The Emerging Northern Digital Powerhouse – Report
31 May 2016 - Gabrielle Bey

The Innovation Potential of Tech Clusters of the North

In the same month the first Impact Hub Scaling programme celebrates its end, we, in partnership with Tech City, released a report about the growing Northern digital economy. Written by the RSA, the report showcases the North of England as the next ‘digital powerhouse’.

The report highlights 7 key findings, plus recommendations on why the Digital North is growing in significance and how social innovators and government services can position themselves to foster the growth of the North’s emerging digital economy.

Key takeaways from the report include how the Northern digital economy is providing jobs 10 times faster than non-digital industries and nudging average earnings upwards. Tech clusters are not just random centres but are unfolding as specialised digital niches and gaining new monikers as a result, such as Liverpool (‘sensor city’) and Sheffield (‘maker city’).


The Impact Hub Scaling programme, which helped 100 businesses across Europe to scale up nationally or internationally, like the work of Tech City has the strengthening of social innovators at the heart of what we do. Fifty percent of the businesses on the scaling programme operate in the digital sphere.

‘We are glad to have supported the findings of this report, gain a window into the potential of the Northern cities and look forward to seeing the digital powerhouse of the North develop’. Alberto Masetti-Zannini, Development Director.

The report is rich with inspiring case studies and although it concludes with a look at the summary of recommendations, it is not the end. The recommendations work with the case studies to lay a pathway to the future and show us how digital enterprises are becoming embedded into day to day business, from healthcare to aerospace.


Click the link to download a copy of the report – RSAJ4427_Digital_Powerhouse.