Mr Eastwood said: “Our proposal for the North’s first ever Digital Coding Academy is exciting and ambitious.
“The SDLP is committed to investing in our students, our workforce and our economy.
“That means laying the skills groundwork now for the digital industries of the future.
“We have a vision for a new economy built on skills clusters within specific universities and colleges that can work with emerging industries to attract sustainable high skill, high wage jobs.
“People living in this city understand the need to diversify our skills set and to invest in our greatest asset – our young workers.
“Linked to this proposal is the need to increase the level of our drawdown of European Innovation Funding to fuel our evolving economy.
“Horizon 2020 is the European flagship innovation funding stream that’s worth over €80 billion.
“The Irish Government have set an initial target of €1.25 billion whereas OFMdFM’s projected drawdown is £100 million. The ambition gap is simply astounding.
“The SDLP has ambitious proposals to radically reform our economy and provide sustainable employment for people here. That’s the offer we’re making to voters,” added Mr Eastwood.