New digital drive

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A NEW initiative to boost regeneration in the Sheffield City Region by making the most of its digital skills and technologies has been launched by the region’s Local Enterprise Partnership.

The Creative and Digital Industries sector group will be chaired by Sheffield University Professor of Computer Science Mike Holcombe and will spearhead a series of new developments in the CDI sector.

Initiatives will include encouraging collaboration between CDI companies, creating a network of data centres in the region designed to serve the UK and beyond and capitalise on the growing importance of delivering software as a service, and using digital developments to improve public services while making significant savings.

The CDI sector group will also work with an operational team from the private sector, which includes Marco Potesta, who was formerly with digital technology firms Plusnet and Insight, Jag Goraya of the grassroots innovation charity the GIST Foundation, and Emma Cheshire, who used to work for Screen Yorkshire, the organisation that promotes and supports the development of the region’s film, TV, games and interactive media sector.

LEP board member and Plusnet founder Lee Strafford will oversee the CDI sector group and the operational team.

He said: “The CDI sector is a huge force in the UK economy and is an area in which the Sheffield City Region excels.

“The opportunity is to ensure that both the City Region and the UK continue to innovate in order to remain globally competitive.”

n The LEP is currently looking for potential members of the CDI sector group. Anyone interested in joining the group should visit

n Individuals and companies that have made a significant contribution to the region’s regeneration or economic future through property developments or attracting inward investment will be among those whose efforts will be rewarded at The Star Business Awards.

Visit for details and to submit an entry.