In 2018 Cornwall once again proved there is more to than just rugged coastline, stunning beaches and friendly locals. Based on the recent Tech Nation report, Cornwall’s digital technology sector has been singled out as one of the fastest growing in the country.
In a report from Tech City UK, digital businesses in Cornwall grew their turnover by 51% between 2011 and 2015, and the sector spawned an average of 22 startup tech businesses every year in the same period.
There has been a steady stream of articles referring to Cornwall as the Silicon Valley of the UK and even Kernowfornia. However, Cornwall has something far more unique and special to offer its developing digital technology sector.
Cornwall has become where the tech industry focuses on collaboration over competition, and people are encouraged to take their work-life balance seriously. Tech jobs also tend to pay more: the average advertised salary for digital tech jobs in Cornwall is £31,322, according to the Cornwall-based tech businesses who responded to Tech Nation’s latest survey (covering around 1,380 employees). This is compared to a Cornwall-wide average of £17,873.
The report states: “Cornwall’s digital tech cluster might be small, but it is increasingly mighty – centred on Redruth and Truro, but expanding to Camborne, Falmouth, Newquay and beyond. People and businesses come for the coastal quality of life. They stay, however, for the community and the connectivity.”
Truro & Redruth is also the only Tech Cluster to finish in the “Top 10 Clusters” for two years running – placing third for 2017.
Some of the key factors in the development of Cornwall as a Tech Hub is the investment in growth for the region as a whole. Superfast broadband means Truro now has more fibre connections than most European cities, while the sector is backed by a collaborative ecosystem.
In total, 15 companies, organisations, and communities from around the county were represented and rewarded in front of hundreds at the 2018 South West Digital Awards. Not only were several nominated, but two incredible Cornish companies also scooped first place at the awards:
- Buzz Interactive won Software of the Year for the company’s involvement in the MyPreOp software – developed for Penryn-based Ultramed.
MyPreOp is designed to save the NHS time and money by making questionnaires completable at home, rather than during a one hour, face-to-face appointment with a nurse. The system can provide personalised questions to patients alongside explanations of medical terms and reusability functionality. The software was also nominated for Best in Health Tech (sponsored by Novate IT).
- AgeUK’s Cornwall & Isles of Scilly branch also didn’t go home empty handed, having won Best Use of Digital by a Charity for the Cornwall Link platform. The Cornwall Link’s directory tackles the issues of rurality and isolation, both prevalent across the county. The user interface is simple, designed to suit all members of society, and has created a hub of information about otherwise-under-supported community groups. The site’s Guided Conversation functionality will enable users to find the support they need, even if they’re not sure what that is. In the first 5 weeks of its launch, the Cornwall Link received over 2,600 unique views, as well as at least 1,400 referrals to external sites.
Alongside the Buzz Interactive and AgeUK Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, winners were many Cornish nominees including:
- CNC Design
- Eight Wire
- Cornwall Film Festival
- Triangular Pixels
- Peaky Digital
- Made Open
The 2019 South West Digital Awards will offer 12 categories with 12 chances to win and we are looking forward to seeing the incredible work that Cornwall has to offer.
Check out all 12 categories and get nominating here!