes effect from April 2023.

Shorts Chartered Accountants have highlighted the main changes coming to the rules of the scheme: The scope of qualifying expenditure is to be extended to include costs for purchasing datasets, as well as cloud computing. This will benefit many companies and particularly those in the tech sector. It doesn’t appear that any of these costs

Growing the Sheffield Digital team

Emma Marshall joins our freelance team as Company Membership manager

Emma Marshall is a familiar face on the Sheffield digital scene. Formerly managing director at Technophobia/G2G3 Digital and, more recently, operations director at 3Squared, Emma has first-hand experience of what it takes to build and run a successful tech business. Emma is also one of the founders of Sheffield Women in Tech (ShfWIT) and a

Digital bootcamps are expanding the local talent pool

Learners are coming through the programme but the College urgently needs more employers to get involved.

About the Bootcamps These Digital Bootcamps are aimed at anyone in England aged 19 or over, whether they are in work, self-employed, recently unemployed or returning to work after a break. The free courses are designed to give people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer.

Less than 20 days to go to Digital Festival!

Read on to find out about Main Event speakers, Fringe events and how to get your free ticket.

Main Event speaker announcements Focusing in on the Festival themes of Decarbonisation, Health, and Culture & Heritage, we can now announce that our main event speakers will include: Neha Seghal, a data science expert and senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University. Neha will be talking about her work with natural language processing and data analytics

Joi Polloi acquired by Four Communications Group

This international agency plans to create a North of England hub based in Sheffield.

Joi Polloi is known for breaking new ground in the creative and digital space and has picked up accolades from BAFTA, Royal Television Society, DA&D, Drum Roses Awards and the International EMMY Awards to name but a few. The team of 15 people will strengthen Four’s digital & creative teams in London, Cardiff and Dubai

Episode 74: Turning a lifestyle business into an award-winning scale-up

Mel follows-up with Dan and Andrew from Airship, delves into some Sheffield history and finds out the highs and lows of reinventing a tech business.

Download the MP3 file Subscribe in iTunes Subscribe to the RSS feed If you listened to Episode 72 of this podcast, you will have heard us chat with two very successful start-ups: Mina and Airship. You will also have discovered that Airship isn’t really a start-up; the company was originally set up in 2003. Since

Sheffield Digital Festival returns online

Save the dates: 17th-21st May.

In 2020, we took the Sheffield Digital Festival online to ensure that events could go ahead despite the pandemic restrictions. The transition was a great success, attracting a broad variety of events and attendees from near and far. We want to build on that success with another virtual event and in the hope that, as

COVID-19 response offers from the digital community

This is a directory of support offers and provision of local assets, both people and infrastructure, to help businesses through the latest lockdown and towards a recovery.

These assets and offers of help can be anything from free rack-space or managed hosting to spare service centre capacity; from offers to design and build digital tools at cost rather than market rate to seconding people or allowing furloughed development teams to volunteer. We’re certain that any digital comms and tech help that can

COVID 19 – how can Sheffield Digital help?

What do you need from us?

Let us know how we can help We will be doing everything we can to pass on information and advice that we receive or find. However, we want to hear from you about how things are at the moment and what you would find useful. We’d also like to know what help you are able

Could you be our community manager?

We're expanding our freelance team to help us do more.

Why are we doing this? As Sheffield Digital has grown, we’ve tended to focus more on businesses and organisations in the city, both because it’s easier to scale engagement that way and because we needed to raise funds. But we are hugely aware that it is the individuals in the city who supported us to

Call for presenters for Sheffield Digital Festival

We’re on the search for people to show off the best of Sheffield’s creativity and technical excellence.

Have you developed new approaches or ways of working by discovering new partners, new technologies or even creative processes that have unlocked new and exciting opportunities for you? Have you made something that breaks new ground through the combination of creativity and technology? We would love to hear from any Digital Artists, Makers, Technologists, Companies joins Sheffield Digital as an Associate Sponsor.

This new business offers a transparent, platform-based approach to recruitment for tech-industry freelancers, contractors and the companies that hire them.

The company combines TribePad’s award-winning recruitment technology platform with the services of a team of technology talent experts to provide a straight-forward way for freelancers and contractors to find opportunities and manage their engagements. At the same time, companies can use the service to promote their freelance and contract opportunities, review applications and manage engagements.

Sheffield Legal Hackers launch Year of Access to Justice

Find out how you can get involved at a kick-off event on 22nd January.

