Why the Humber

Digital connectivity

John Connolly

By John Connolly, Managing Director at C4DI

The world of traditional business looks at the world of fast-tech startups and scale-ups and asks: “What is it about their tools, their technology, their talent and their businesses model, that could disrupt our traditional business, and what is it we can learn from them to help innovate within our business?”

5 min read

The world of fast-tech startups and scale-ups looks at that traditional world and says: “We’re lying awake at night trying to think of the next Instagram or Twitter… but we could solve problems in traditional businesses sectors, if only we had access to those supply chains and opportunity.”

The Humber region is known nationally as the place where tech companies get opportunities to work with global businesses, giving them access to supply chains and mentors they could only dream of, or would take years of business development, and the place where traditional industry can tap into skills and expertise it never knew it needed - and even if it did know it needed it, could never find it.

Nestle, GSK, Boots, and many more household names have tapped into amazing skills and expertise in the Humber, which has in turn sparked the growth of many tech companies.

We do this, underpinned by amazing infrastructure to help you grow.


1/3 of the UK’s Fibre to The Premises is under the streets of Hull. Most desks in the city have more connectivity than most London buildings! Every business and home in the city has access to full fibre broadband.


Our region has a vibrant tech community. Over 1000 people are active members of the C4DI Tech Hub Community in Hull - all focused on helping tech companies grow and traditional businesses innovate.


The links between tech companies and traditional businesses mean that those sorts of opportunities can grow and accelerate your business in ways that would have taken decades of business development in previous years.


An active program of development on Hull’s purpose-built tech campus, bringing business support alongside world-class facilities and connectivity.

Cost base

The Humber has the highest turnover per employee North of London, at an average of £122K per employee. Businesses based in the Humber generate more revenue from their staff than almost all other UK cities.


The University of Hull has tripled the number of Computer Science graduates in the last few years and we have the UK’s leading University Technical College – Ron Dearing UTC - focused on digitally skilled secondary school children.

Case Studies

Sauce’s sweet solution for food and beverage giant

Hull smart tech firm Sauce developed a unique solution to complex yard management challenges for confectionery and beverage giant Nestlé.

The team, based at the Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI), created a unique system to track and manage all trailer movements at the firm’s York factory and distribution centre.

Delivery drivers now input their details digitally upon arrival at security and wait in a designated area where they can view a “flight board” – similar to an airport or train station information screen – enabling them to monitor the status of their load.

Shunter drivers, who manouvre delivery trailers on and off loading bays, also access the live information via a tablet in their cab, meaning they are fully aware of all movements on site.

The system has significantly improved operational efficiency for Nestlé and is now being applied to a revolutionary new £55m distribution centre in the East Midlands.

Read more


The University of Hull’s SparkFund provided an R&D grant to Rison Software, allowing the East Yorkshire business to fast-track development of its pioneering new platform, VirtlX. VirtlX is a cloud-based business tool which helps companies find shortfalls in their operations and improve efficiency.

FLX Health

FLX Health received an R&D grant via The University of Hull’s SparkFund to support the development of a biometric app. The app uses clinically proven physiotherapy algorithms to identify your biomechanical profile. The profile is then used to treat existing, and protect against, future musculoskeletal issues. It is anticipated that the app will be used as part of a Corporate Wellbeing Platform.

Fitmums & Friends

Fitmums & Friends, a Humber-based social enterprise business, received an Innovation Voucher from The University of Hull’s Sparkfund. The voucher supported the development of bespoke cloud-based management system and app for Fitmums & Friends. The new innovative system empowers runners, co-ordinators and the management team by pulling together valuable data in one place.

The World Needs The Humber

Back to Investment Globe Invest Humber globe