The county’s broadband improvement programme, coordinated by Essex County Council in partnership with BT, is one of 11 sponsors to support the EDAs, now in their second year.
The judging panel will be joined by the executive sponsor of the Superfast Essex rollout programme, Essex County Council’s Director for Information Services (Chief Information Officer), David Wilde.
Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Infrastructure, said: “The Essex Digital Awards are a great opportunity to recognise the digital capabilities of businesses in our county and we look forward to supporting them.
“We hope the digital successes and our rollout of superfast broadband will inspire more of the county to get better connected and make the most of being online.”
The Superfast Essex programme is on track with the number of premises enabled to access superfast broadband increasing steadily and plans progressing for future work.
By the end of summer 2016, 87% of Essex will have access to superfast broadband, with the aim to extend this to 95% by end of 2017 with the next tranche of work.
Iain Johnson from Premio 64, the organisation behind the EDAs, said: “Having Essex County Council on board with the EDAs is a big deal for everyone.
“They are at the heart of the county’s digital transformation, they are helping make it possible for businesses across Essex to use the internet at a speed that helps makes them competitive with the rest of the world.”
The EDAs, which have already received double the number of entries they did in their first year, aim to showcase online achievements across ten award categories including ‘Website’, ‘Mobile App’, ‘Use of Social Media’, ‘Use of Video’, ‘Online Marketing Campaign’, and ‘Online Business’.
In addition to category-specific judging criteria, the judging panel will be looking for innovation, digital progression, and signs that online activity has helped a business improve in some way.
The EDAs are free to enter and it takes less than two minutes to complete an application through www.essexdigitalawards.co.uk. Entry for the EDAs closes on 20th February. The EDA winners will be announced at an EDA presentation night on 23rd April.