Pioneering Innovation Funding and Support Conference ignites west midlands' manufacturing and tech sectors

1 min read

The inaugural Innovation Funding and Support Conference, held at Birmingham's STEAMhouse on Tuesday, 5th April, has successfully concluded, marking a significant milestone for the manufacturing, engineering, and technology sectors in the West Midlands.

The event, which ran from 8 AM to 4 PM, drew an impressive turnout, with approximately 200 businesses in attendance and 20 exhibitors participating. This pioneering conference was orchestrated in partnership with WMG and the West Midlands Health Tech Innovation Accelerator (WMHTIA), aiming to significantly enhance the region's research, development, and innovation landscape. 

The conference was designed to inspire companies across the West Midlands to seek out innovation and growth. It was a vibrant platform for sharing ideas and accessing many grants, support, and opportunities.

Dr. Richard Fallon, CEO of the Technology Supply Chain (TSC), remarked, "The overwhelming success of this conference is a testament to the innovative spirit that thrives within the West Midlands. It has not only brought together the brightest minds in manufacturing, engineering, and technology but has also laid the groundwork for a future where innovation drives economic growth and competitiveness on a global scale. We are proud to be at the forefront of this transformative movement."

The event boasted an impressive roster of keynote speakers, including industry luminaries Jo Birch, Prof Paul Cadman, Charlie Blakemore, Rowan Crozier MBE, Chris Greenough, Melissa Snover, Dr Paul Milne, and Richard Parker. Their collective wisdom spanned a range of topics, from innovation within the region to strategies for engaging local talent and harnessing technology to propel manufacturing forward.

Notably, Charlie Blakemore, CEO of Intercity, celebrated for his four decades of innovation, particularly in defence and aviation, shared his journey and insights. Rowan Crozier MBE discussed how Innovate UK grants had catapulted his firm, Brandauer, ahead of the curve, distinguishing it from competitors.

Melissa Snover, the visionary behind Nourished — a trailblazer in 3D-printed personalised vitamins based in Birmingham — highlighted the supportive infrastructure of the West Midlands as instrumental to her company's swift growth.

The conference also featured engaging panel discussions on innovation within manufacturing and business, drawing expertise from figures such as Johnathan Dudley, Rachel Eade, and Naomi Nash.

Dr Liam Grover of WMHTIA spotlighted the accelerator's role in fostering innovation and commercial success within the region's health tech sector, heralding new growth avenues.

The Innovation Funding and Support Conference has set a precedent for collaboration and innovation within the West Midlands and underscored the region's dedication to cultivating a robust manufacturing and technology ecosystem. It stands as a beacon of inspiration and support for local businesses eager to navigate the path of innovation and expansion.