A delegation of Canadian technology companies has visited North East England to see, first hand, why the region’s tech and digital sector is one of the fastest growing in the UK.

Representatives from eight prominent Canadian businesses joined the region’s inward investment body, Invest North East England, to visit world-leading sites before attending the North East’s innovation conference, VentureFest North East.

David Pattison, Inward Investment Manager at Invest North East England, said: “A recent report from Tech Nation showed the North East’s tech sector is worth nearly £1bn and growing more than twice as fast as the rest of the economy.

“Coupled with being the fastest growing tech cluster outside of London, we’re continuing to see interest from international companies looking to invest in our region and tap into our talent pool.

“Today’s visit has been a great opportunity to show some of Canada’s fastest growing tech firms what’s happening here in North East England, and why we’re competing globally when it comes to digital innovation, world-class design and technology capabilities.”

Organised in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT) as part of a Northern Powerhouse visit, the Canadian delegation visited PROTO: The Emerging Technology Centre in Gateshead, Newcastle Helix and the National Innovation Centre for Data in Newcastle city centre, whilst hearing from the North East & Tees Valley Digital Catapult and Sunderland Software City. The final stop on the day long tour was VentureFest North East at St James’ Park, where the delegation got to meet some of the region’s leading innovative businesses and entrepreneurs.

The eight visiting companies were, BenchSci, a reagent intelligence platform provider for biomedical researchers; ThinkData Works Inc., a data processing company; Stradigi AI, a leading AI powered solutions provider; Fortuna, an AI sales performance platform provider; Diversio, a data, analytics and machine learning platform that helps companies overcome diversity challenges; Planbox, a platform for agile work innovation; XMedius Solutions, a leading global developer of enterprise-grade Unified Communications and Secure File Exchange solutions and Kognitiv Spark, an industry leading, next generation holographic Mixed & Augmented Reality software company.