By Daniel Hunter

Today (Monday) sees the launch of a new, multi-sector, networking event - Innovate UK — a joint venture from the Technology Strategy Board and UK Trade & Investment, to showcase new developments and provide opportunities for UK companies to accelerate their growth through innovation, international trade and investment.

Combining the highly successful Innovate and TechWorld events, Innovate UK - which takes place 11-13 March, 2013, at the Business Design Centre in London - will help technology companies identify new investment, international trade, innovation and collaboration opportunities through networking. Over two years, businesses that have attended Innovate and TechWorld generated over £70m worth of UK trade as a direct result with attendees from either show identifying new business growth opportunities.

The agenda will include keynote presentations given by Government ministers including Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade as well as David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science.

A schedule of sector specific seminars and workshop sessions aims to facilitate learning, debate and knowledge transfer, providing delegates the opportunity to access the UK’s research base and discover new market opportunities. Among the innovators selected to share their experiences will include multi-award winning entrepreneur Jenny Griffiths of digital company Snap Fashion and Sean Redmond, CEO, IT firm Coveritas, who was selected to represent the UK in a technology trade mission to India last month.

The second day at Innovate UK 2013 will feature more than 200, forward-thinking innovations the UK is developing and bringing to market. Delegates will have exclusive access to developments happening across areas including robotics, high-end material development as well as the latest work being conducted with Graphene in the UK.

Among the invited exhibitors will be affordable housing experts Podpassiv, which will be showcasing its creative flat-pack housing, solutions designed to resolve the growing issue of social housing; as well as digital entertainment company THRILLME which will showcase the latest 'immersive entertainment' latest technology allowing audiences to take part and interact in the films they watch.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said: “All our exhibitors are specially selected by the Technology Strategy Board and UKTI to feature at the exhibition and are ones that can demonstrate truly innovative products, services or technologies that have been developed here in the UK. We’re very pleased that so many will be taking part in the event and believe it is a great representation of the UK’s strength in innovative business.”

Nick Baird, Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment said: "Over the last two years, 65% of businesses that attended Innovate and TechWorld have identified new business opportunities and 77% said they learned something that would help them to innovate. By bringing the events together we hope to deliver even more success for UK businesses whether by helping them grow through innovation, international trade and investment or collaborative opportunities.”

The three day event which is due to attract an estimated 4,000 UK and international visitors will provide a platform to showcase the most innovative projects happening in the UK today, across eight key sectors including digital, space, transport and health. The event aims to drive economic growth by stimulating business-led innovation and opening up international trade opportunities for the UK’s brightest technological innovators.

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