Speech delivered at the Institute of Technology Tribe Event on 18/06/18
Thank you for the opportunity to speak today.
This has been an important event, that hasn’t just celebrated the hard work, the creativity and the ambition of all those involved in the Institute of Technology (IoT) Tribe accelerator. But has also explored the role digital industry will play in our economy.
There are many people who play a part in events such as these and the work that we are celebrating.
But a particular word of thanks must go to Tanya Suarez and the IoT Tribe for bringing such a talented cohort of start-ups to the region.
Well done – and thank you.
This is a hugely exciting time for me personally and for the Sheffield City Region.
As Mayor I am committed to establishing a more vibrant, successful and co-operative economy in South Yorkshire.
That means all of our residents playing their part in creating the economy we need, as well as benefiting from the prosperity that will follow.
The economy is changing. Rapidly.
Here in the Sheffield City Region we should be proud that it is the digital economy, and its relationship with advanced manufacturing and engineering, that is driving jobs and prosperity.
There is a new-found confidence in many of our businesses, and I know this confidence is shared by many people in this room.
But the world is changing quickly, and we will need all of that confidence as well as practical support if we are to adapt and keep up.
The pace of technological change has never been faster, and I don’t need to remind anyone here in this room that the opportunity to embrace Industry 4.0 is one we must take.
Too few people in South Yorkshire have a decent income or get their fair share of our nation’s wealth.
The average weekly salary here in South Yorkshire is around £50 less than the UK’s average, businesses are not as productive as they could be, and we’re exporting skilled people to other parts of the country rather than keeping them here.
But, we have the opportunity to change this. If we focus on building the skills of our current and future workforce we can harness the talent of our communities, and enable them to play a full part in this technological revolution.
As you will have seen here today – there’s no shortage of talent or ideas.
And increasingly here in the Sheffield City Region there is also no shortage of great facilities either.
Foremost amongst these facilities is the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and Factory 2050.
It is an astonishing facility.
Reconfigurable factory floors, light sensors for stock management, robotics – all digitally driven.
Here at the Digital Media Centre there is also something impressive happening: the collaboration between the Digital Media Centre, the Digital Catapult, Sheffield Digital, and the Sheffield Innovation Programme to showcase technology has been fantastic.
And, the IoT Tribe Accelerator, the reason we’re here today, is also an example of what we can achieve locally by being
- and ambitious.
By attracting start-ups from around the world we are showcasing that we have:
- the capability,
- the infrastructure,
- the talent,
- and the vision
to be at the heart of the next Industrial Revolution.
And I am told that IoT Tribe North will now become a longer-term part of the regional ecosystem.
This is great news.
We must now build on theses success, and turn ambition and opportunity into growth and prosperity.
Over the coming months I will be setting out my vision for a Global Innovation Corridor.
It will sweep through the heart of the Sheffield City Region and connect
- and innovation.
Doing what you are doing here – but on a larger scale.
By connecting assets such as:
- Factory 2050,
- the National College for High Speed Rail,
- the two Universities in Sheffield
- and the Digital Media Centre
with our urban centres and our international airport
we can build something exciting!
But that is for the future.
Today we’re here to celebrate success and the partnership that brings together
- IoT Tribe,
- Rolls Royce,
- the Digital Catapult,
- international start-ups,
- Higher Education
- and the business community.
For the businesses that have been supported through the IoT Tribe Accelerator I wish you the very best of luck,
and I look forward working with you to ensure that you that your future includes the Sheffield City Region!