2022 West Yorkshire Innovation Festival: Innovation in Conversation

The YU ‘Innovation in Conversation’ webinar was organised as part of the 2022 West Yorkshire Innovation Festival on 4 October 2022. We are pleased to be able to share the recordings of the panels:

Panel One – Can universities really help SMEs to innovate?
Featuring case studies from University of Bradford, University of Huddersfield and University of Leeds, with speakers including:

  • Claire Paxman – Brand Ambassador & Director of Global Training, Paxman Coolers Limited
  • Jonny Binder – Product Design & Development, Paxman Coolers Limited
  • Professor Anant Paradkar – Director, Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science at the University of Bradford
  • Dr Suyog Aher – Head of Research and Development at Octopoda Innovations Ltd
  • Olivia Pabois – Michael Beverley Innovation Fellow at the University of Leeds

Panel Two – What can universities do to help wellbeing through innovation?
Featuring case studies from the Leeds Beckett University, York St John University and Leeds Trinity University, with speakers including:

  • Ken Clare, Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Lead
  • Saeeda Bashir, Obesity Institute Principal Consultant.
  • Dr Nick Rowe, Director and Founder of Converge, York St John University
  • Emma McKenzie – Senior Occupational Therapist, with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust
  • Dr James Jackson, Reader in Psychology, Leeds Trinity University
  • Dr Fabrice Bardy, Co-Founder, Hearing Power
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Yorkshire and the Humber Student Mental Health Network

UPDATE: The recording and a collection of speaker slide decks from the day are available for you to access here on the Yorkshire and Humber Public Health Network website.

Yorkshire Universities will today (26 May) join student welfare officers and health professionals to learn more about some of the established, innovative and successful examples of improving student’s mental health in the region and across the country. There are over 212,000 students studying at universities in Yorkshire.

The event, hosted by the University of Bradford, will also see members of the Yorkshire and the Humber Student Mental Health Network and Association of Directors of Public Health discuss how better data and analysis can inform long-term planning and interventions around student mental health needs.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bradford and Chair of Yorkshire Universities, said:

“We know from research before and during the pandemic that children and young adults are facing a mental health crisis.

Covid has increased the demand for university-funded support services, and there is a much greater focus now on student mental health and wellbeing. The voices of students and staff should be central to our efforts to improve mental health in the higher education sector. We know doing this leads to improved engagement and outcomes.

Closer working between universities and the NHS has also been vital to increasing access to and coordination of mental health care for those students needing support. That is why this event is so important, bringing together universities and partners across the region to share good practice and provide collective support to address an issue that matters to us all.”


Yorkshire Universities has a shared commitment to strengthen the contribution of universities and higher education institutions to the economic, social and civic well-being of people and places in Yorkshire.

The members of Yorkshire Universities are: Leeds Arts University; Leeds Conservatoire; Leeds Beckett University; Leeds Trinity University; Sheffield Hallam University; University of Bradford; University of Huddersfield; University of Hull; University of Leeds; University of Sheffield; University of York; and York St John University.

The Chair of Yorkshire Universities is Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor, University of Bradford.

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Ambitions and aspirations for University-Investor links in R&D in Yorkshire and the Humber

Read our new joint publication with the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) titled ‘Ambitions and aspirations for University-Investor links in R&D in Yorkshire and the Humber’ exploring the findings and recommendations from the Research England-commissioned Rees Review and what they mean in practice for Yorkshire.

This publication also captures the discussion from the Yorkshire Universities’ Roundtable that was held in collaboration with the NCUB in September 2020.

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2021 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. The opening plenary explores business resilience and opportunities in the face of the pandemic, presenting a range of insights and an overview of available business support initiatives and programmes. Explore opportunities for collaboration with universities on initiatives across healthcare, inclusive creative industries, textiles and low carbon heating and cooling in the breakout sessions.


Read more

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PERN Webinar series on the West Yorkshire recovery strategy

The first pilot approach to test PERN were a series of webinars. These events were held during the course of July 2020 and were initially coordinated by the University of Leeds, working together with Yorkshire Universities. They offered and opportunity for debate and conversation by experts and academics, adding value to the policy development of the recovery strategy.

Each topic was raised by the Economic Recovery Board, and included questions to structure to the debate and conversation. The webinars were based on the following principles:

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Yorkshire Universities & Arup regional roundtable on the climate emergency: a summary

Monika Antal and James Ransom

The COVID-19 crisis presents an opportunity to accelerate efforts to tackle the climate emergency that should be capitalised on, representatives from Yorkshire’s universities agreed at the 5 May virtual roundtable convened by Yorkshire Universities and Arup. Several key themes emerged:

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Learning lessons from the Urban Living Partnership programme

Monika Antal, Executive Manager

In February, which seems a like a lifetime ago now, and when it was still permissible to gather in large groups, YU invited academics from Newcastle University to Leeds in order to meet university counterparts in Yorkshire, as well as local authority and health officials, in order to present findings from a newly-published report on some of the lessons learned from the Urban Living Partnership (ULP) pilots.

Find out more about why ULPs are important in these brief interviews by two of the report authors: Louise Kempton and David Marlow.

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Exploring the role of health in economic and inclusive growth

Senior leaders from the NHS, local authorities, education and industry met last week to explore the role of health in driving economic and inclusive growth in the Yorkshire and Humber Region.

The YHealth for Growth conference was hosted by the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), NHS Confederation and Yorkshire Universities and held at Cloth Hall Court, Leeds.

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#YHealth4Growth conference

On 9 December, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, the NHS Confederation and Yorkshire Universities co-hosted the YHealth for Growth Conference in Leeds. Read the event programme here and keep an eye out for the report to be published in January 2020!

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