Josie Gough, South West Regional Manager for Innovate UK

Exeter's leaders in business innovation discuss tactics in driving forward business growth

How innovation and collaboration can boost business and the economy was the topic of discussion in the latest of a series of talks; The STEMM Cell @ Exeter Science Park.

Josie Gough, South West Regional Manager for Innovate UK and Andy Treen, Exeter Advisor for Knowledge Transfer Network led the presentation at The STEMM Cell @ Exeter Science Park – Inspiring Growth event on Wednesday, October 18.

Josie and Andy explained that contrary to popular misconception, the UK is not a world player when it comes to innovation, rather, it languishes somewhere mid-table; one of the UK’s strengths is research, but a weakness is the ability to embed innovation within industry and using this as a driver for growth in business and the economy as a whole.

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency which works with companies and partner organisations to find, and drive forward science and technology innovations that will ultimately grow the UK economy.

Meanwhile, the Knowledge Transfer Network is the UK’s innovation network bringing together business, entrepreneurs, academics and funders while serving as Innovate UK’s network partner.

Josie explained the importance of collaborative working and the effort to drive forward science and technology innovations that will ultimately grow the UK economy and boost business.

Josie, said: “There is significant funding available to support the development of innovative projects. Applications for New Innovation Finance are being invited early in 2018 with the first loans being given in the second financial quarter. Meanwhile the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will be announcing the first wave of challenges shortly and information will be available via the Knowledge Transfer Newsletters and the Innovate UK Twitter feed”.

The Knowledge Transfer Network’s power to transform businesses through the application of emerging research and knowledge formed part of Andy’s discussion.

Andy, added: “My role is to connect businesses to ensure business success. Engaging early to identify opportunities for growth is key to success as demonstrated by our work with the Chard business which manufactures Henry vacuum cleaners and also the Plymouth-based Langage Dairy, famous for its ice cream”.  

Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park, said: “The Science Park’s mission is to host and support innovative STEMM companies to deliver extraordinary growth. In running these events, we’re bringing together the thought-leaders, innovators and key players in the region to collaborate and share knowledge on key topics linked to leadership, productivity and STEMM subjects.

“With revolutionary scientific study taking place in the region and with the world energy crisis a hot topic at the moment, it was an obvious choice for our first discussion.”

The events are being run in partnership with the SETsquared Exeter incubator.

The STEMM Cell events will continue with a presentation from Daniel Honey, Director of HoneyBe Creative and Digital on Wednesday, October 25, who will share how good design and simple technology can improve productivity in the workplace.

The Autumn/Winter term schedule of events also includes:

  • 1 November: Plastics in the marine environment
  • 8 November: The FAB Project – a ground breaking engineering project running a sub-sea electrical interconnector from France to Britain
  • 15 November: Leadership without words
  • 6 December: Meet the neighbours – Lidl’s distribution centre in Exeter

Attendees are welcome to arrive and use the Science Park Centre facilities from 3:00pm with networking due to start at 5:00pm. Presentations start at 5:30pm, followed by a Q&A session.

Tickets are now available to purchase for all the presentation and are £10 per event or £2.50 for students. Visit the website for more information and to book.

Date: 24 October 2017

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