Research will identify success of tech, marketing, creative and media sectors

The School of Digital Arts (SODA), at Manchester Metropolitan University, has announced a new research partnership with Prolific North to examine the international success of Northern creative companies.

SODA will lead on the in-depth research for Global Reach 2021, a large-scale report providing unique insight into companies in the North have an overseas operation and those owned by companies operating outside of the UK.

Published in Spring next year, the Global Reach 2021 report will include companies from tech, marketing services, media and creative sectors, helping to put the North into a global context.

Professor Toby Heys, Head of SODA at Manchester Metropolitan University said: “At the School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester Metropolitan University, it is essential for us to understand the constant shifts in digital culture, business and technology.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Prolific North on this research which maps investment into digital businesses across the North. It could not be better timed or more welcomed as we open our doors to our first cohort of students in 2021.”

Opening in 2021, SODA is a purpose-built, interdisciplinary school at Manchester Metropolitan University – a £35m investment into the workspaces, networks, teaching and research driving the next generation of creative content.

A programme of pioneering research designed to meet the needs of industry now and in the future will inform teaching and generate answers to the most challenging questions posed by digital media and technology.

The Prolific North partnership is the latest example of SODA working collaboratively with the creative digital sector in the North West to drive its future success.

Prolific North, which launched in 2013, is a leading publishing and events company for the North’s digital, tech, marketing, creative and media sectors. Its mission is to celebrate, connect and inform the sectors they represent.

The Global Reach 2021 Report will build on Prolific North’s first research initiative in 2013 which found there were 250 creative and media companies in the North with global activities and reach, employing more than 18,000 staff. The region has since seen significant growth and success, making new research vitally important.

The Global Reach 2021 Report will be independently conducted, collecting data on companies’ size, turnover, ownership, employment, acquisitions and more. It will seek to identify companies in the North West, North East and Yorkshire that are part of global operations.

Nick Jaspan, Publisher at Prolific North said: “We launched the debut Global Reach report back in 2013, our first year of publishing and it was an extremely ambitious project for a newly-established company to undertake. But even then, we were able to identify almost 250 companies with genuine global activities and reach across the broader marketing services and digital sectors. Now, seven years on, these sectors have grown significantly as tech is increasingly the anchor for these activities. The much bigger task we have now given ourselves in terms of both quantity and quality, has become much more manageable with the resource and research expertise provided by SODA.

“The fact that SODA sees major benefits from being involved with and leading on the research reflects both the values they see in this innovative initiative but also the opportunity to conduct the research with senior levels of management. Such direct access should also offer SODA meaningful and deep scope to gauge how the sectors are evolving first hand and to see where the investment is leading. We are appreciative of and delighted with SODA’s enthusiasm to partner with Prolific North on this exciting initiative.”

Global Reach 2021 will include a range of launch events starting in late 2021, featuring guest speakers and case studies from the report with a focus on its key themes. This will culminate in the Global Reach 2021 Summit, held in Manchester, which will provide an in-depth exploration into the report’s findings.

For more information and to get involved with the Global Reach 2021 Report please visit Prolific North website

22nd October 2020