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Tech City UK throws its weight behind Norwich’s technology sector

PUBLISHED: 22:01 21 November 2014 | UPDATED: 22:01 21 November 2014

The Sync the City event at the King's Centre. Participants, from left, Neil Sedger, Alex Logan, and Mehmet Palabiyikoglu, at work on their idea of using drones to help during major unexpected events, such as a tsunami. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Sync the City event at the King's Centre. Participants, from left, Neil Sedger, Alex Logan, and Mehmet Palabiyikoglu, at work on their idea of using drones to help during major unexpected events, such as a tsunami. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2014

Norwich’s growing technology sector is to receive a significant boost after an industry body agreed to recognise its potential on the national stage.

Emma Swift, of Tech City UK, said the organisation wanted to “bring Norwich on Board” and encourage its businesses to work with technology clusters across the UK.

The pledge comes after some city businesses campaigned to have Norwich recognised as a cluster in its own right after it was not included on a map compiled by Tech City UK championing regions with up-and-coming digital companies.

She said: “We are definitely going to bring Norwich on board. We want to know what Norwich can contribute to the wider clusters and we want to make sure that its is a part of this network across the country.

“There is so much going on across the country. It is about telling the joined up story as a whole rather than having regions competing against each other.”

Launched by the government in 2010, the Tech City initiative was tasked with diversifying the London economy away from financial services and capture the economic growth potential presented by the wave of technology companies that were growing in East London and the area known as the “Silicon Roundabout”.

Earlier this year its role was expanded to work with the whole of the UK by supporting the growth of digital businesses across the country.

It recently launched the Tech City Cluster Alliance, which pinpointed key areas where digital businesses could work together to accelerate growth. The areas listed were Scotland, Northern Ireland, Manchester, Newcastle, Sunderland, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol/Bath, Cardiff, Sussex, Cambridge and Sheffield/Leeds. However, Norwich was not included.

She said one of the aims of Tech City UK was to help digital companies overcome “road blocks” and leverage support from Local Enterprise Partnerships and local authorities.

Speaking about the Sync the City event, she added: “The ideas proposed by these and the other teams are excellent – and we see why Norwich is growing at speed. The skills and drive of Sync Norwich & the tech community in Norfolk is outstanding. It’s good to see the cooperation of the county council, UEA, and businesses like Aviva and HP supporting the tech community.”

Norwich reputation as a technology hub has been boosted by a number of city-based digital companies, including Proxama, Foolproof and Liftshare.

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