Monthly news from @digibrum
Smart City Blog

Monthly news from @digibrum


A digest of digital and smart city activities during July, which are headed up by Councillor Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Chair of the Smart City Commission.


Working with Councillor Penny Holbrook, Cabinet Member for Skills, Learning and Culture (Birmingham City Council), and after very productive meetings with the internet giant Google, The Digital Garage was launched last week in the Library of Birmingham. The Digital Garage is a multi-million pound initiative that will help 200,000 UK British businesses learn crucial skills for the digital age, and use the power of the internet to reach more customers and increase productivity.

The Digital Garage Birmingham is now open for business and provides one-to-one mentoring and events to help businesses fine tune their presence online. You can book a session and find out more here
Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, who opened the event said "It's vitally important that small businesses here in the Midlands can compete in the digital age. So I'm delighted to see a project like The Digital Garage bringing skills to small businesses and entrepreneurs across the region and acting as a growth engine for our digital economy.”


Councillor Lisa Trickett launched the official opening of the Academy Cube’s national office and e-learning centre at Birmingham City University (BCU). The Cube aims to build the next generation of talent for industry, addressing the challenges of employability, skilling and apprenticeship opportunities focused around the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) agenda.

The Academy Cube provides a career and online learning platform which offers an intelligent matching system, allowing STEM talent to identify and develop the skills and qualifications they require for specific roles in the workplace.

We are working with the Centre for Enterprise Systems at BCU to support the development of the centre and play a key role in ensuring young people are equipped with the skills they need now and into the future to secure employment and enterprise opportunities as well as address skills shortages. More...


We supported the Venturefest West Midlands 2015 event, sponsored by InnovateUK, which provided investors, innovators and entrepreneurs with networking opportunities along with a forum for presenting practical advice and stimulating ideas in the science knowledge and technology fields.

Digital Birmingham led the Business Growth session together with the Greater Birmingham Digital Academy partners Andy Curtis (Global Innovation Partners) and Alexis Bradbury (Browndog Design). The session focused on how using digital and doing business online can help businesses grow was fully subscribed with start-ups and entrepreneurs eager for practical digital advice and details of funding streams available to them.


Share-PSI 2.0, of which Digital Birmingham is a partner, is organising it's final workshop on 25-26 November 2015 in Berlin, focussing on Maximising interoperability — core vocabularies, location-aware data and more! The workshop will discuss ideas, concepts and solutions that directly or indirectly address the interoperability of open data and PSI.
A Call has been issued for:

  1. Submitting short position papers describing relevant work done in the field of public sector information. Submitted papers will be reviewed by a programme committee and selected participants invited to present their work at the workshop. 
  2. Participation in the workshop A report on each workshop will be published on the Share-PSI website and will be offered to the W3C Data on the Web Best Practices Working Group.
  3. Leading a session. Facilitating a discussion around your experiences. It may begin with a short set up presentation, based on a paper that will be published by Share-PSI with time allocated for discussion.

For more information, deadlines and to apply for any of the calls above, please visit



Below is a selection of some of the funding available to entrepreneurs and businesses in the region as well as discussion groups to have your say on local initiatives.

See a range of funding and business support advice available to start-ups and SME's; from access to loans, business assist programmes and recruitment advice. More...

Does your organisation need a digital marketing boost?
Grant funding is available until September this year, brought to you by The Technology and Innovation Futures WM programme. More...

Startup Direct is the founding delivery partner for the government backed Start up Loans scheme. Providing; funding, mentoring and support to businesses based in England. More...

Did you know that as a small business you could be entitled to a government grant of up to £3000 for superfast fibre connectivity? Click here for more details of the scheme.

Contribute your ideas to Birmingham's Smart City Roadmap and aspirations here and tell us about the activities and projects you're working on. Follow conversations online using #smartbrum.

Birmingham City Council would like to know what data you would like to see made open to the public. Register your suggestions via the Birmingham Speaks portal. More...

If you'd like further information on any of the topics covered above, please call the team on 0121 303 8779.
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