The Herald Digital Transformation Awards are back for a second year, recognising the role that technology is increasingly playing in every aspect of our lives.

When they were launched last year there was no way to predict how popular the awards would be, but the response was remarkable and it unearthed exciting examples of where technology was accelerating improvements for businesses and individuals.

Faster, more-connected working offers business and industry the potential to find solutions to a wide range of issues while increasing productivity and bringing them closer to customers and suppliers.

For the third sector, the speed of transformation is bringing a new impetus to their efforts to improve opportunities for people in all circumstances, breaking down barriers and opening doors for people excluded by disability, rural isolation and economic disadvantage.

From the burgeoning space industry to the financial sector; through manufacturing and the creative industries, there is no area of the Scottish economy that isn’t set to benefit from a growth in digital technologies and last year the Government recognised this potential, publishing its digital strategy for Scotland and pledging £100 million towards digital support.

In its first year, The Herald Digital Transformation Awards uncovered a raft of impressive projects across all sectors including health, social care, the environment and charitable giving.

Amongst the winners was a team from the Glasgow Science Centre, whose scheme to train foundation apprentices online during the pandemic, won it the Best Use of Technology in the Third Sector title.

And Good-Loop, an ethical advertising platform, won Digital Marketing Campaign Award for its skill in connecting online advertisers with charities in search of funds, raising more than £2 million for good causes since its launch in 2016.

This year there are 11 categories, including Digital Community Award, Business Growth Award and Innovative Use of Technology Award, while one enterprise that has been comprehensively changed by technology will carry off the Digitally Transformed Business Award.

For sponsors, involvement in the Awards is a way of demonstrating their commitment to seeing digital technologies change lives for the better.

Nikola Kelly, MD of Be-IT Resourcing and Be-IT Projects, who are sponsoring the Digital Diversity Award,  said: “With Scotland’s IT sector booming, it’s great that The Herald is once again highlighting the country’s digital success stories – the individuals and companies from the private, public and third sectors upon whom future economic growth will increasingly depend.

“We have chosen to sponsor the Digital Diversity category because we recognise that widening equality of opportunity is vital if the tech industry is to meet its current and future workforce requirements.  At Be-IT we see, on a daily basis, just how tight the IT job market is and that’s why diversity, equality and inclusion is rightly at the forefront of so many organisations’ recruitment strategies.

“Anything that helps improve inclusion and fairness is to be applauded and we are sure the Herald’s Digital Awards will help contribute to the increasing awareness of the importance of diversity, equality and inclusion in the years ahead.”

Her words were echoed by Alisdair Gunn, Project Director, Glasgow City Innovation District, who are sponsors of one of this year’s key categories. Alisdair said: ‘We are excited to be part of this year’s Herald Digital Transformation Awards and to sponsor the Digital Young Person of the Year Award. The awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the incredible work taking place in Glasgow and beyond.”

For Donald Martin, Editor-in-Chief, The Herald and The Herald on Sunday, the Digital Transformation Awards are a chance to reward those whose focus is on the future of the country, strengthening its commercial organisations, supporting its infrastructure and investing in the people who will make a difference to Scotland and its success.

“We want to hear about those forward-thinking companies and individuals who are embracing the technologies and using them in innovative ways in order to make life better for everyone,” he said.

“After last year’s inaugural event, which produced such amazing finalists and exemplary winners, the judges are now very excited to see what this year’s entries will bring.”

The deadline for entries is Thursday, 14 July and the awards ceremony itself will take place on Thursday, 25 August in Glasgow. Full details of the event and how to enter are available at  https://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/digitransform/

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