On Thursday 27 September, hundreds of innovators descended on Plymouth to celebrate all things digital at the South West Digital Awards. 

On the night, Bristol and Bath’s finest businesses came out on top in 4 of the 10 categories, showing the area’s dominance is still very real despite the increased recognition of the entire South West as a digital hub.

The 4 winners were:

  • Open Bionics – Bristol’s internationally recognised Open Bionics won the best in Health Tech award for the world’s first clinically tested, medically certified and FDA registered 3D printed bionic arm. Judges noted the ingenuity and flexibility of the product, with testers including former Paralympic athletes and children – the product was even applauded by the Dalai Lama!

  • Neighbourly – Another of Bristol’s best, taking home the Social Impact award. The platform connects communities and charities with businesses, providing opportunities for companies to donate money, time or surplus items to those in need.

  • Supple Studios – The Bath-based agency took home LOGO’s Branding in a Digital Environment award, having been shortlisted for their work on the Prison Radio Association’s straightline campaign. Supple Studio has also worked with a variety of global brands, including Channel 4, Royal Mail and the NSPCC.

  • N2M’s Rockit Rocker – The company founded by three dads took home Hardware of the Year for their child sleep aid. The Rockit Rocker has a quiet motor, attaches to any pram, and through gentle movement, it encourages continued sleep for children once their pram is stationary.

The variety of categories represent a full picture of the opportunities around the South West, with Rockit’s Matt Dyson saying “We entered the awards because there is a real buzz within the region surrounding digital technologies, with many innovative businesses doing exciting work in this area.”

Bristol businesses took a huge interest in supporting the awards, with sponsors Triangle Networks, Novate IT and Stripe OLT all keen to encourage digital growth around the region. The awards came at the perfect time for the region, as Triangle Networks’ Bob Irwin noted,”By supporting other tech companies in the region as they grow, we help to reinforce the narrative of the South West as the ‘place to be’ for innovative businesses and help to further support our wider communities with jobs, great education and facilities that we can all enjoy.”

The South West Digital Awards were created by Plymouth-based events and ticketing business, Helm Squared, to shine a light on an often-neglected region and encourage and reward its industry-first products, outstanding development work and exceptional digital campaigns. As well as a selection of innovative companies and individuals, the nominees featured businesses, organisations and individuals from the depths of Cornwall, all the way up to those disrupting the hubs of Bristol & Bath.

The whole evening celebrated digital across the South West, with attendees ranging from enterprises and individuals, all the way up to global businesses, industry heavyweights and some of the UK’s best universities and colleges. All guests also enjoyed a unique, gourmet menu of locally-sourced produce, complimentary welcome drinks, and a gift bag filled with high-quality goodies from South West companies. Winners walked away with a complimentary bottle of Conker Spirit’s Dry Gin and a bespoke, handcrafted trophy created by Plymouth College of Art’s The Agency.