COLLABORATION is the key to south Warwickshire’s long-term success in improving skills and the economy, business leaders heard at the Driving Innovation and Growth Summit.
Over 70 businesses from the automation, AI, electrification, agri-tech, and the digital and creative sectors attended the event at the University of Warwick Wellesbourne Campus Conference Centre.
The crucial message from the summit, which was organised by Stratford District Council, the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Hub and the University of Warwick, was the importance of partnership working.
SDC Leader Coun Tony Jefferson said innovation and growth were fundamental to creating a prosperous future for the area – which would be achieved by working with key partners and stakeholders.
He continued: “From talking to businesses and hearing their stories at the summit it is vital we focus on skills, creating clusters to generate growth, and building partnerships.
“We will continue to collaborate with the Growth Hub, the West Midlands Combined Authority, the West Midlands Growth Company, the University of Warwick and Warwickshire County Council, to initiate important conversations to encourage businesses to scale-up and locate in our area.
“Stratford district takes up 48 per cent of Warwickshire and we have space for companies to build their long-term futures here. Having infrastructure provision is an important asset for Warwickshire along with our unique range of assets and it means we can deliver on our economic plan.
“We initiated the Driving Innovation and Growth Summit because we recognise that we need to rebalance our local economy and support high tech, innovative and growth companies. It was a really successful event and we plan to use the valuable feedback in refreshing our economic plan.”
Adam Taylor, Co-Founder of e-commerce platform for pet food subscriptions petshop.co.uk, was the first keynote speaker followed by Nik Spencer, CEO of Mission HERU, the inventor of the HERU – a Hybrid Heat Pump that heats homes or businesses with previously discarded materials such as nappies, plastics and food, while reducing global warming pollution.
Chief Operating Officer Ben Ackroyd at Porterbrook, which has developed the UK’s first hydrogen-ready passenger train at the Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre, was the final speaker.
Irene Graham, CEO of the Scale-Up Institute, was among a panel session along with Professor Ken Young from the MTC, Huw Sparkes from Midven, and Tony Perks from SDC, before the summit was closed by Sir Jeremy Wright, MP for Kenilworth and Southam.