Why should we be concerned about Access to Justice? According to the United Nations, “Access to justice is a basic principle of the rule of law. In the absence of access to justice, people are unable to have their voice heard, exercise their rights, challenge discrimination or hold decision-makers accountable.” Access to justice is a

Quarterly Briefing Q2 2019: Creating a Narrative

Mel Kanarek introduces Sheffield Digital’s first Quarterly Briefing.

It gives me a great deal of personal satisfaction to write this introduction to the first Quarterly Briefing on Sheffield’s digital economy. For those of us who spend our working days immersed in the sector, it is easy to assume that everyone knows about the wealth of local talent that is driving innovation, job creation

Sheffield Digital partners with Shorts’ Radius to offer R&D tax reliefs service.

We’re building on our long-standing relationship with Shorts to provide a straight-forward way for businesses to take advantage of tax reliefs for research and development.

De-mystifying R&D tax reliefs The potential savings that you can make through claiming R&D tax reliefs are worth paying attention to. For a business developing new or improved software that seeks to make ‘appreciable’ improvements in the field, around £25,000 can be saved in corporation tax for every £100,000 spent innovating. The Q&As below are

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? This event gives everyone the space and opportunity to shape what we do going forwards. We will: tell the story of Sheffield’s digital scene over the last 12 months look forward to things that are coming up give everyone a chance to speak their mind and help shape what we do

Meet Sheffield’s advisers for tech businesses

Sheffield City Council now has a specialist team to provide business support to both start-ups and growing tech businesses.

The team are (from left to right in the photo) Glyn Heath, Morgan Killick and Chris Wheater. All three have experience of founding, running and growing technology businesses. Their role is to offer a very flexible service, covering everything from start-up to scaling, and they are happy to talk to businesses at any stage of

Representing Sheffield to central government

How being part of the UK Tech Cluster Group is raising the profile of Sheffield’s tech scene.

Over the past couple of years, a strong network has developed between the different groups that represent the regional tech clusters across the country. We’ve been meeting regularly to share information and ideas and, with the help of Danny Dickinson, head of regional tech policy at DCMS, have been able to talk to policy makers

Tech, Set, Go! project to attract a more diverse range of people into digital

This experimental programme aims to address local digital skills shortages by engaging a greater variety of people in training to help prepare them for roles in the tech sector.

Targeting under-represented groups The Tech, Set, Go! project is being funded through the government’s Digital Skills Innovation Fund. It will target several key under-represented groups: women who want to return to work after a period of absence, as well as women who are under-employed in low-skilled jobs or unemployed; people who are on the autistic

Announcing: Sheffield’s first ever Digital Festival!

You’ve heard us talking about it on the podcast. Now we’re excited to announce some details and ways for you to get involved.

The Sheffield Digital Festival is a collaboration between Field Design and Sheffield Digital. The theme for the Festival is “where creativity meets technical excellence”. The Festival is made up of a main event on Friday 17 May and a platform for people around the city to create and promote their own Fringe events during the

Kollïder Sheffield rising

We report back on our floor-to-ceiling tour of Castle House and there is lots to be excited about.

Ground floor Starting on the ground floor, work is in the final stages of fitting out the 300-seat food hall, which will be called Kommune. We already know that The Depot Bakery and Pom Kitchen will be there, and a shiny pizza oven was also in place. There’s a large semi-circular bar that hugs the

Help wanted – be part of the Sheffield Digital team

We're looking for someone to help keep us organised!

We need someone who is highly organised and able to commit to carrying these tasks out reliably and consistently. These are important activities that keep our organisation running smoothly and which support our thriving community. We will, of course, provide training and support. You can find a detailed description of what’s required – the budget available

Egress joins Sheffield Digital

This fast growing security specialist is our latest enterprise level company member.

Who is Egress and what do you do?   Egress was founded 11 years ago, by three people who are still with the company today. Our CTO is passionate about supporting the local tech community, as are our staff. We help enterprises protect unstructured data to meet compliance requirements and drive business productivity. Our AI-powered platform

Making Sheffield a hub for Legal Technology

We find out about the new LegalTech North conference that’s happening here in November.

We spoke to Matt Pennington, one of the conference organisers, to find out more. Matt is part of the team at QuoteXpress, based at Sheffield Tech Parks. QuoteXpress is a quote and referral tool for legal matters, which also helps law firms comply with new pricing transparency regulations coming into force at the end of

Tech Nation launches Rising Stars and expands Founders Network

Tech Nation is actively looking for early-stage digital startups from across the UK to take part in its new Rising Stars competition – applications open until 4 November.

