Another great year is over and we’re reflecting on the amazing time we’ve had running our Innovation Policy and Practice Breakfast events. Our aim is to stimulate discussion and networking across those actively involved in innovation in the West Midlands from any sector or type of organisation. Here’s a recap of what we’ve been up to…

Innovation and Place: National policy and funding a year into the UK Industrial Strategy – 31/01/19

Our first Policy and Practice Breakfast of 2019 took place at Energy Systems Catapult, a great turnout with a range of attendees from various sectors. Speakers included Ewa Block (West Midlands Regional Manager, Innovate UK), and Paul Drabwell (Head of Innovation and Place, BEIS).

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Women in STEM-based business – barriers and enablers to progression – 04/04/19

This event, as part of DIDFest2019 (Diversity in Digital), explored the theme of  ‘Women in STEM-based business – barriers and enablers to progression’ though a lively panel discussion with:

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How large and small companies can collaborate to innovate – 19.9.19

An important part of the innovation ecosystem is how larger companies can draw upon the innovative potential of SMEs, and how SMEs can best use larger companies as early adopters and routes to market to mutual benefit. The two speakers and audience discussion explored what steps are possible to enhance the engagement between SMEs and larger businesses, and expose exemplars for when such engagement has been successful.

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Innovation and the Circular Economy – 28.11.19

The circular economy model conceives of waste not as a problem, but as a raw material with value based on potential to reintroduce materials into the system, combining recycling, reuse and renewable energy. Effective circular economy approaches are often innovative, for example in optimisation of use of resources or the design of materials that can be perpetually cycle back to the technical or biological ecosystems. Our discussion drew on examples from Debbie Ward (Gleeds and Organiser of the Circular Economy Club), Clare Ollerenshaw (Circular Consultants Ltd) and Gerrard Fisher (QSA Partners). Presentations were followed by a panel discussion led by questions from the audience – such as how can we change the minds of governing bodies and educators? 

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We can’t wait for 2020. Watch this space for up-coming events…