IOP Business Forum – Harwell Oxford
24 January 2012
On February 29 2012, the Institute of Physics will be holding a business forum at the University of Southampton Science Park.
This follows the success of the IOP’s previous forum at Harwell Oxford Science and Innovation Campus back in September, where the focus was on key changes to the UK’s innovation landscape.
With the next meeting only weeks away, it seems like the perfect opportunity to reflect on the successes of Harwell.
The Harwell Oxford forum gave the IOP the chance to inform delegates about how the Government plans to support R&D carried out by SMEs in the future.
To ensure that those present received the latest information, the Institute brought together key organisations and arranged a programme of leading experts to talk about the proposed policy changes.
Chair of the event, Dr Norman Apsley, CEO of the Northern Ireland Science Park and Vice-President of Business and Innovation at the IOP, began proceedings by highlighting the important role that the community can play in helping to rebalance the UK economy.
Next, Brian McCarthy, Relationship Manager for the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), spoke about the support that is currently available to businesses and what changes in Government policy will mean for the business community.
He was keen to stress that companies are often unaware of the help that is already out there and that raising awareness is a constant challenge.
After a short presentation from Megan Morys, Innovation Manager, Goodman, about the management of the Campus; Toby Warren, Didcot and Science Vale UK Manager, offered an insight in to the work councils are carrying out to assist local businesses.
This was especially relevant as the area encompassing Harwell Oxford campus had just been declared an Enterprise Zone. This meant that those present were able to get details of how this development was likely to advantage them in the near future.
The Q&A session gave delegates the chance to question the speakers and other organisations that had come to the event.
This was a real benefit to many as it gave them the chance to talk to UK Trade & Industry and HM Treasury at length about issues important to the industry.
The discussion then turned to topics such as the availability of venture capital, with attendees giving the benefit of their own experiences.
This was followed by a venture capitalist discussing what makes an attractive investment proposition.
By the end of the programme it was clear that those in attendance had found the topics discussed at the Forum insightful and informative.
The positive feedback received since the event means that the IOP will be holding similar meetings across the UK, like the upcoming forum in Southampton.