12 highlights from the past 12 months at Wired Sussex. Enjoy!
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Season's Greetings from all the team at Wired Sussex!

2015 is drawing to a close, and what a great year it’s been. We would like to thank all our Wired Sussex members, without your continued support we would not be able to help you make the region such a fantastic place to do business.

Wondering what the year at Wired Sussex looked like? Here are twelve highlights from the past twelve months.

1. Getting you noticed:  We've worked hard to make sure that our membership is recognised nationally and internationally; helping attract new investment, businesses and talent to the region. This year, The Guardian named Brighton the “poster child for digital innovation”, while the ‘Tech Nation 2015’ report found ours to be one of the fastest growing, most concentrated digital clusters in the UK, with a strong sense of community. A piece in Fortune hailed Brighton as ‘The San Francisco of Silicon Valley's dreams’ and The Sunday Times’ ‘Tech Track 100 Programme’ recognised that Brighton has more high growth private tech. companies than both Manchester and Bristol combined. 

2. Better together: A whopping 454 new members joined the Wired Sussex community in 2015, that’s more than one every day! If you are not a member – join us today!

3. Understanding and supporting growth: The Brighton Fuse Project showed the first solid evidence of the astounding growth of the Brighton digital cluster, and has become a blueprint to support growth in other regions. This year, two years on from the ground breaking report, researchers conducted a follow up survey that further enhanced understanding and provides unique insight into the state of the cluster.

4. Finding members new clients and paid work: We advertised 419 paid projects on our website; meaning new opportunities every day for you to access new clients and pitch for work.

5. Improving digital connectivity: Our plan to improve broadband services and connectivity in Brighton launched this year; Brighton Digital Exchange (BDX) is a co-operatively owned and run data centre – the first of its kind in the UK – and it’s already helping to improve the digital infrastructure available to the local business community.   

6. Helping you find workspace: We helped our members advertise 170 workspaces free of charge on our website. These ranged from temporarily available spare desks to full mod-con offices. Workspace is at a premium, so connecting those with capacity to those with need is an increasingly important service for our members.

7. Unlocking value for the region: The Digital Catapult Centre Brighton launched in March. The collaborative R&D lab helps businesses fast track innovative digital products and services to market. Currently, we are supporting nine IoT and data start-ups. In addition, we’ve held 17 events exploring a range of innovation themes including 5G, Retail Innovation, Smart Places, and Location Gatwick.

8. Helping you find the right people with the right skills: Over 1311 jobs were advertised on our website this year. Companies placing job ads benefited from the bespoke advice and support we provide to help them find the talent they need. Research has shown that in many instances, our jobs board is more effective than recruitment agencies and much cheaper. This means that, over the years, it has saved businesses in the sector hundreds of thousands of pounds.

9. Celebrating digital culture: This year’s Brighton Digital Festival saw over 190 events and activities take place in Brighton throughout September, and attracted a larger audience than ever before. We’re delighted to have contributed to its growing success, and to have helped it now become a Community Interest Company in its own right. 

10. Paid internships for the sector: We offered financial and administrative support for an internship programme that enabled members to grow their business. The internship programme generated over a hundred new jobs within the sector and attracted fresh talent to the region. 

11. A space to collaborate and share ideas: At the start of the year The Fusebox was home to Fusebox24, a 24-week programme of business support for startups. Currently, the Fusebox is hosting the Digital Catapult Centre Brighton and offering free workspace to those looking to work on, or engage with, IoT or data focussed projects.

12. A full programme of events: Over the past year we’ve run 40 events for our members, providing a comprehensive package that covered everything from networking activities to workshops, seminars, research dissemination, conferences and more. Highlights included: Creative, Digital & IT Open Studios 2015 which offered a peek behind the scenes at 26 of Brighton’s biggest & best digital, media & technology companies; The Digital Skills Summit 2015 that bought together businesses and skills providers to explore best practice for upskilling staff; and the  Wired Sussex Members’ Xmas Meetup, our biggest event of the year that saw over 130 members enjoying informal networking and Christmas hijinks!

So there you have it, 365 days at Wired Sussex. None of which would have been possible without all the support and commitment (& membership fees!) that members have contributed, helping us to help you do better digital business.

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