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Onwards and Upwards; the next year for Wired Sussex

Following on from our end of year roundup, here’s a quick overview to some of the projects, initiatives and events we’ve got planned for 2014 and how you can benefit.

FuseBox24 ; a new programme for innovators
Last year we opened the FuseBox; a collaborative support space for the digital/tech community and ran a  pilot programme that propelled a group of start-ups through a crash course of radically different learning and business support.

After Easter we’ll be launching the second iteration of this programme ‘FuseBox24’, which will give participants more time to reflect upon their personal and professional development and the opportunity to really test and refine their business concepts.

In the meantime we’re still offering the space for free to the digital community for collaboration and events .  So if you’ve got something in mind perhaps we can help to support you?

150 paid internships for the sector
We are close to launching our new Intern Placement Programme; building on the achievement of our hugely successful Sussex Internship Programme.

We expect to have the first interns in situ in the next couple of months and will be placing a total of 150 interns in digital, media and tech companies for 6 week grant-supported placements.

If your company might be interested in taking part in this programme and you’d like to be kept up to date with details of the launch, please sign-up to register your interest.

Research into the cluster
Last year we unveiled the findings of the Brighton Fuse Project; a two year R&D exercise to analyse the growth and performance of the digital cluster in Brighton –one of the most comprehensive investigations of its kind that’s ever been undertaken in the UK!

The report made national media and has been used by national and local government in policy thinking. It certainly did its bit to raise the profile of Brighton’s digital cluster.

This year we’re building upon the research by coordinating a second phase with partners at the University of Brighton and University of Sussex, which shall focus on the Brighton freelance community measuring its impact on the digital cluster and local economy.

A full programme of events – This year we’ll be running 20+ events for our members that cover everything from informal networking activities to workshops, conferences and more.  A few on the horizon include:

-Breakfast Workshop: Being a Successful Freelancer – providing hints, tips and best practice advice for freelancers, with a panel of experienced freelancers and facilitated group discussions.  27th Feb, 9am – 11am, FuseBox.  

-Brighton Members' Meetup-our big quarterly meetups offer a great opportunity to network with others working in the creative, digital, media and technology (CDIT) sector, from across Sussex.  29th April.

- Directors Dinner - exclusive quarterly events for the owners, MDs and CEOs of Wired Sussex member companies where you can  discuss, in an open and collaborative atmosphere, your business and the opportunities and challenges of the sector locally. 6th March.

- CDIT Open Studios - For 5 days in September we’ll be helping our member companiesshowcase their businesses to the community. There will be talks, workshops and the opportunity for visitors to find out what goes on behind the scenes at some of Brighton’s most creative and innovative companies. 22nd – 26th Sept.

You can find out more about these and other upcoming events by subscribing to our fortnightly email digest.

Where’s our f**king Broadband?!
Will this be the year that quality broadband provision for our sector finally arrives in Brighton? We certainly hope so. Over the past year we have been working with Brighton & Hove Council, Broadband UK and DCMS to find a way to be able to actually spend the money the city won through its Ultra Fast Broadband bid.

We anticipate that 2014 will be the year when the city sees some reward for that effort. Expect us to be helping our members’ access Broadband Vouchers when they are launched in the city and to continue to support the Council in its plans to radically improve Brighton’s WiFi connectivity.

A month long celebration of digital culture
Brighton Digital Festival is set to return again this September for another month long celebration of art and digital culture.

Currently we’re helping to put together a funding bid to the Arts Council England and other funding bodies and - assuming they recognise the festivals value and continue to support it as enthusiastically as they have done in the past – organisation of the festival will move forward under a consortium of event organisers.

So, while the scale and organisational support of the festival will depend upon the success of this funding bid, the grassroots nature of the festival and the creative drive of those involved will ensure that Brighton Digital Festival 2014 will be an amazing celebration of the town’s art and digital culture.

You can keep abreast of all the developments and help support the festival by subscribing to the mailing list

So that’s just some of the ways  that we will be working to support you and the sector in 2014!   Remember, to keep up with all the latest Wired Sussex happenings sign up for our free monthly newsletter.

About the author

Kieron Cropper

Hi, I'm Head of Member Services at Wired Sussex. I help our members get the most from their membership, whether that’s the benefits of joining or you’re an existing member in need of advice.

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