West Yorkshire Innovation Festival: Innovation now – opportunities for business and universities to work together

Learn more about how working with Universities can benefit your business. Opening with a plenary exploring business resilience and opportunities in the face of the pandemic, Yorkshire Universities will present a range of insights and share an overview of available business support initiatives and programmes.

You’ll then have the opportunity to breakout into one of four interactive workshop sessions to explore opportunities for collaboration with universities on initiatives across healthcare, digital creativity, textiles and low carbon heating and cooling.

16 March 2021, 14:00-16:30pm, via Zoom

Register here.


14:00Welcome and introduction to the plenary

Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford and Chair of Yorkshire Universities

14:15 – Panel presentations
Where business is now: perspectives from Yorkshire’s universities

Collaborative academic initiatives in support of pandemic recovery, including the West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Framework
Professor Andy Brown (University of Leeds Business School)

Recovery toolkit and analysis of survival strategies for businesses across the region.
Dave Spicer (University of Bradford)

Opportunities for University based business support in higher education “cold-spots”
Natalie Allen (Calderdale University Business Centre)

Support for skills and investment opportunities for business start- ups during pandemic
Claire Newhouse (AD:Venture) 

What are the current conditions for entrepreneurial innovation?
Harrison Evans (Nexus, University of Leeds)

14:50 – Interactive Q&A

15:10 – Collaborate to Innovate Breakout Sessions

Collaborate to Innovate – Healthcare
Hosted by Leeds Beckett University

Join us to explore the challenges and opportunities for innovation in Health. This session will give an insight into the innovative research and development in the region, showcasing the latest in health research, medical technology development and collaborative opportunities. We will hear from a number of speakers from across the region discussing key topics relating to innovations in response to Covid, white-box machine learning in healthcare, and opportunities for digital innovation surrounding the safety of medicines and the supply chain. 

Collaborate to Innovate – Inclusive Creative Industries
Hosted by the University of York

The University of York is leading on enabling and supporting collaborative R&D for the creative sector across the region including immersive and interactive storytelling and the UK gaming sector. Come and find out more about our work through our interactive and visual case studies. Meet the people leading the research and businesses we have worked with and find out more about the different funding and engagement opportunities available to your business.

Collaborate to Innovate – Textiles
Hosted by the University of Huddersfield

Interactive session exploring challenges and opportunities for collaboration relating to innovation in the textiles sector. The audience will learn more about current initiatives in technical textiles and the Future Fashion Factory Programme. The participants will also have an opportunity to inform a new study which is seeking to map the innovation landscape for textiles in the region; and identify key priorities for future industrial collaboration. 

Collaborate to Innovate – Low carbon heating and cooling
Hosted by the University of Leeds

Interactive session exploring opportunities for collaboration and the co-development of strategies for sustainable low carbon heating and cooling. Perfect for businesses involved in the heating and cooling of their buildings or the supply chain side of electricity and heat generation.

16:15 – Closing remarks, signposting and next steps

Dr Peter O’Brien, Executive Director of Yorkshire Universities
Sue Cooke, CEO of 3M BIC Innovation Centre, University of Huddersfield

16:30 – Finish


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