Raising the profile of your digital start-up These new opportunities from Tech Nation recognise the power of connection and collaboration when starting up a digital business. Through the Founders’ Network, members can have unlimited access to learning materials, monthly meetups and an online Slack community. Membership is free to join and open to incorporated businesses

Sheffield Tech Parks – building Sheffield’s digital community

STP manager Tom Wolfenden has a new co-working offer for Sheffield Digital members.

This is a guest post by Tom Wolfenden, the manager at Sheffield Technology Parks. Firstly, I should explain who ‘we’ are – I run Sheffield Technology Park (STP) based in the Cooper Buildings on Arundel Street. We’re a non-profit economic development organisation at heart, self-funded by rental revenues from our tech community with a remit

Festival of the Mind is back!

There's something for everyone at this year's event, which runs from 20th to 30th September.

Festival of the Mind is a unique collaboration between the academic community at the University of Sheffield and the city’s cultural, creative and digital industries. Its last outing in 2016 attracted 50,000 visitors to more than 75 events at 16 venues across the city. FoM has always had a strong digital component and this year is

Enter the Rolls Royce Advanced Manufacturing Hack

If you’re up for a high-stakes challenge that could win you £10,000, then get involved on October 15-16.

The challenge The challenge for the hack will be to create a model that can cope with the number of fine adjustments required throughout the inspection and measurement process, and potentially automate decision-making. At one of Rolls-Royce’s manufacturing facilities, inspection is carried out to measure the moment weight of rotating components, to determine optimal alignment

Member profile: Perform Green

Perform Green are a strategy and change consultancy that works to improve places, organisations, communities, and people’s lives.

Built on strong values and with a mantra of ‘change for the better’, Perform Green recently became a Certified B Corporation® and Living Wage Employer. We sent a few questions to Lara Moloney, the company’s Head of Business Development and Client Partnerships, to find out more about who they are and what they do. What

More progress on software developer apprenticeship at Sheffield College

Here's the latest update on this important new skills offer.

In February, a group of local digital employers got together with the team at the College to discuss progress. The main focus of the meeting was to look at the structure of the programme, including the idea of a two week bootcamp before the course proper starts. About the bootcamps The main aims of the

Brilliant international growth opportunity

Make sure your company is part of a new directory that will be shared with Chinese businesses. Respond by 7th March.

While it might seem like a distant and somewhat random choice for growth, business links between China and the city region have been increasing over recent years and those links flow in both directions. Get on the directory If you’re tempted, we need you to fill in a quick survey and the information will be

Book your place on the Connected Manufacturing Workshop

Learn how manufacturing businesses work and what opportunities there are for digital companies to collaborate.

The aim was to help people working in digital to get a feel for how digital is being applied in advanced manufacturing and to think about how they might develop products or services for manufacturers. How do manufacturing businesses work? After the visit, many people mentioned that they would like the opportunity to find out

IOT Tribe North accelerator programme

IoT Tribe are working with Barnsley DMC on a programme for 10 early-stage IoT start-ups.

European accelerator programme IoT Tribe is coming to our neck of the woods, thanks to an ambitious campaign by the team at Barnsley Digital Media Centre (DMC) and funding from Innovate UK. About IoT Tribe and the IoT North project IoT Tribe is an organisation that has already supported over 130 IoT companies across Europe.

“Digital Meet Manufacturing” speed networking event

A great opportunity for local companies to get in front of some major manufacturers.

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Factory 2050 are partnering up with some of the biggest global names in manufacturing who are keen to meet SMEs who can help them innovate and transform to meet future manufacturing needs. A speed networking event on 16th November at Factory 2050 will give

Sheffield start-up selected for GCHQ Cyber Accelerator

Ioetec Limited is one of nine companies hoping to produce the next generation of cyber security leaders.

Sheffield cyber start-up Ioetec Limited is one of just nine companies to join the second programme of the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator, powered by Wayra UK. Ioetec provides a plug-and-play cloud services solution to connect Internet of Things devices with end-to-end, authenticated, encrypted security. The companies will now begin an intensive acceleration programme that will help their

4 ways to get involved with our University Technical Colleges

Share knowledge and build links with the talent of the future.

Here in Sheffield, we have two thriving University Technical Colleges, both with programmes relevant to the digital industries. UTC City Centre covers Creative and Digital Media, whilst UTC Olympic Legacy Park covers Computing. Between them, they have students learning about everything from design, animation and games development to robotics, Internet of Things and big data.

