Network & Eco-System

The North East’s tech sector is one of the most supportive business networks in the UK. 

Businesses locating here can access an array of specialist networks that provide advice, support and opportunities for collaboration in digital and tech. Organisations such as VRTGO Labs, Innovation Super-Network, Digital Union and the Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley offer support to immersive tech companies with competitions, challenges, showcase events and other opportunities for inward investors to meet with businesses. Such organisations also assist with pitching, access to funding, innovation roadmaps, marketing and understanding corporate payment systems. 

Some of the UK’s leading names in immersive technology are based in North East England and are expanding globally. Zerolight, a 3D visualisation company in Newcastle, has been using immersive technology, and in particular virtual reality, to build simulations for the automotive industry, working with clients such as Audi and BMW. Dimension, based in London and Gateshead, launched as a partnership between Hammerhead, Digital Catapult and Microsoft. It is an immersive content studio that offers end-to-end production services, developing for all major platforms.

One of the biggest reasons immersive technology companies succeed and scale-up in the North East is the collaborative approach of our digital and tech community. Our region has a friendly and welcoming ecosystem where existing companies support new studios looking to establish a regional presence.  

Our tech clusters accelerate business growth by sharing best practice and providing opportunities to collaborate with cutting-edge digital firms and tech innovators. A comprehensive calendar of networking events, training and workshops, webinars and informal catch-ups provide regular access to the region’s most dynamic digital and tech players. 

Key networks and cluster groups

Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley (NETV) supports businesses from across the region to explore the growth and adoption of advanced digital technologies to improve the productivity and performance of organisations. 

Digital Union is the largest network of digital businesses across the North East and offers business support, events, webinars and digital sector bootcamps.  

Dynamo North East is a volunteer-led group that aims to grow the North East IT economy through collaboration, innovation and skills. It hosts regular events and an annual digital conference and runs several digital clusters and special interest groups to champion specialities like cybersecurity, digital construction, shared service operations and fintech. 

Innovation SuperNetwork brings together more than 50 partners and over 5,000 businesses to share new ideas, market opportunities, knowledge and funding to support innovative businesses in the North East. 

LITNE – is an LGBTQ+ diversity network for people working in technology and offers regular events and news.

NOVA: North East Game Collective brings together regional gaming companies for an annual conference created by games developers, for games developers.

Sunderland Software City (SSC), the delivery organisation for North East and Tees Valley, supports technology start-ups and large businesses through regular tech meet-ups and organising the North East Digital Festival and Tech Talent events. VRTGO Labs is the UK’s first industry-led virtual reality and augmented reality centre of excellence that brings together businesses, academics and freelancers to collaborate on the development and commercial application of these emerging technologies.