Digital knowledge conference launched to boost Leeds City Region firms

Businesses across the Leeds City Region have been invited to attend the second of a series of conferences by the Digital Knowledge Exchange, part of the Digital Enterprise business support programme, which aims to boost the region’s digital competitiveness.

The conference, Go Digital – Live!, which is free to attend, will be held at the Harrogate International Centre on Friday 23 March and will focus on how communications, sound and vision technologies can help businesses to succeed and grow.

Featuring keynote speakers from Google Digital Garage, and with workshops and sessions on topics such as chatbots, augmented reality, video and VoIP, by leading tech and digital experts, the event is already attracting registrations from firms of all sizes across the region.

“We know that businesses want greater access to digital knowledge and expertise to fuel their growth, and this is the second of our major conferences to help address these needs,” said Digital Enterprise programme manager Muz Mumtaz. “Our speakers are proven experts and thought leaders in the digital field, and we want to ensure every firm with digital challenges looks to send colleagues to Harrogate on 23 March.”

Partly funded by the European Union, the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and by the nine local authorities that make up the city region, Digital Enterprise was set up in September 2016 to help local firms invest in improving digital technologies and skills. The scheme includes a mixture of matched funded ‘voucher’ schemes, and enables upskilling through workshops, masterclasses, and conferences.

Funding of up to £1,000 is currently available under Digital Enterprise to enable 250 SMEs to upgrade to faster broadband connections.

Mr Mumtaz said: “As well as the skills to compete digitally, we need to ensure businesses have the infrastructure they need, and that starts with broadband connectivity. A growing number of broadband suppliers are now on board with the Connectivity Vouchers scheme and the £1,000 in funding can also be used towards expenses such as construction costs, if a road or pavement needs to be dug up, as well as hardware such as a new router or firewall.”

SMEs in the Leeds City Region, which includes West Yorkshire, York and Harrogate, Craven and Selby in North Yorkshire, are eligible for the vouchers. Businesses should first check their eligibility via the Digital Enterprise website, , where they can also find out more information about the voucher scheme.

To find out more about the Harrogate Digital Knowledge event on 23 March, and to book a place, visit .