Please Credit Picture:Keith Taylor

Please Credit Picture:Keith Taylor

The winners of the North East IT and Technology Awards, which celebrate the sector’s talent and expansion, have been announced.

The BT Dynamites 15 winners were unveiled at a glittering awards ceremony, which was attended by more than 300 leading lights from the IT sector and compered by science TV presenter and journalist Kate Bellingham. 

Charlie Hoult, Dynamo Chair, said: “The Dynamites 15 winners demonstrate that there’s a wide array of dynamic and talented individuals and organisations that are making their mark and proving the North East is a hotspot for the development of successful tech enterprises.

“These outstanding players deserve recognition for the part they are playing in helping establish the region as the UK’s leading IT hub for growth, innovation and creativity.”

The winners comprised:

Outstanding Achievement, sponsored by BT: Beverley Dean, Special iApps

Beverley Dean established the non-profit in 2011 to help bridge the gap and provide access to digital educational resources for people with disabilities.

With a background in IT and telecommunications, Beverley has created a suite of Apps that can be personalised to suit any child with Down’s syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, hearing and visual impairments, poor fine motor skills and even adults with learning difficulties.

Rising Star, sponsored by University of Sunderland:  Nathan Fuller, Northumberland County Council and Kieran Stratford, Orange Bus

Kieran Stratford. He completed a successful 15-week training course at the IT Apprentice Hub, created by Dynamo with Baltic Training Services.  During his interview with Orange Bus, he fulfilled a task in one night that should have taken a week. He has continued to exceed expectations ever since, including building his first website in just four hours.

Nathan Fuller has worked within the Information Services department since October 2012 and during that time has shone as a leading light within IT. He embodies all the best qualities of an outstanding employee and is always keen to go the extra mile.

Partner Award, sponsored by Opencast Software: Alex Shiel

As Head of Intellectual Property at law firm Ward Hadaway, Alex Shiel has played a major part in many of the most successful companies to have emerged from the North East’s tech sector in the last 20 years. He continues to perform a vital role in helping new, emerging and established tech businesses to make the most commercial use of their talents and to protect and develop the ideas which they bring forward. 

Innovator of the Year, sponsored by Sage:  Omlis

Omlis is a global mobile payment solutions provider bringing highly powerful and effective solutions to all mobile commerce security. It secures the mobile channel with a powerful and innovative mobile payments technology which was designed specifically for mobile devices. 

Highly Commended: Zerolight

Collaborator of the Year, sponsored by Tech North:  Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC)

CIC is a collaboration between Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council that aims to encourage innovation in the North East region by establishing a unique, world-leading Centre of Excellence in Cloud Computing and Big Data analysis techniques.

Future Workforce, sponsored by Sharpe Recruitment:  The Dev Academy

The Academy aims to solve the skills shortage challenge through a sustainable and commercially focused model. It has created a programme that blends recruitment, training and mentoring with its unique understanding of how businesses operate

Skills Developer Award, sponsored by Invest South Tyneside, Winners:

Skills Developer Employer Award – HMRC

It has designed, built and set-up a completely new digital centre in Newcastle, creating an outstanding functional environment to build digital products and services in a truly agile and collaborative working environment. Key to its success was the introduction of new talent into HMRC and finding and bringing on talented people already in the organisation to build an in-house digital capability.

Highly commended: BIM Campus

Skills Developer Educator Award – Baltic Training Services

Baltic provides young adults with the very best qualifications, training and learning experience to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to develop into the IT specialists of the future.   In the past five years, it has worked with employers to create more than 2,000 apprenticeship opportunities in the UK.

Growth Explosion Award, sponsored by Invest North East England and UKTI, Winners:

Growth Explosion Start-up Award – Redu Group Ltd

Redu, of Seaham, achieves substantial sales increases and delivers brand awareness on behalf of its online retailer partners, through its suite of websites, blogs, social media activity and mobile apps 

Growth Explosion High Growth Award – Bede Gaming

In just three years, Bede has evolved from a start-up into an established player in the online gaming industry, with 155 staff, offices in Newcastle, London and Bulgaria and several blue-chip clients.

Growth Explosion Established Company Award – OnTrac

OnTrac is an IT solutions company based in Gateshead, which was conceived in 2007, and currently supports more than 300 clients and in excess of 25,000 individual users.  It has doubled in size and turnover every year since 2013.

Highly Commended: Aspire Technologies Solutions 

Project of the Year Award, sponsored by Accenture, Winners:

Project of the Year Corporate Award – Ubisoft

The 3rd independent video games publisher in the world, Ubisoft has launched a Consumer Relationship Centre (CRC), in Newcastle.  The CRC acts as a hub for all Ubisoft’s interactions with players in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, integrating both consumer support teams and community managers. 

Project of the Year Public Sector Award MyTrav Project Team, Newcastle City Council

This has involved developing a smartphone App, which helps children and young people with Special Educational Needs travel independently. The App guides them through a journey with prompts – photos, text and/or audio – that are triggered when they are near certain landmarks.

The accolades were supported by BT, Accenture, Invest North East England, UKTI, Invest South Tyneside, Opencast Software, Sharpe Recruitment, Sage, Tech North and the University of Sunderland.

Earlier this year Dynamo launched its vision for a £95million Northern Institute for Technology and Business Exchange (NIT) to cement the North East’s position as the leading UK region for software, digital and information technology.

Its notable successes to date have included bidding and winning a tender to create a University Technical College in Newcastle; setting up the Dynamo Apprentice Hub; introducing SME tech firms to HMRC’s Government Digital Service; and helping Newcastle Gateshead Initiative with inward investment projects in the region.