Reflections on the Award of an OBE for ‘Services to Innovation in the West Midlands’

From that very proud and exciting day on 8th June when it was announced I would be receiving an OBE ‘for Services to Innovation in the West Midlands’, to 25th October when I was honoured and thrilled to be presented with the award, I was asked several questions many times. The simple questions (who, where, … Continue reading Reflections on the Award of an OBE for ‘Services to Innovation in the West Midlands’

Blog: Innovation Policy and Practice Breakfast – Collaborate to Innovate

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. Our recent Policy and Practice Breakfast on the 19th of September discussed such collaboration, whereby instead of competing … Continue reading Blog: Innovation Policy and Practice Breakfast – Collaborate to Innovate

Venturefest Blog Series: Part 13 – Building a Skilled and Diverse Technology Workforce

‘Just 16% of female respondents surveyed by PwC report they’ve had a career in technology suggested to them.’ To wrap up Venturefest, Hillary Leevers, Chief Executive of Engineering UK presented on the importance of developing a more productive, competent and diverse technology workforce. The UK tech sector is worth £180bn (up by £10bn since 2017) … Continue reading Venturefest Blog Series: Part 13 – Building a Skilled and Diverse Technology Workforce

Venturefest Blog Series: Part 12 – The Future of Mobility

The WM Science and Innovation Audit, published in 2017, conclusively showed that future mobility is one of the West Midlands’ key market strengths. We are a centre of transport innovation, as evidenced by the development and presence of the National Automotive Innovation Centre, Manufacturing Technology Centre, Advanced Propulsion Centreand HORIBA MIRA,to name but a few. … Continue reading Venturefest Blog Series: Part 12 – The Future of Mobility

Venturefest Blog Series: Part 11 – How to Develop a Growth Strategy – Support for Ambitious Entrepreneurs

This workshop was run by Torquil Goodwin, the Principle Business Adviser for CUE Business Solutions. “CUE aims to make people aware of the business support that is available, but more importantly, simplifying it to make it easy to access and to let them get the maximum benefit from it.” Torquil started the workshop by explaining that … Continue reading Venturefest Blog Series: Part 11 – How to Develop a Growth Strategy – Support for Ambitious Entrepreneurs

Venturefest Blog Series: Part 9 – Mind the Gap

It doesn’t matter what your business does, what sector it’s in or how many people it employs, computers and devices will be crucial to its operation. Technology has grown to be the leading tool for businesses to advertise themselves, organise and process data, communicate with other businesses and to facilitate intra-business communication. With our reliance … Continue reading Venturefest Blog Series: Part 9 – Mind the Gap

Venturefest Blog Series: Part 8 – Articulation of Challenges

 “In order to innovate, you need to collaborate. In order to collaborate, you need trust.” James Elliot from Innovation Xchange UK Limited (VenturefestWM 2019 headline sponsor) began his workshop by introducing this core principle, and that to build trust, we must all have a shared understanding.  He also outlined that equally fundamental to innovation is … Continue reading Venturefest Blog Series: Part 8 – Articulation of Challenges

Venturefest Blog Series: Part 7 – Big West Midlands opportunities as Innovation Test-beds (Panel 2)

This panel gave us the pleasure of hearing from four professionals, each involved in hugely important projects currently underway in the West Midlands that have potential to act as test-beds for innovative technologies and approaches. Panellists were: Andy Welch, Technical Director of West Midlands 5G; Andrew Pestana, Head of Innovation for HS2; Martin Sutherland, Chief Exec … Continue reading Venturefest Blog Series: Part 7 – Big West Midlands opportunities as Innovation Test-beds (Panel 2)