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#GettingResults: University’s £1.6million digital revolution to create the digital freelancers of tomorrow

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Published on 27 May 2021

Digital Incubator team
Digital Incubator team

 In a year where the world has operated almost entirely online, the University of Sunderland has launched a new scheme to support the next generation of digital entrepreneurs.

The University’s Digital Incubator has officially launched and is already playing a pivotal role in enabling the careers of current students and graduates.

While the pandemic continues to affect the jobs market, the digital-sector is flourishing leading to entrepreneurial students aiming to establish their own online businesses.

And that’s where the Digital Incubator comes in.

The project – funded jointly by UKRI Research England, the North East LEP, and the University – provides members with a physical space within the University to work from, access to academics for mentoring purposes, business workshops, one-to-one advice, and access to kit including laptops and commercial software licenses.

Louise Dixon is the Digital Incubator’s Project Manager.

She said: “This isn’t just about facilities, it’s about creating a community among our members.

“We aim to support those looking to go down the freelance, digital career-route. We want to get them thinking about a tech career at as early a stage as possible.”

Those who want to join the project are invited in for an initial chat, before being asked to pitch for membership through a presentation.

The Digital Incubator in housed in the University’s David Goldman building at St Peter’s campus.

The UK tech scene has seen a 68% increase in jobs at the top 100 start-ups and high-growth companies since the pandemic hit, with 3,298 advertised vacancies available in February, up from 1,964 in April 2020.

The University of Sunderland is now support Universities UK #GettingResults campaign which aims to highlight the effort made by universities to the social and economic recovery from the pandemic

With increasing focus on the sector, the University is playing a key role in helping students and graduates establish themselves as quickly and efficiently as possible, with the already established ERDF-funded Enterprise Place successfully supporting thousands into the jobs market. 

To learn more about becoming a member of the Digital Incubator, visit here


The Internships and Enterprise project is receiving up to £3,326,399.02 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. ‌The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. ‌Established by the European Union, European Regional Development Fund funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding