Member News

THE shortlist for the Dynamites 21, the region’s IT and technology awards, has been revealed.

The awards, now in their eighth year and in association with Invest Newcastle, North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) Digital and NTCA Good Work Pledge, shine a spotlight on successful regional tech companies and recognise the talent within the north-east tech sector.

Many of the region’s leading IT and technology companies have made it on to the shortlist, alongside SMEs and some of the north east’s largest businesses and organisations which have critical IT departments.

Cate Kalson, Dynamo Director and Chair of this year’s judging panel, said: “I’d like to thank my fellow judges for their time and commitment – judging this year was tough and we were hugely impressed by the strength and depth of the 2021 entries which made selecting the winners a tough job. It’s fantastic to see so many examples of world-class innovation going on here in our region, and the stories of the talent behind the innovation are inspiring.”

Tickets are selling fast for this year’s awards night, which will be an in-person event at Newcastle’s Civic Centre banqueting hall on Thursday, November 11.

The shortlistees for this year are:

Best Use of Data, sponsored by BJSS:

  • Connect Health
  • Data2Action
  • Kani Payments
  • Sage
  • XBIM Ltd

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, sponsored by Fueled:

  • Cognassit
  • Later Life Audio and Radio Co-operative
  • Waterstons

Growth Explosion, sponsored by LDC:

  • Everflow Water
  • Iamproperty
  • Opencast
  • So Post

Innovator of the Year, sponsored by Sage:

  • Durham University
  • Haystack
  • PlaceChangers

Project of the Year (Corporate), sponsored by Saggezza:

  • Fueled – Qwake
  • Iamproperty – movebutler
  • Opencast – eConsult/Opencast

Digital Health Project of the Year (Public Sector/Not for Profit), sponsored by Red Hat:

  • Difrent – Transforming NHS Recruitment
  • DWP Digital – Passport Benefit Checker
  • DWP Digital – New Style

Employment and Support Allowance Rising Star in Memory of Nate Sterling, sponsored by University of Sunderland:

  • David Fairbairn – Tharsus
  • Elena Lanzarini – Wordnerds
  • Jack Sheriff – Connect Health
  • Peter Bakare – Nutritroops

Skills Developer, sponsored by Gateshead College:

  • Baltic Apprenticeships
  • Nicole Robson, Saggezza
  • Ubisoft

Tech for Good, sponsored by tombola:

  • Connect Health
  • Nebula Labs
  • Notify Technology LTD
  • Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust and the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and Cumbria

Tech Champion, sponsored by Invest Newcastle, NTCA Good Work Pledge:

  • Dylan McKee – Nebula Labs
  • Jamie Hardesty – Sunderland Software City
  • Opencast
  • The Experience Bank

As last year, this year’s categories also include the Dynamites People’s Choice Award. This award winner will be from the 37 shortlisted entries and chosen by a public vote. For a synopsis of those shortlisted and to cast your vote, go to

Voting for the People’s Choice Award closes at 5pm on Friday, October 15. This year’s judging panel comprised: Cate Kalson, Dynamo Director; Karen Elliott, Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor, Newcastle University; Andrew Gill, Northern Regional Head, Waterstons; Nigel Moralee, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Manager, Sage; Rachel Murphy, CEO, Difrent; Nick O’Reilly, Chief Technology Officer, NHS Business Services Authority; Simon Parker, IS Director, Home Group; Paul Swaddle, Head of Technical Solutions, NBS; and Fareeha Usman, Founder Being Woman and EDI Innovation Manager at Dynamo North East.

Dynamo Chair Charlie Hoult added: “There is so much excitement and plenty of anticipation about this year’s awards. Networking has always been a huge part of the Dynamites and this year, more than any other year, tech folk are looking forward to being in the same room.

“The Dynamites are a great way to celebrate the fabulous talent that continues to drive the region’s tech sector and this year’s shortlist includes many who have made significant contributions to the continuing growth of our tech community.

“Huge thanks go to our generous sponsors who have made Dynamites 21 possible and to our panel of esteemed judges.” Further support has been provided to Dynamites 21 from Brewin Dolphin (table and programme sponsor) and Opencast.

To book tickets for Dynamites 21 go to Dynamo is part funded by the ERDF as part of the Catalysing Innovation 2021-23 in North East Clusters project, delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork.

Proud to be partnered by: