LinkedIn x +44(0)1925 730 484 Search

Newsletter Sign Up

Latest News

IED Annual Conference 2019 preview – in conversation with SignedUp


Ahead of the IED Annual Conference 2019, ‘The Challenge of Change – economic strategies for a new era’, on Wednesday 4th December we caught up with sponsor PDMS (, a software engineering business with a unique approach to the delivery of online services, facilitating joined-up, efficient and empowered communities. Here we speak to Richard Graham, Head of SignedUp, an online employment and skills portal solution provided by PDMS (

Thank you for sponsoring the IED Annual Conference. Why did you decide to do so?

“We are proud to be sponsoring the IED Annual Conference this year because it represents economic development and regeneration for local and regional communities. This year’s focus, ‘The Challenge of Change – economic strategies for a new era’, aligns nicely with our ethos. We have a long history of solving complex problems in economic development through effective software engineering solutions. This is a growth area for us because more and more regional and local economic development leaders are looking to innovative digital solutions to help solve some of their most complex problems.”

Which aspects of the conference are you especially looking forward to?

“The team are looking forward to meeting experts from around the country and learning from other IED members who are attending. Economic development works best when people join forces to share key successes and learn from each other through knowledge sharing – we are really looking forward to joining in the debate.”

What services do you provide for economic development and regeneration professionals?

“Our experienced team has an in-depth knowledge of the employment and skills sector, the challenges it is facing now and the inevitable challenges it will face in the future. By combining this with our software engineering expertise we can support a wide range of digital projects. We also specialise in local skills portals that join-up labour market information and economic opportunities to help local economic regions run their own one-stop-shop skills portal.”

The title of this year’s conference is ‘The Challenge of Change – economic strategies for a new era’. What does that mean to you?

“We all know that the world is changing at rapid pace and economic strategies from just two years ago may no longer be relevant. Previously, digital solutions may have economic strategies, but as we go into this ‘new era’ they will be fundamental to helping regions deliver on their objectives. This change will happen with time, but in the meantime, we are here to help regions realise the value in embracing digital now.”

Finally, what do you think 2020 holds for economic development and regeneration?

“Much of that is unknown due to the ongoing election and the ‘B’ word! However, I know what we hope to see in 2020. We hope to see economic development and regeneration professionals implementing more place-based online economic development solutions. While much good work has been done to implement physical place-based services, digital services are still working in siloes. We want to see these solutions join-up around the individual and the place to make them more effective for everyone involved.”