Three key tech organisations in the North East have joined forces to launch a new innovation hub.

The National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD), Newcastle University and Sunderland Software City (SSC) will lead the Hartree Centre North East Hub, part of the Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI) programme.

This collaborative initiative aims to empower small and medium-sized enterprises in the region by enabling them to gain a competitive edge through the adoption of innovative digital technologies.

Following the recent announcement that Newcastle is one of only three locations, along with Cardiff and Ulster, to be selected for the national rollout of this initiative, SSC and NICD will act as key partners in delivering the programme. 

Over the next three years, the North East Hub will offer fully funded support to businesses, helping them understand advanced technologies, develop proofs-of-concept, and de-risk investments in data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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In anticipation of the initiative’s opening to SMEs in July this year, SSC and NICD are encouraging North East organisations seeking to advance their tech capacity and credentials to get in touch.

“The National Innovation Centre for Data is delighted to partner with Sunderland Software City to host the Hartree Centre SME Engagement Hub for the North East,” said Professor Barry Hodgson, director of strategy at the National Innovation Centre for Data, Newcastle University, and principal investigator for the Hartree Centre North East Hub.

“Our team of expert data scientists will collaborate with SMEs throughout the region to transform their organisations through digital technology adoption and innovative use of data. We eagerly anticipate collaborating with the Hartree Centre and the other hubs based in Cardiff and Ulster to deliver this exciting programme.”

Dr David Dunn, CEO of Sunderland Software City, added: “We are thrilled to be working with the National Innovation Centre for Data to develop and host this regional hub. 

“Our business engagement experts will assist SMEs in key sectors across the North East and Tees Valley, guiding them in the use of data, data analytics, AI, and machine learning. By fostering a community of companies that can leverage data to improve productivity and competitiveness, we aim to drive growth and innovation in the region.”

The initiative will be launched with an event at The Catalyst in Newcastle – ‘Maximising Growth: Empowering SMEs with Advanced Digital Tech’ – on 27th July. You can register here.

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