focus on action

Addressing cross-sector challenges through the power of digital transformation and innovation
Go to Blockchain


Championing blockchain innovation in the region through cross-sector collaboration, practical exploration, and open exchange of knowledge.

Go to AI and Smart Data

AI and Smart Data

Exploring the potential and pitfalls of using smart data, advanced analytics and Artifical Intelligence across the public, private, and third sectors.

Go to Population Ageing

Population Ageing

Bringing together agencies and innovators to harness emerging technology and meet the needs of the ageing population.

Go to Cybersecurity


Combining academic research and cross-sector industry experience to combat ongoing threats and explore challenges and opportunities.


We help to connect digital research to industry challenges.

Public Sector

We help the public sector maximise the use of digital to better serve their community.


We give charities digital insights to improve performance and meet regulatory challenges.


We help enterprises of all sizes become digital, increasing competitiveness in their markets.

Inspiring action in digital innovation
Address your business challenges digitally and expand your Sphere of Influence

Our members aim to resolve problems through digital solutions and collaboration, regardless of their industry sector.

Sphere Network events enable you to share knowledge and access new networks and opportunities with influence across the North East of England and beyond.

You'll be invited to attend different types of event in locations across the region:

What's Bubbling - informal networking with a wide group, an opportunity for serendipitous meetings and new, unexpected collaboration opportunities

Round Table - throwing open industry challenges to find new problem-solving routes

Deep Dive - focusing on the contribution of a specific existing or emerging technology that can have an impact across multiple sectors.

  • No corporate agenda

  • Revealing hidden skills

  • Finding solutions together

  • Embracing new technology

Kate Baucherel

Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Diversity
As a writer, speaker, digital strategist, and COO of City Web Consultants, Kate works with enterprises using and developing emerging technologies, particularly blockchain. Kate has managed several digital businesses through startup and growth phases and has a solid background in accounting.

Sue Ormerod

Future of Work, Digital Skills
Career IT Recruiter of 23 years, founder & Chair of the Nigel Wright IT Director forum (now in its 13th year). Has managed large IT recruitment projects during merger, acquisition, expansion, and scaling for growth. School Governor and advocate for STEM and encouraging girls into tech.

Marianne Whitfield

VR, AR, Data, Machine Learning
Marianne combines a passion for enterprise and entrepreneurship with a background in technology and systems design. As Director of Development at advanced manufacturing specialists MSP, she champions the application of emerging technology to real world challenges.

Charles Sellers

IoT, IIoT, Sensors, Ageing, Health
A track record in international business troubleshooting, Charles has spent the last decade working in innovation and technology and is the founder for both the IoTClusterNE and CyberSecurityClusterNE creating a centre of excellence for the region.

Steve Blanks

Digital Transformation
Currently Digital Champion of the Great Exhibition of the North, Steve is an experienced entrepreneur and business leader with a demonstrated history of working in the digital and technology services industry.

Justin Barlow

Digital Communications
Nearly 20 years’ experience of articulating and marketing IT and digital solutions from working both within the industry and alongside it, in helping businesses exploit commercial opportunities and minimise legal risks.

Alastair Irons

Alastair is Academic Dean for the Faculty of Computer Science and a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Sunderland, focusing on issues within computer forensics, digital forensics, digital investigation methods, and cyber security.

Alison Shaw

Future of Work, Education
The David Goldman Visiting Professor of Innovation and Enterprise at Newcastle University Business School, Alison works to create opportunities for young people so they can find skilled, engaging and well-paid work, contribute to growth in the region’s economy, and help build our prosperity.
How has digital collaboration helped these businesses?

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Tell us more about your sector and the challenges you want to solve with Sphere Network