Experimenting with digital solutions in Jersey

Jersey is an island measuring 15km by 8km with a population of C100 000, located  just off the coasts of Normandy and Brittany. In this island, Digital Jersey is developing the digital sector, concentrating on upskilling the workforce, creating new digital jobs and helping companies to increase their productivity. In October, they came to Rennes to meet local startups.

Small island – large digital network

Jersey is a Crown dependency, meaning that internationally it’s a territory for which the United Kingdom is responsible, but it enjoys constitutional rights of self-government. This allows Jersey to benefit from an accessible and welcoming regulatory framework. Digital Jersey is a government-backed economic development agency that supports growth in Jersey’s digital industry and aims to establish Jersey as an internationally well-regarded digital centre.

Jersey claims to be ‘the most connected place on earth’. And indeed, their three 4G networks, 100% fibre to the premises and dedicated IoT networks encourages leading internet retailers, international banks and global organisations to relocate their businesses to Jersey. The island also offers a full country infrastructure in one compact location with easy access to key stakeholders, regulators, industry and government.

Testing solutions in Sandbox Jersey

Sandbox Jersey is a testbed program that offers companies the opportunity to develop and launch new tech products without the high cost and complex regulatory barriers they may face in other cities or markets. Specialising in Fintech, HealthTech and IoT, the sandbox allows startups and established businesses to test their solutions and connect to other people within the same industry.

In October 2018, some members of the Digital Jersey team came to present the sandbox concept in Rennes and invite startups to join their testbed program. Only 65 km from Saint-Malo, the island offers an ideal location for startups from Brittany to carry out on-island testing in an off-grid international environment which can then be easily scaled up to meet the needs of a much larger territory.

Close connections to Europe

Digital Jersey maintains close relationships with France and the rest of Europe by inviting startups to participate in their events (such as Jersey TechWeek, hackathons…) and welcoming them to the sandbox. Tony Moretta, the CEO of Digital Jersey explains : “French companies who are looking to export their product or service to the UK market now have an ideal way to test and refine their applications before launching their ventures in the UK, or other country. Many French companies have already shown an interest and we look forward to working with Norman end Breton companies in the future.  

Further initiatives are planned over the next 12 months including the proposed launch of a Digital Skills Academy, expansion of the Digital Jersey Hub and the launch of DJX – dedicated IoT lab.  

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