South West tech heroes to be celebrated

The Tech South West Awards celebrating the region’s tech champions, heroes and innovators have launched.

The awards will feature a new Hero Award to recognise the contributions by people and organisations across the region’s tech community to aiding the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, from data-tracking work to switching to making PPE for key workers.

The live launch saw the tech community gather – digitally – to hear inspiring stories from 2019 winners, including Somerset-based Your IT Now which provides digital skills for people with learning difficulties, and Bath-based software developers Rocketmakers, working with start-ups and scale-ups across the tech scene.

Details of how Tech South West will support the fight to tackle Covid-19 were also revealed, with half of all entry fees going to the WHO Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Telecommunications multinational BT were announced as Lead Partner for this year’s awards. Chartered accountants Bishop Fleming and law firm Ashfords LLP were unveiled as Supporting Partners alongside the first Category Sponsors Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP and Heart of the South West LEP Digital Skills Partnership, Astley Media, Cathedral Appointments, Granted Consultancy, Headforwards, Project (SW), Rocketmakers and UK Hydrographic Office.

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP and Heart of the South West LEP Digital Skills Partnership will be supporting the awards as joint sponsor of the Best Education Initiative Award.

Dan Pritchard, of Tech South West, said: “We are really pleased to have Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP and Heart of the South West LEP Digital Skills Partnerships as sponsors of our Best Education Initiative Award. This category recognises the amazing work across the region in promoting and delivering tech education be that in schools, colleges, universities, other educational groups and of course across business too. We are looking forward to partnering with the Digital Skills Partnerships to showcase the very best initiatives in the South West.”

Charlotte Collyer, Digital Skills Partnership Manager, said: “The Digital Skills Partnership is excited once again to be jointly sponsoring the award for Best Education Initiative, along with our peers at Cornwall & Isles of Scilly. I can’t wait to see which projects and organisations come forward from across the South West that are igniting a curiosity and desire in people to work and learn more in the digital space. This learning ecosystem is key to building a region of smart digital individuals that will go on to support their communities and fuel innovation.”

For more information on the Digital Skills Partnership, please visit: https://heartofswlep.co.uk/about-the-lep/how-we-are-organised/digital-skills-partnership/

The awards cover Bath, Bristol, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Exeter, Dorset, Bournemouth, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

 Paddle Logger in Cornwall, People Matter Technology in Bournemouth, PyroCore in Bristol, Elixel in Plymouth and Software Solved in Exeter were amongst the winners for awards including Best Scale Up, Tech Leadership, Tech Company of the Year, Best Tech Workplace and Contribution to the Community Award.

Digital Northern Devon, Digital Plymouth, Digital Taunton, Engine Shed Bristol, Software Cornwall, Tech Exeter, TechSPARK and Silicon South all work alongside Tech South West for the showcase event, which also include local cluster awards for different parts of the region, recognising companies, organisations, programmes and initiatives which have delivered a positive difference in their local communities.

The awards are now open for entries at www.techsouthwest.co.uk/awards with the deadline Friday July 24. Shortlists will be announced in September, with details of the awards ceremony to be announced in the summer.