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Birmingham digital boot camp to attract industry leaders

Business Birmingham launches‘2Digital Days’ to showcase city’s digital gaming potential

Birmingham is set to attract global digital talent to the city as it launches‘2Digital Days’? - a unique initiative designed to give new talent and potential investors an insight into the city’s growing digital media industry, showcasing it as an ideal business and career location.

‘2Digital Days’, run by Business Birmingham, the city’s official inward investment programme, is an exclusive opportunity for digital media companies to find out what Birmingham can offer their business. Held during Global Entrepreneurship Week,‘2Digital Days’ offers a bespoke‘boot camp’ of activities including participation in Launch - Gaming and Digital Conference 2011, gaming and tech showcases, city, digital district and company tours, one-to-one meetings and master classes.

The innovative initiative is part of Business Birmingham’s drive to showcase the city’s digital industry credentials and attract global investors and talent to the city. The West Midlands is home to nearly a quarter of the UK’s digital gaming workforce and over 5,800 digital companies including market leaders such as Codemasters, Sega, Rare and Blitz. Digital media and gaming were recently identified by global location specialists, IBM PLI, as sectors of strength for Birmingham, and are both key targets for driving further inward investment.

Sarah Darch, Investment Manager at Business Birmingham, recently attended Gamescom and Games Developer conferences in Cologne, where‘2DigitalDays’ was welcomed by industry leaders.

She said:

“Business Birmingham’s 2Digital Days initiative is a great opportunity for prospective investors to experience the buzz of Birmingham’s digital scene. The city and wider area has unlimited potential for digital media companies looking to expand their operations, or locate in the UK.

“There is some really exciting, ground-breaking work taking place in and around the city and a number of high-profile companies and initiatives are really helping Birmingham lead the way in this sector.‘2Digital Days’ will help the digital industry’s leading players see the opportunities for themselves.”

As the youngest city in Europe, with under 25s accounting for almost 40% of the population, Birmingham is the ideal location for a digital business or career. It offers an established support network of like-minded companies and individuals, finance initiatives, talent and ongoing access to training provided by academic institutions including Birmingham City University’s New Technology Institute (NTI)? - an award-winning facility offering Avid, Adobe and Apple-accredited courses.

Fellow Gamescom attendee, Simon Miles, Talent Acquisition Manager for award-winning Codemasters, said:

“Birmingham has a thriving and exciting digital scene, and is attracting serious talent from across the globe.

?“ Thanks to this talent, we are now experiencing a booming trade - our BAFTA winning F1 game has been so successful we are now looking to recruit an additional 50 developers to join our innovative team.

“Our location in Birmingham with its dynamism and support offering, is vital to our success.‘2Digital Days’ will be a real eye-opener for those who haven’t considered the area in the past and will lead, I believe, to many moves.”

Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, also welcomed the Business Birmingham initiative.

Wilson said, “TIGA is looking forward to working with 2Digital Days in Birmingham. It’s going to be a very exciting event bringing academia, games developers? and other digital businesses together to showcase why the? UK is the best place in the world to do games business.”

Business Birmingham has a limited number of places available at a discounted rate which includes one night’s 4* accommodation in the city centre.

For your chance to apply for one of these limited places at a discounted rate of just?99, please visit www.businessbirmingham/digital.com

Ends

Media contact - Amanda Lowe, Business Birmingham– 07766 465 670 amanda.lowe@marketingbirmingham.com

Business Birmingham

Business Birmingham is the city’s official inward investment programme, part of Marketing Birmingham’s destination marketing strategy. For more information please visit www.businessbirmingham.com or call 0121 202 5022.

Notes to Editors

    <*> Launch -?Gaming and Digital Conference 2011 , the leading gaming&digital conference in the Midlands, will be attended by Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey MP and keynote speakers including Ilmari Heikkinen, Chrome Developer Programs Engineer, at Google UK and Nick Burton, Incubation Director at Warwickshire based Rare Games Studio, owned by Microsoft. <*>Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe, with under 25s accounting for almost 40% of the population <*>Birmingham’s educational establishments are ensuring its students have the skills needed to support growth in this sector - Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA), opening next month, will offer specialist courses in gaming development and interactive media and the city’s three universities have established reputations in creative, digital media and computer sciences. <*>The University of Birmingham’s Professor Bob Stone’s Human Interface Technologies Team (Hitt) is responsible for a number of serious gaming developments for the MoD, including a virtual reality game to help prepare British troops for combat in Afghanistan. <*>Birmingham City University’s New Technology Institute (NTI) is an award-winning facility offering Avid, Adobe and Apple-accredited courses <*> Aston University offers a variety of courses including multi-media computing and computer science. <*>Established creative digital media hubs, Birmingham Science Park, Aston (BSP-A) and Digbeth’s Fazeley Studios, offer bespoke support to encourage entrepreneurs of the future as well as more established tech companies.
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