Newcastle has been named as the fastest growing region outside of London for digital and technological employment.
The city has also been ranked 14th position in the UK after an evolution of their strategies, key projects and overall readiness in using digital technology to improve their civic services.
The research, commissioned by Huawei UK and conducted by Navigant Consulting, named the city as one of the 12 ‘contender’ cities alongside Manchester, Aberdeen, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Glasgow, Nottingham, Peterborough, Cambridge, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Oxford.
Sir Andrew Cahn, a Huawei UK Board member, told us:
“The successful cities of the future are going to be smart cities. It’s clear from this report that cities across the UK have made considerable progress over the last year”
“While Bristol and London are named as ‘leaders’, other cities have entered the index with exciting smart initiatives such as Newcastle’s, City Futures programme and Cambridge’s, Smart Cambridge intelligent City Platform (iCP)”
Newcastle’s smart city initiatives focus on identifying solutions for major challenges while boosting its aim to be a leading city for science and digital technology.
Science Central, a £350 million flagship project, is currently under joint development from Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council. It will bring together academia, the public sector, communities, businesses and the industry to create a centre for urban innovation.
Newcastle City Futures is at the forefront of progressing smart and socially inclusive initiatives across the city. Newcastle University led the establishment of the platform in 2014 to collaborate Research and Development with long-term policy trends and business needs in the city.
Since its creation, it has become one of five Urban Living Partnerships pilots funded with £1.2 million from Research Councils UK and Innovate UK.
Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones, Director of Newcastle City Futures at Newcastle University said: “We’re pressing ahead with a refreshed vision and unique partnership model to accelerate the adoption of smart, clean and digital technologies that will enable us to overcome the economic and social challenges our city is currently facing”
“We’re extremely proud to be included and recognised in this year’s Huawei Smart Cities Index, as it shows the scale of progress we have made over the past 18 months.”
“An important element to the city’s success is key funding in smart city initiatives and projects that are set to transform Newcastle to an all-around digital city.”
In addition, Newcastle University continues to invest in new projects within Science Central, where the Urban Sciences Building will become the £58 million home of the School of computing.