By Daniel Hunter
Last week Innovate UK, a leading exhibition and one-to-one networking event, showcased the latest technology innovations being developed throughout the UK and enabled more than 200 companies to grow through international trade and investment.
The three day event which closed on Wednesday, resulted in the investment of more than £100m of funding for UK start-ups and entrepreneurs towards new projects across a wide range of sectors, including energy, sustainable living and robotics.
Participants were addressed by both Vince Cable, Secretary of State, and David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science during the event, who each announced the financing of several projects backed by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) that will provide the opportunity for companies to accelerate their growth through innovation and global trade.
Among these were the Biomedical Catalyst Fund, which received £47.2m and will be distributed amongst 51 different technology companies involved in research and development in the biomedical field. The photonics industry also received £3.7m to fund projects with applications in the healthcare sector, while London’s Future Cities Catapult Centre received £50m. This centre will support companies focused on developing solutions to help cities become more efficient while lowering their environmental impact.
Some exhibition highlights included Eyejusters’ revolutionary glasses that can be changed in an instant to suit long or short vision and ETB Ltd’s gaitSMART software, used for analysing the gait of athletes, predicating future injury and monitoring recovery.
Showcasing the latest developments within the energy sector OC Robotics demonstrated its ‘Snakearm’ technology enabling careful and accurate handling in hazardous areas, while Tokamak Solutions displayed its remote control of a Tokamak — a new, safe, environmentally friendly energy source for generating electricity.
The TSB also launched ‘a free digital tool designed to help businesses identify sustainability issues to make commercial and strategic decisions - Horizons’, which is currently in beta stage and is designed to help companies achieve stable development in the current financial climate, while remaining sustainable.
Over 5,000 people participated in the event throughout the three days, which had a national and international attendance. With 972 delegates from the UK and 203 from other countries, the event was also made possible by more than 200 experts and key industry players who were selected to present in a number of informative sessions, including seminars, panels and speeches.
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