Sunderland College’s Immersive Learning Lead, Gerard Elder, has been named a finalist in the Tech Champion category of the Dynamites Awards 2023.

Now in their tenth year, the Dynamites are the North East’s most highly anticipated IT and Tech awards, shining a spotlight on thousands of the region’s successful and talented tech companies, organisations and individuals.

Gerard’s nomination for Tech Champion – defined as an individual or organisation who has gone above and beyond for the benefit of the North East tech sector – is much deserved as his ability to inspire has not only captured the imagination of students at Education Partnership North East (EPNE) but has also stretched beyond the classroom walls.

Working in education for more than 30 years, Gerard has played a key role in embedding digital skills in EPNE’s curriculum, which will see 360-degree, immersive spaces installed across Sunderland College, Northumberland College, and Hartlepool Sixth Form’s campuses.

His involvement community outreach, aimed at introducing technology to young minds, showcases his commitment to nurturing the next generation of tech enthusiasts. The way he effortlessly connects people of all ages, sparking their interest and curiosity, is a testament to his exceptional ability to ignite a passion for technology.

Gerard said: “Although this nomination is for me as an individual, it should be for all those in our student and staff communities here at Education Partnership North East for their courage to keep trying new things with learning technologies. Change can be a bit scary sometimes, but we’ve seen so many people here pushing the boundaries of how EdTech can really work in teaching and learning and this, in turn, inspires others. It’s just great to be a little part of that.”

The remarkable individuals and organisations that have been nominated, have demonstrated unparalleled dedication, innovation, and excellence in their respective fields, earning their well-deserved spot among the elite finalists.

The 10th anniversary of the Dynamites is expected to be the biggest celebration of the industry yet, with the winners being announced at a glittering ceremony at Newcastle’s Civic Centre Banqueting Hall on Thursday 16th November 2023.

Dynamo supports development of the region’s fast growing digital sector by supporting regional digital clusters, special interest groups, programmes, and projects. The tech network champions business growth and innovation and lead regional development specialist areas such as digital talent, cyber, health and social tech and EDI.

The Dynamites Awards recognise those who have pushed the boundaries of innovation and made a profound impact. Each finalist stands as an example of technological dynamism, showcasing their relentless pursuit of the cutting-edge, and leaving an indelible mark on the tech sector.

To show your support for Gerard, click here: People’s Choice Award 2023 – Dynamites Awards 2023.

Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

Highly commended - Employer of the Year, Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards 2019

Engagement with Employers - Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award 2017

(Sunderland College On-programme Survey 2017)

Selected by DfE for 2021 T Level pilot to deliver the new high-quality technical qualifications.

98% overall employer satisfaction - Employer Survey 2018/19