Leeds’ healthtech offering has been described as “world class” by a leading entrepreneur.
Adam Beaumont, CEO of aql, a telecommunications and datacentre company headquartered in the city, said there is no doubt that Leeds has clear expertise in this area.
“One of the areas where we are world-class is e-health: we’re seeing holistic growth in that sector,” he told a roundtable.
Leeds is the UK’s only internet-independent city outside London, a factor which contributes to its success.
“It starts with the fundamentals: we’ve built the support for the internet infrastructure in Leeds to put it on the global internet map,” he continued.
“We’re seeing similar companies do the same in the health sector, building the fundamental engines of infrastructure which allow other digital companies in Leeds to then create the smart outcomes from all that data.”
BusinessCloud has reported extensively on how Leeds and the wider Yorkshire region is up-and-coming in digital terms.
For example, Sheffield-based games studio Sumo Digital was bought by a private investment firm after a period of huge growth.
According to the Tech Nation 2016 report, Leeds boasts the fastest-growing average digital salary in the UK – a huge 29 per cent increase in just three years up to 2015 – while more than 23,000 people are employed in digital roles in the city.
Its average salary of £48,000 is the fifth-highest in the sector and largest outside the South and Edinburgh.
Impressively, it is also more than the clusters in Cambridge and Oxford, where the cost of living is far higher.
“Centred around what is the headquarters of the NHS, we now have this critical mass of capability which is being teased out at the moment as people come together and say: ‘We can do bigger things’,” concluded Beaumont.
The roundtable also heard that the key to Leeds’ success as a tech city is retaining talented graduates for its workforce.