Innovate 2016 Blog

Innovate 2016 - UK manufacturing is still major driver of innovation

Ben Peace, 20 October 2016

It is a truism that our economy has seen a shift in recent decades from manufacturing to services. However, the extent of this shift is perhaps often overstated.

Manufacturing has far from gone away and it remains a major driver of innovation, of exports, and of prosperity.

The UK is 9th biggest in terms of manufacturing output globally, and it represents 11% of our economy.

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Why I feel Innovate 2016 is a must-attend event for UK innovators

Dr Ruth McKernan, 18 October 2016

The Innovate 2016 event is an important opportunity for Innovate UK to partner with the Department for International Trade, bringing UK innovation into the global spotlight. Now more than ever it is vital that UK businesses look to engage globally in developing new partnerships and market opportunities.

Innovate 2016 is a two-day event that delivers different things to different people – it brings together innovators, investors and researchers. Innovate 2016 takes place on November 2nd and 3rd in Manchester, the ninth Innovate event, and our first event of this size outside London. Innovation has a natural place in the Northern Powerhouse; among many other achievements, Manchester is recognised as home to the first computer capable of storing data and to the discovery of graphene.

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Innovate 2016’s tech stars of the show

David Phillips, 11 October 2016

Prog rock and innovation?

What does an event that helps entrepreneurs scale up and grow have to do with a secret love of progressive rock music?

If you’re a young business looking for funding, investment, collaborative partners or export markets, the answer may not be that obvious – but keep reading. The link between them is absolutely central to Innovate 2016, which returns on 2nd and 3rd November and is coming to Manchester for the very first time.

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Innovate 2016 – time for a reboot?

Paul Clarke, 6 October 2016

From a technology perspective, we live in exciting times.

There are four huge technology tsunamis heading our way:

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
2. Robotics
3. Big Data
4. the Internet of Things (IoT)

These are the four key technologies that power Ocado’s end-to-end e-commerce, fulfilment and logistics platform. They are also centric to many of the presentations at this year’s Innovate 2016, including mine!
Where these forces collide with one another and with us, they will create an explosion of new opportunities and industries, not to mention the disruption of others.

However, many businesses appear to remain oblivious to the scale of the impact these forces will have as they wash over them - often too busy talking about digital transformation rather than actually making it happen at scale.

It’s like standing around a swimming pool debating the best way of learning to swim as the tsunami approaches.

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Innovate 2016: how has Greater Manchester changed the world?

Yvonne Grady, 27 September 2016

Text: The team at the Business Growth Hub are thrilled to welcome Innovate 2016 to Manchester Central for the first time this November 2016.

The North West is home to an innovative business community with new discoveries every day in a wide range of sectors including digital technology, life science and advanced manufacturing.

Our long-standing partnership with Innovate UK allows our clients to harness the resources and opportunities available from a national innovation organisation; Innovate 2016 and Venturefest Manchester are just a few examples of this.

Manchester’s innovation strengths: ‘From splitting the atom to the first computer and, more recently, isolating graphene, Manchester has a proud history of discoveries and inventions that have helped to shape the world.’

Our pioneering city region has blazed a trail in science, technology and engineering, both nationally and internationally, for over 200 years. To the above list, you can add Britain's first 'true' canal, the first steam-powered mill and the world's first passenger railway.

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Innovate 2016 - effective negotiating and closing a deal

Bruce Colley, 15 September 2016

Closing any deal requires a number of elements to come together:

  • it has to be a good deal for both sides
  • there needs to be mutual respect
  • the timing needs to be right
  • there needs to be momentum

It sounds obvious – but both sides want something and ideally in equal measures. You want investment to turbo charge your business. The investor wants to get a return on investment, with a reasonable certainty. Put another way you need to be investor attractive. You will find lots of articles online about checking investor attractiveness – just be aware that the investor will be looking at your business from every angle and will be testing your ability to deliver at every stage. Watch our video of essential tips on pitching for investment.

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Innovate 2016 - what have we changed this year?
Huw Jones, 8 September 2016

Inspiration, education and lots of perspiration

I’ve been running the Innovate events since 2009 and I still think it fills a unique gap in the entrepreneur’s calendar.

So, what can you expect in Manchester this year?

Well for anyone involved in growing a business through innovation it puts a tick in every box:

Commercial opportunities – tick

Finding new partners – tick

Visionary talks and practical tips – tick

Last year:

  • Attendees told us they’d be generating £8 million worth of business as a result of the connections made
  • 1 in 2 said that they’d use government support in the year ahead
  • We trended at #3 on twitter.


That’s a pretty good result.

And yet we are not standing still when it comes to improving this year’s event.

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Going GLOCAL

John Davies, 2 September 2016

‘Please send a letter and ask for the company details, send it first class mail and mark it urgent we need the information in two weeks, in time for the submission deadline. - Anonymous CEO, 1997’

Only a matter of 30 odd years ago this was a typical request by a company needing crucial information about a supplier, customer or partner where two week’s turnaround was considered fast.

Today access to information is instant and delivered in whatever mix or format is needed to individual needs and preferences as the global digital economy continues to grow at an ever increasing rate.

The lines between local and global business have become blurred to the point of extinction, with this particularly the case in the technology industry, with few technology businesses operating within a single sector or value chain, let alone within a single market - whether for supply of materials or in search of customers.

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There’s nothing wrong with showing off

Richard Miller, 27 July 2016

Entrepreneurs are regularly told that they need to focus. To strip away all the distractions, say no to all extraneous activity and concentrate on building the business.

Good advice.

As new opportunities come up, entrepreneurs are forced to ask themselves the question over and over again – “is this going to move me forward?”

And one of the ‘opportunities’ that will certainly be brought to your attention will be an invitation to participate in our and Department for International Trade's Innovate 2016 innovation showcase.

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