Employers and the UTC – how to get involved with Creative & Digital Media

University Technical College Sheffield City Centre provides school students with specialist education in Creative & Digital Media, here's how employers can get involved.

UTC Sheffield City Centre was the first UTC to open in Yorkshire and Humber, in September 2013. All students complete a technical qualification in one of two industry specialisms, either Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing or Creative & Digital Media, in addition to GCSEs and A Levels. Our students develop good industry skills on highly effective

Employers and the UTC – how to get involved with Computing

University Technical College Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park provides school students with specialist education in Computing, here's how employers can get involved.

Sheffield’s second UTC opened at the Olympic Legacy Park in 2016 with a mandate to provide specialist education in Computing, Sports Science and Life Sciences alongside traditional GCSEs and A-Levels.  The flagship £10-million-pound building provides a unique experience for students to study adjacent to elite athletes and professional sports people. At the UTC itself, we

Sheffield’s digital economy – some thoughts from an expert

Scott Burkinshaw from Shorts give us his perspective.

We’ve been talking a lot recently about how Sheffield’s digital industries are “on the cusp” of a growth explosion. But how does our industry look to someone who works with our businesses, rather than in them? We talked to Scott Burkinshaw, Tax Partner and Head of Innovation Taxes Group at Shorts accountants, to get his

The Sheffield College joins Sheffield Digital

This key education provider wants to build stronger links with digital employers.

The Sheffield College is the latest education provider in the city to formalise its relationship with Sheffield Digital. The College has become an Associate Sponsor, joining Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield in recognising the importance of forging closer links between education and digital businesses in the city region. The College’s current digital

Developers don’t grow on trees.

How to get involved in Sheffield College's plans for apprenticeships to help grow the talent pool.

That’s one thing we know for sure – there’s a shortage of programmers in our area and not just programmers, a whole range of technical roles. So how do you find the talent you need? Well, perhaps you can grow your own. Apprenticeships are the tried and tested way to grow your own talent and

Emerging and Enabling Technologies Competition

Round 3 of this Innovate UK funding is now open.

As part of the Innovate UK Delivery Plan, Innovate UK is to invest up to £15m* in innovative projects in Emerging and Enabling Technologies and up to £10m for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. Technologies within “Emerging and Enabling Technologies” include: emerging technologies: defined as technologies that are progressing in, or have recently emerged from, the research

Young people’s project seeks Java advice

Help shape IdeasInc's resources for young entrepreneurs.

IdeasInc is a project run by Canadian-turned-Sheffielder Kathy McKay. Kathy is passionate about encouraging young people to improve their employability, digital skills and entrepreneurship and to explore the career opportunities available to them through digital. Kathy describes IdeasInc as an enterprise accelerator for young people aged 13 to 24. Groups of students work together to

Sheffield City Council joins Sheffield Digital

Regional Partnership paves the way for closer collaboration.

We’re delighted to announce that Sheffield City Council is joining us as a Regional Partner. Sheffield Digital has always had a good working relationship with the Council, but their decision to formalise that into a Regional Partnership is really encouraging. It shows that the Council recognises the importance of the sector and is keen to

Pimoroni goes international

European expansion for booming tech firm.

Sheffield tech company Pimoroni Ltd is to go international, opening a German branch in only its fifth year of operation. Pimoroni GmbH will be based in Essen, providing European customers with improved, faster postage and local support. The move comes as the company, which designs, manufactures and supplies components and accessories to fans and users of

CMC Playground returns

Where kids can get hands on with digital creativity.

After it’s highly successful first appearance last year, Playground returns to the Children’s Media Conference from 4th to 9th July at the Cantor Gallery. Playground is an exhibition of digital art which you can interact with, plus there’s a Maker Space were you can make your own digital art. You’ll get to explore interactive digital

Company Spotlight: Evoluted

Helping businesses see there's more to digital than social media.

Evoluted is a company that actually conforms to the stereotypical tech business story. Managing director Ash Young started making websites while he was at Sheffield University studying software engineering. He set up Evoluted as soon as he graduated in 2006 and the company began with Ash and colleague Gareth Davies working out of a bedroom.

Company Spotlight: Hive IT

Meet the company that was our first company member.

Hive IT are one of the newer arrivals on the Sheffield digital scene – the company was started in 2014, when founder Jonny Rippon decided he could “do it better” and left Technophobia to set up on his own. Today, Hive IT employs 18 full time staff and, with contractors, can have up to 30