Blog post
June 9, 2023
Natasha Bowers

Celebrating Digital Catapult North East and Tees Valley

Organisation growth

Explore the history of Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley and delve into some of the milestone projects that have had a lasting impact on the North East and beyond.

Digital Catapult North East and Tees Valley has been at the forefront of driving innovation and transformative projects since 2014. Over the years the team have been fortunate to collaborate with organisations across the UK, develop deep partnerships, and most importantly empower industries and their surrounding communities.

Timeline of Digital Catapult NETV

2014 - Transport and Weather Information Pilot

The Digital Catapult came to the North East through a MET office project. The goal was to help logistics and transport providers access and use weather data. Regional tech companies were granted unique access to trial new data platforms using MET Office data.

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2015 - Digital Catapult Centre North East Tees Valley Opens

The centre in Sunderland opened with a primary focus on "controlled data delivery." Initially, it helped businesses better understand their data and facilitated collaboration and innovation between large and small organisations.

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2016 - IOTUK Boost Delivered

Under the National IOTUK program, Digital Catapult NETV fostered the development of a local low-powered wider area network. In the North East, our focus centred on carbon efficiencies and rural land management.

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2017 - Immersive Lab Launches

The Digital Catapult NETV Immersive Lab was created as part of a network of cutting-edge innovation hubs, to support the learning, testing and showcasing of immersive tech solutions.

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2018 - PROTO Launches

This £8m facility was opened by Prince William in 2018 and became the first of its kind in Europe, democratising access to cutting-edge technologies like motion capture and 3D scanning.

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2019 - Industry 4.0 Transformation

Digital Catapult NETV helped County Durham manufacturer, Dyer Engineering, to work with innovative tech start-ups to explore IoT possibilities and low-powered wide area networks.

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2020 - Digital Adoption

Since the pandemic, Digital Pathfinders has helped SMEs adapt to the new ways of working. The programme has now supported over 250 local organisations with adopting digital technology to drive efficiency and resilience.

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2021 - Carbon Neutral Challenge Accepted

Digital Catapult NETV partnered with Sunderland City Council to help them to achieve the ambitious plans to meet carbon neutral targets by 2030 using IOT4LA, 10 years ahead of the UK target.

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2022 - Immex City Vision

Led by Digital Catapult NETV, Immex City delivered a series of workshops that support the adoption of immersive tech, development of skills, and the creation of regional immersive experiences.

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2023 - Virtual Production Studio Launch

This year, PROTO launched its £2m Advanced Media Production Studio, with enhanced motion tracking capabilities and LED volume, used for creating content for film, media and more.

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Types of Support

Our Digital Catapult NETV team have had the privilege of working with organisations across the North East and beyond on a wide range of different projects. These partnerships have grown to drive innovation and empower both industries and the communities around them. Read on to find out more about some of the amazing projects we have worked on...

Nebula Labs

Changing the Lives of Young People

The Virtual Memory Box project, created by Nebula Labs in partnership with South Tyneside Council and Digital Catapult NETV, is a tech solution that allows young people in the care system to access loved memories that may otherwise be lost or forgotten.

Find out more.

Armatus Oceanic

Enhancing Engagement

Using our Virtual Production Stage at PROTO and leveraging Digital Catapult expertise, Armatus Oceanic has developed a novel form of science communication aimed at enhancing the connection between major visitor attractions worldwide and their audiences.


Supporting British Conservation

After responding to a Digital Catapult open call, M-Connected worked with Kielder Forest to implement real-time critical asset monitoring for predictive maintenance and Forestry England to support with peatland monitoring to explore carbon capture opportunities.

Read about it.


Empowering Education Providers

Backed by the NEU and NASUWT, EduCo is a platform that aims to empower supply teachers by cutting out agencies and ensuring fairer pay. After receiving support from Digital Pathfinders (a Digital Catapult programme), EduCo is now looking to precure a partner.

Northern Gas Networks

Connecting Innovators

Northern Gas Networks worked with Digital Catapult NETV to engage tech SMEs to find innovative solutions to challenges they faced. The result was two projects worth £250k improving engineer safety and gas transportation monitoring.

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Creating New Ideas

Wordnerds was born out of a Digital Catapult NETV challenge day back in 2015. Now, the organisation teaches computers to understand and analyse language. After gathering data from various sources, their cloud-based SaaS platform extracts actionable insights to help users to understand customer sentiment and make informed decisions.

Find out more.

Get Involved

Have you got a project that you would like support with? Learn more about how innovative technologies can support your organisation by exploring topics such as virtual production, immersive, 5G and more.

Keep up to date with our activities by following our Twitter account or by checking out our website.

If you would like to know more about Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley and the projects that we are currently involved in, or if you would like to visit us at PROTO, Gateshead, please get in touch: