In 2017, Tech Nation reported there were over 6,500 digital tech jobs in Plymouth. Paired with the city’s digital community’s strong link to local universities and colleges, the city is a growing hub of innovation.

As host city of the 2018 & 2019 South West Digital Awards, Plymouth is heavily represented throughout the awards, from the venue to the panel. The city showed us its best in September and will surely do so again in October 2019.

A leader of Plymouth’s innovation efforts, Real Ideas Organisation’s Chief Exec, Lindsey Hall, joined us for a live panel on the night. She put forward her thoughts on the challenges and opportunities in the South West, with her insights based on years of developing and improving facilities in the city, both in digital and social realms. A key player in the regeneration of Devonport, the community interest company revitalised Devonport Guildhall and will open the renovated and world-class digital hub Market Hall in 2019.

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Plymouth University is also a heavyweight in the city’s digital community, connecting local businesses to students through the Enterprise Solutions scheme. Corporate Projects Manager, Rich Adams, joined Lindsey on the panel and brought an educational viewpoint to the evening, stressing the importance of acquiring solid stats about the value of the digital economy to Plymouth and the South West, as well as noting the need to tell the political circle what digital industries need to grow and have a further impact.

Sentinel Healthcare’s Strategic Director Roland Gude also took part in the panel, noting the opportunities for funding that need to be identified and taken advantage of. Overall, the panel’s discussion was optimistic and in practice, their work in the city shows the growing number of prospects for Plymouth’s digital communities and innovators.

With a growing number of tech hubs located around the city and a strong cohort of artists, there are plenty of ways for Plymouth’s businesses and innovators to gain recognition through the new categories at the 2019 awards.

Plymouth’s creative streak was heavily recognised throughout the evening. Plymouth College of Art had a significant role at the 2018 awards, having designed and hand-built 10 trophies for the winners, and the awards took place at Plymouth’s School of Creative Arts. With this in mind, there are loads of creative opportunities amongst the new and improved 12 categories for 2019 – from Digital Art of the Year to Branding in a Digital Environment.

Check out all 12 categories and enter here.