TechWM, the West Midlands economic development agency and tech advocacy group, has officially kickstarted its plans for 2024. 

After a strong year in 2023 – marked by partnerships, new appointments and the biggest Birmingham Tech Week yet – the non-profit organisation has announced updated plans for direction, action, and the next level of cross-network collaboration.

As part of its ambitious plans, TechWM has opened the call for people to register interest in joining one of three new working groups focused on Investment, Skills, and Support. Each group is chaired by a leading figure from across industry: Paul Faulkner (Chair of the Investment Working Group), who was most recently Chief of Staff and Operations at RCL Partners; Lord Kulveer Ranger (Chair of the Skills Working Group) board member of techUK; and Janet Coyle CBE (Chair of the Support Working Group), who leads business growth activity for London & Partners.

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The working groups will be responsible for making recommendations that help drive change in the region, subsequently forming key ideas and initiatives for the overall digital economy strategy. These ideas will be publicly launched in April at the 2024 West Midlands Tech Review, which will be hosted by TechWM.

While the open call doesn’t come with specific requirements, hopeful candidates must be able to commit to attending monthly meetings and willing to participate in a range of additional networking events throughout the year. A dedication to championing initiatives that make a difference in the regional tech landscape is crucial, while having existing networks that can support the implementation of recommendations proposed by the group is highly valuable.

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“Connection and collaboration is at the heart of innovation and change, without it we would be in an endless echo chamber with no additional perspective to learn from,” said Faulkner, chair of investment on the West Midlands Tech & Digital Advisory Board. 

“This is why, for the Tech & Digital Advisory Board, it is crucial that we expand and do so with intention.

“The choice to build out these three core working groups is one that we, at TechWM, feel will not only benefit each respective area (Investment, Skills, and Support) but will also bring in a range of expertise and perspectives to the Tech & Digital Advisory Board as a whole.

“The West Midlands tech ecosystem has long been on a steady upward climb and we feel that learning from what we have been doing well – and perhaps not so well – whilst making the most of the talent the region has to offer, will be strong fuel for growth and positive change.”

TechWM has also announced Tech Connect. This brings together an online support platform, in-person connection hub at iCentrum, tech support programme, and a series of live events and workshops.

Yiannis Maos, CEO of TechWM, added: “At TechWM, our goals are driven by the mission to ensure that the region’s tech ecosystem is encouraged and empowered to flourish and grow, to both national and international heights. 

“We firmly believe that this goal cannot be achieved unless we work together, and that’s exactly what we hope our 2024 plans will encourage people to do.

“The expansion of our offerings, both online and in person, will hopefully encourage tech and digital businesses and leaders to find the support they are looking for. Additional support from new members of our core working groups will, we feel, further bolster this empowerment and support; helping the region as a whole reach the common goal of becoming a global tech superpower.”

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