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This Year at Wired Sussex - 2021

This Year at Wired Sussex

Thank you to all our members

We know that 2021 has again been a difficult year - we’re so proud of what our community and our members have accomplished, and we’d like to take a moment to reflect and thank you for your support.

Thank you! We couldn't do our work without our members’ support and positivity. Your membership has made a huge impact on our sector and community. We’d also like to thank all of our partners this year, for their support and resilience.

Here’s a look back at some important moments from the year.


Game On

In February, we published our ‘Game On’ report into our regional games sector, highlighting the dynamic growth of our games studios over the past few years. The Sussex games cluster generates well over £200m of economic value for our region each year and, at current growth trends, it could be worth a quarter of a billion pounds a year to the regional economy by the end of 2021.

In the report, we explore the challenges facing the local games sector, and we’re so excited for the next steps next year.

Read the report here


Events

This year, we hosted a bumper programme of events.

We kicked off the year with our Society > Tech series - linking three academics from the University of Sussex with tech entrepreneurs, exploring the understanding of social knowledge with digital leaders’ real experiences, could create better, more useful and more positive technologies. Catch up here.

We hosted monthly Breakfast Sessions, featuring leaders from our local sector, covering topics from employee ownership and angel investment to practical guides including social media and intellectual property. Catch up on the recordings here.

We launched our brand new ‘Meet the Team’ series, to hear directly from the teams at some of Brighton's top organisations, and see what it's really like to work there, including Tilt, UnitedUs and MPB. Catch up on the recordings here.

And of course, it was brilliant to see the return of in-person events this year at the FuseBox, and finally catch up with our members at our Members’ Meetup.


Talent Fest

We also held Talent Fest ‘21 - a five-day event in November to boost our region’s thriving digital industry; helping businesses hire, nurture and keep the most talented people – the people we need, to grow and deliver great work.

It was a blast! Thanks so much to everyone that joined us and of course our sponsors Plus Accounting, Legal & General and MPB, as well as our supporters Sussex Chamber and Make Real.

Catch up on what we got up to and the recordings here

Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit

Talent Fest is all about making Sussex the best place for anybody to have a career in digital. We know the value in attracting diverse talent and creating inclusive workplaces, where everyone can thrive.
 
To help aid, support and celebrate this, we’ve created our Diversity & Inclusion toolkit, with resources, case studies and best practices. Take a look

Skills & Talent Manifesto

Want to commit to working individually, and collectively, to help us make Greater Brighton the best place in the UK for anyone to have a fulfilling career in the digital sector? Sign our Skills & Talent Manifesto, along with over 70 of our member companies and support our mission. Find out more & sign here


UKTCG Report

The UK Tech Cluster Group Report was published over the summer, revealing the top tech companies in the South East region including Brighton-based member companies Brandwatch, Unity Technologies and Horsham-based Creative Assembly. 

In Brighton, the city’s pulsing creativity, and disruptive, community-led spirit has powered the city’s start-up culture and growth in gaming, e-learning and emerging technologies. It’s become recognised as a place where tomorrow’s groundbreaking creative technology ideas are being nurtured today. Read the report here


5G Festival

5G is a wireless mobile technology that is incredibly fast, very stable and with very low latency; a technology that can unleash game-changing digital products and services. Wired Sussex, Brighton Dome and the Digital Catapult are working with national partners including Warner Music on delivering the world’s first 5G-powered music festival in March 2022. Read more about the project here.

This year, we hosted our Alternative Stages series of events, for those in the music industry, exploring how new technologies like virtual reality and 5G might impact the way that audiences engage with virtual gigs and festivals. Catch up on the events here.


FuseBox

Photo credit to  Erin James, Brighton Digital Festival 2021

In 2021, we were proud to host the Digital Catapult’s Immersive Arcade - inviting our community into the FuseBox to try out some fantastic virtual reality projects from across the UK. It was brilliant to showcase the technology, and for some it was even their first try of virtual reality.

In collaboration with South East Creatives, our Innovation & Technology Manager, Chris also hosted local artists from West Sussex in Mozilla Hubs, introducing them to virtual gallery spaces and teaching them how to showcase their work online.

We’d also like to congratulate our long-time residents, Body Rocket, who have recently secured funding allowing them to expand. Sadly, this means that after four years with us, the team will be leaving the FuseBox as they grow. However, brilliantly for us, they've decided to keep a residency to stay in touch and benefit from what the FuseBox offers. We are so proud and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. 

We were so excited to finally bring back our Show & Tell events at the FuseBox in 2021 - inviting our community in to see the amazing projects that innovative creators in our sector and our residents have been working on. Look out for the next one early in 2022.


Team News

We’re delighted to share that our Membership Coordinator Francesca Rowe will now be taking on the role of Community Manager, and can’t wait for her to get started in this new position. 

Next year, we’re also recruiting a new member to our board. Could it be you? Find out more here.

This year, Alex joined us for a 6-week Step-Up placement through the University of Brighton, and we also hosted kickstarters Sol and Chandler for six months. They were brilliant additions to the team, learning about new technologies whilst supporting the FuseBox and our Innovation & Technology Manager, Chris.

Very sadly, Chandler passed away earlier this month. He loved his time at the FuseBox and really enjoyed working with residents. We will miss him dearly. If you’d like to contribute to the fund for his family here’s the link.

We look forward to connecting with you in the new year and wish you a peaceful Christmas.

All the best

The Wired Sussex Team

About the author

Anna Bagley

Hi, I'm Wired Sussex's Events & Marketing Coordinator, I help to promote our range of services to support our members and the local digital sector, as well as helping to create inspiring events for the community.

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