Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Thinking Big for North Event; TECH

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Thinking Big for North Event; TECH

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT GIBSON robert.gibson@ncjmedia.co.uk

JOURNALISTS, search experts and virtual reality pioneers are among those on the line-up for this year's Thinking Digital conference.

The event, which returns to the Sage Gateshead on May 10 and 11, aims to highlight how technology is transforming lives and businesses in numerous ways.

It includes workshops, a start-up competition and networking opportunities, but over the years has earned most praise for its diverse and high-calibre speakers.

This year among the local talent to share their insights will be Darren Jobling, CEO of the Gateshead-based Zerolight, which applies tech developed for the gaming world to realworld commercial uses.

Already a global leader in interactive visualisation for the automotive industry, the company has partnered with Audi, providing a virtual reality solution that allows instant exploration of vehicles customised to exact specifications.

Also among the North East speakers will be Will Dracup, CEO of Biogsignatures, which is developing next generation molecular diagnostic tests.

An Economics graduate, Mr Dracup's early career was in software engineering, before he set up Nonlinear Dynamics in 1989. Currently a visiting professor of Human Proteomics at Sunderland University, he remained CEO of the business until three years ago, when it was sold to US multinational, Waters Inc.

Bringing a similarly entrepreneurial spirit to proceedings will be MT - or Mary Teresa - Rainey who, following an impressive career in advertising, has built digital social enterprise horsesmouth.co.uk; aided the growth of Newcastle's digital strategy agency Think Ltd as both an investor and company chairwoman; and taken up non-executive board director roles at Channel 4, Pinewood Studios and Hays plc.

From the world of journalism, meanwhile, will be Katherine Harmon, a contributing editor for Scientific American magazine, and a renowned freelance for publications such as The New York Times, Wired, Popular Science, Nature and Time. …

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