28th June 2016

Data for Growth

Urban Foresight kicks off new project to harness the potential of smart data to shape industries of the future.

Urban Foresight has been commissioned to undertake a new study to review the digital and data strengths in North East England and establish how they might support growth in three important industrial sectors.

North East England is a recognised digital hotspot, with both industrial and research strengths in digital, software and technology services, as well as virtual reality, gaming and other linked areas including satellite applications. The region will also soon be home to the National Institute for Smart Data Innovation, which will be built next to Urban Foresight’s headquarters on Science Central in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The Data for Growth project, which kicked off today, was commissioned by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, with Urban Foresight appointed following a competitive process. Its aim is to unlock the potential of data to address challenges and opportunities facing three sectors that will be key to the growth of the region’s economy: life sciences and health; low carbon passenger vehicles; and offshore, sub-sea and marine technologies.

Urban Foresight will provide expert consultancy over the next two months to review the region’s strengths in data and digital technologies as well as defining local, national and global challenges facing the three focal sectors. It will culminate in the development of a delivery plan to establish how the region might better position itself to capitalise on the opportunities offered by smart data and digital technologies.

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to work on this ambitious project” said Dr. David Beeton, Urban Foresight’s Managing Director. “Not only does this build on our deep knowledge of the potential of data to transform the industries of the future, but we’re also proud to have the opportunity to shape a plan that could unlock transformational benefits for our home region.

Stakeholders in the North East will be invited to contribute to the research over the coming weeks through a series of interviews and workshops. If you would be interested to participate, or to hear more about the project, please contact us at:


Image credit: Ruben Molina

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