Matthew Neville

Microsoft techspert hails “dazzling” £4.5m Teesside digital centre

Tech expert and former chief envisioning officer at Microsoft Dave Coplin has officially opened a multi-million-pound digital facility that will transform Teesside’s tech scene.

He said the new “dazzling” Digital Centre at Middlesbrough College will be “transformative for the region, bringing together ambitious young learners, industry experts and tutors and businesses who’ll benefit from these unrivalled skills”.

The facility, which forms part of the college’s successful Government-approved bid to deliver pioneering new technical qualifications, T Levels, is home to “industry-leading” programming suites, cyber labs, video editing suites, a games design suite and a full TV and film studio.

Dave, formerly of Microsoft UK and now CEO and founder of The Envisioners, visited Middlesbrough College this week to officially open the facility and inspire the next generation of techsperts with exclusive insights into the industry.

He said: “As a technologist and an optimist, I know that the brightest of all our futures belongs to a world where humans and machines don’t compete with each other but instead, complement each other’s unique strengths and abilities. I think it is this, more than anything, that excites me most when I look at the opportunities being created by the College’s new Digital Centre.

“I am convinced that our future success as individuals will hinge almost entirely on our ability to be able to use technology to help make whatever we do better. As a result, I truly believe that our relationship with technology will be one of the defining factors in the success of all of our lives.

“The College’s new Digital Centre has been built around that principle, offering a diverse range of incredible resources and skill sets to empower students to harness the opportunity that new technologies have to offer and to do so in a way that provides a direct pathway to employment and business value.”

Staff, students and guests from around the region, including Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston, who also spoke at the event, welcomed Dave to the £100m college campus. There, he had the chance to speak with young aspiring technologists who are already benefiting from world class training in computing networking, web and app development, and more.

Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College, added: “Digital is part of every business and the pace of innovation in the sector is off the scale. Here in the North East, our digital cluster is growing considerably but as we know through our relationship with local businesses, there is a real skills shortage, not just locally but nationally too.”

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