Tech Commissioner appointed to supercharge Midland’s digital economy
A ‘Tech Commissioner’ is set to be appointed to help supercharge the West Midlands by helping to build a forward looking, technologically advanced economy that harnesses big data to improve public services and drive business.
The Commissioner, who would act as a high-profile leader for the region’s digital and tech sector, is one of several initiatives set out in a new partnership between the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Birmingham Tech, a not-for-profit community initiative (CIC) which aims to raise the profile of the region’s tech scene.
The partnership has been struck with the specific aim of helping the region realise the full potential of digital technology so it can transform and future proof its economy.
It will play a key role in delivering the WMCA Digital Roadmap which was launched last year to tackle digital exclusion, reach net zero and support the post-Covid recovery.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands (left) with Clare Streets and Yiannis Maos from Birmingham Tech who will work in partnership with the WMCA on helping the regional economy realise the full potential of digital technology
Focussing on the cross-cutting role of digital and tech it will also help underpin the work of the West Midlands Plan for Growth and the ambition to grow the regional economy, sustainably and in a way that benefits all parts of society.
In addition to the appointment of a Tech Commissioner the partnership will:
Establish a network of West Midlands tech and digital ‘ambassadors’ around the world who can fly the flag for the region:
1. Support the establishment of workspaces for digital and tech entrepreneurs/start-ups.
2. Work to ensure the region can maximise funding for the digital and tech sector.
3. Announcing the partnership in a speech at iCentrum in Birmingham to mark the start of Birmingham 4.
The partnership’s two year, £160,000 programme will focus on driving greater investment in the region’s tech firms, both domestic and international, and securing a higher survival rate with more start-ups going on to become scale-ups.
It will also look to deliver greater diversity in the leadership and staff of the region’s tech firms and boost the number of national and international firms relocating or opening offices in the West Midlands.
The partnership’s task to help the region realise the full economic potential of digital technology is one of five key missions set out in last year’s Digital Roadmap.
The other four missions are:
- Secure access for everyone to digital opportunities, particularly those in poverty
- Sharing and using data to improve people’s lives
- Becoming the UK’s best-connected region
- Using digital public services to build a fairer, greener, healthier region