Innovative Alliance for the West Midlands Joint Event – 30th April 2020

30 April 2020

We were overwhelmed by the response to our first online networking event, with over 80 delegates, 3 keynotes, 3 breakouts and 3 funding bodies. Thank you to all who were involved! Check out the presentations below and read our blog here.

We brought together an Innovation Policy and Practice Event and discussions with our three Working Groups (Innovative Health WG, Innovative Low Carbon WG and Smart City Alliance) in a virtual event on the morning of 30th April. We considered how the innovation ecosystem in the WM has responded to Covid-19 challenges so far and how it can continue to respond during the ongoing health and economic crisis and recovery.

Covid-19 has brought rapid and collaborative innovative responses to challenges, providing immediate solutions. At this virtual event, we explored how the WM can capitalise on this experience of demand-led innovation and adoption beyond the immediate crisis to create new market opportunities and aid economic recovery for our innovative businesses. The event mixed keynote speakers from three different sectors/ themes, each strongly impacted in different ways, and breakout discussions to kick-start future mid to longer term innovation actions.

Date: Thursday 30th April 2020 at 09:45 – 12.15

Theme: Innovation and Covid-19 challenges – the WM response and legacy


09.45 Welcome and introduction to how the event will run: Pam Waddell/ Iain Mansell, IAWM

09.50 Keynotes on Innovation in the response to and legacy from COVID-19:

David Kidney, Chief Executive UK Public Health Register and Chair of WM Health Technology Cluster

Angela Jeffery, Digital Leaders Midlands Champion

Jackie Homan, Head of Environment, WM Combined Authority

10.20 Panel discussion based on questions posed during presentations (Chair, Pam Waddell)

10.45 Coffee and comfort break and getting into ‘rooms’

11.00 Choice of chaired discussion themes with aim is to stimulate ideas for collaborative action that could create a positive, innovative response to the challenges of COVID-19 to be followed up by the IAWM in the following weeks to turn ideas into actions:

Health and Social Care (Chair, Bethan Bishop, Innovative Health WG)

Digital communication (Chair, Alex Cole, Smart City Alliance)

The Net zero agenda (Chair, Alison Fulford, Innovative Low Carbon WG)

11.45 Return to plenary session

Discussion feedback

Potential support to take ideas forward – InnovateUK, British Business Bank, ERDF

Next steps and thanks

12.15 CLOSE