Matt Thompson, marketing and communications director of Leeds-headquartered automotive data and technology company cap hpi, writes for Digital City.
A diverse economy has helped Leeds prosper over the years, but we are now in the middle of a new industrial revolution, as digitally driven businesses are scaling up and looking to trade internationally.
At cap hpi, we have tripled our workforce in Leeds in the last couple of years to now employ 320 people who build new technology, manage data cubes and serve customers around the world.
The growth has come as we gear up for an international expansion that will add value to the city region.
Leeds is an ideal home for any digital business looking to export. It has a rich pool of talent with over seven million people living within an hour of the city and four universities that are eager to help build a talent pipeline with companies.
As a hub for big data analytics, we have seen an eco-system develop that is championed by the Open Data Institute, which does a great job of building a data community.
The wealth of talent in this sector is supporting growth across sectors that include fintech, gaming and healthcare.
The depth of digital and data talent available in Leeds is one of the reasons why our parent company Solera, a global technology business, is supportive of our plans to build a global data hub in the city.
The Leeds city region is home to 23 of the fastest growing technology businesses in the North, according to the Northern Tech 100 Report by Tech North.
At cap hpi, we are looking at how data can help the automotive supply chain to operate more efficiently and redefine the relationship between manufacturers, retailers and drivers.
Data has the power to increase transparency and trust to unlock new ways to own and manage vehicles.
The data we develop and tools we build will be made in Leeds and used around the world.
New ways of thinking and their application to business has helped Leeds grow and trade internationally over the years.
The government recognises the opportunity to become a global leader in technology and recently launched £300m in new funding to invest in AI research.
Leeds has the skills to answer the big questions of how data science can be applied at scale, data-centric engineering and the role of data analytics and AI in science.
An international view on how your business can grow is essential in a globally connected economy.
Big companies operate across international boundaries, and Leeds companies need to move with them.
Much of today’s business can be done online thanks to cloud platforms, video conferencing and everything else that comes with a connected world.
When you do need to meet face-to-face, Leeds’s shortcomings are exposed.
The current problems with the rail network show no sign of improvement and our international airport has limited direct connections. These are problems that need to be addressed.
It is clear Leeds has the opportunity to become a global hub for data and technology-based businesses.
The foundations are there, and we need to look at how we engage businesses and expand internationally collectively.