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North Star Rising

Helen Blakey, Digital Marketing Manager Dec 03, 2018

As a global company with its roots in Northern England, we always knew the business environment here was vibrant, creative and dynamic. Attending the Northern Economic Summit in Manchester on 15th November further proved the point.

Talks by the CEO and founder of Northern Women Simone Roche, Health Innovation Manchester Chair Rowena Burns, Rugby World League World Cup Chief Executive Jon Dutton,  Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association came together with governmental organisations, MPs and Councillors to give a vibrant overview of the thriving North.

Our very own Sales and Marketing Director, Ritchie Fiddes took to the stage in the afternoon along with a loyal customer of Techbuyer’s, Simon Parkin, Technical Director EMEA from Assured DP. The duo spoke to Northern Economic Summit attendees about how Techbuyer reduced CapEx by 20%-60% and how Assured DP benefited from Techbuyer’s huge global inventory.

During the talk, Simon explained, “We need a hardware supplier not only that we can trust, but because we’re a rapidly expanding organisation, we need to be able to have a partner that can keep up with us. I know that I can ring Techbuyer and the hardware is going to be delivered to Singapore, to the west coast of America, to London, Manchester or Leeds. I have that confidence that the hardware will be delivered so we can get on with our day job which is providing backup solutions.”

There is a lot to celebrate in terms of growth. Amazon has recently announced it is opening a new office in Manchester, generating 600 jobs. Leeds will be the new regional base for Channel 4 with the relocation of around 200 staff. Hundreds more jobs will be created by GCHQ’s new secure site in the North West, which is due to open in 2019 and will use cutting edge technology to identify and disrupt threats to the UK.

Given this hotbed of tech and media activity, it is perhaps not surprising that the North is well represented in the UK share of “Unicorns” – tech companies valued $1 billion – according to a recent article by IT Pro. Of the six cities mentioned in the article, two of them were in the North: Manchester and Leeds. However, those leading the region are confident in its ability to do even better.

In his keynote address, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said he wanted to “score more for the North of England by getting more of us on the pitch”. He sees the gateways to this being improved transport, infrastructure and social inclusivity that would reduce the region’s reliance on central government and support its evolution into an independent economic power. As proud partners of the Northern Powerhouse, it was an empowering message for a company like ours to hear.

The region is attracting international interest too. Minister at the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the UK Mr. Ma Hui said that China and Northern England are in the midst of developing a sophisticated economic partnership that incorporates collaboration as well as investment. He mentioned the joint research carried out by Chinese and northern academics on the development of artificial intelligence and graphene, as well as improved economic ties between the two locations.

The joint themes of research and business development really struck a chord with us. Techbuyer works closely with various academic bodies in order to improve our product offering and promote reuse. Examples over the last year have been our contribution to research at Leeds Sustainability Research Institute and our the KTP project announced with the University of East London. 

Northern Powerhouse Partnership Chief Economist Andrew Phillips identified advanced manufacturing and digital innovation as key sectors of development for the North. The work we are carrying out on understanding product combinations, working towards more efficient systems development and generating more sustainable solutions for tech upgrades ties into this. It is fantastic to see how we fit into wider business development and we are keen to be part of the next chapter. 

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