I’m delighted to update you on a positive start to the year and important progress in our three work streams for the digital ecosystem, business development and skills availability & development, setting us well on course to achieving our 2015 objectives.
Our government funding for 2015 has been set at £1.25 million, a significant investment in the island’s digital future, supporting our ambitious agenda for the year.
We are also developing our request for MTFP 2 (Medium Term Financial Plan 2) which sets out, at a high level, our plans for 2016-2019.
We are very encouraged with our membership roll out, with currently over 230 members joining since the November launch. Thank you for your involvement so far and we welcome your feedback as we further develop Digital Jersey as the representative body for the digital sector.
In January we were delighted to support the first Learn Create Produce event in Jersey, bringing acclaimed international ‘creatives’ Stefan Sagmeister, Joachim Sauter and Christos Passas to the Island, helping stimulate the launch of ‘Creative Industries Jersey’, to lead the creative sector in the island.
Digital Jersey Coding Programme Graduation
We celebrated the first graduation of our 8 coding students last month, after a demanding 8 months of study.
We teamed up with Jersey Coders and Technovation, a global competition for young women in tech, to run a 12-week technology competition, tasking participants with “solving a problem in your local community”. The four competing Jersey teams ‘pitched’ their businesses in the Hub on April 15th.
Fintech is experiencing a period of huge, rapid global investment. Jersey Finance, the Jersey Financial Services Commission, Digital Jersey and government have formed a Fintech steering group to inform and coordinate Jersey’s Fintech agenda.
Following the highly successful ICE event there is a significant level of interest from eGaming companies and services companies in coming to Jersey.
The potential for Jersey as a test bed for new service development continues to generate interest in eHealth and other areas.
The opportunity pipeline for new businesses – local growth, start-ups and inward investment – continues to grow, with over 160 prospects across a broad range of companies including FinTech, eGaming, media, data analytics, cryptocurrencies, ecommerce and more.
Skills & Learning
The 2nd Coding programme starts in May 2015 for those looking for a new career opportunity, remaining places are limited. Application form: https://www.digital.je/news/second-coding-programme-open-for-applications
Research is underway, with Jersey aiming to adopt this later in the year as the Island moves towards eGovernment.
Business and Enterprise vocational programme
A first of its kind this new programme is aimed at providing alternative career routes in to business and delivered by business professionals.
Learning Beyond 18+ in Jersey
Jersey lacks a higher learning institute in the digital eco-system (think MIT and Boston). Research is underway to identify solutions to fill this gap.
One of Digital Jersey’s key 2015 targets is to launch an entrepreneur stimulus programme. Named iStart.je, the course has been designed and we are now working on sources of funding for launch in September 2015.
Population office / license support
We continue to receive positive collaboration from the Population Office and have successfully assisted several companies with their applications. Given this year’s looming population debate in the States we are commencing work on a Population Policy paper.
Recruitment for new CEO
As you know, I have been acting as interim CEO for Digital Jersey. It has been an engaging experience and tenure, and ultimately rewarding to see the organisation become established and gain momentum. The task is far from done however, and it is time to find the permanent CEO to take the organisation and Jersey’s digital ambitions forward.
The Up Group has been appointed to lead the search. They are specialists in the digital arena and are in the process of gathering views from stakeholders on the brief for the role.
The process should take 12-14 weeks, with the final appointment dependent on the successful candidate’s circumstances but ideally well before year end. At that point I will revert to non-exec chair to ensure a smooth hand over.