Local business innovation is helping shape the South East Midlands’ post-COVID future by nali-AdobeStock_262034994

Innovate Local to showcase some of the South East Midlands success stories

South East Midlands businesses are crucial to help the area and the whole country to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, and government support is available to help them do it.

This is the message from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, and the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), which will showcase some of the South East Midlands success stories they are supporting in a virtual conference and exhibition on 26-28 January, including:

  • A world-leading aviation tech facility at Cranfield University
  • A state-of-the-art 5G network helping a Cranfield business to transmit private data securely

The event will also include free advice for local businesses looking for investment or support to innovate. Julian Bowrey, regional manager, South East and East Midlands at Innovate UK, said:

“The pandemic has hit businesses hard and impacted the economy here and across the whole country.

“But South East Midlands based companies and universities are doing the kind of pioneering work that has a positive impact on communities and helps drive economic recovery. At Innovate UK we want to help them do that.”

During the free, three-day Innovate Local and SEMLEP event will demonstrate how the ideas that are being developed right here, on our doorsteps by ground-breaking organisations such as Silverstone Technology Cluster, the Connected Places Catapult and the four local universities, are supporting local business and jobs.

There will be discussions about the strategies that are supporting technology-led, innovative companies in our area, and the ways they are developing local skills and talent.

In the virtual exhibition hall businesses can find out about funding opportunities and gain practical skills. Such as writing funding bids and pitches, and discover new sources of information and support. Julian Bowrey said:

“Anyone with an interest in local technology-led innovation should attend the virtual event to find out more about the work that’s already happening, as well as how our ongoing support for ambitious businesses is benefiting the people of the South East Midlands.

“There will be workshops on topical issues such as accessing finance, developing skills and working with our four local universities. And we’ve got a range of local business support agencies exhibiting.”

For more information about the South East Midlands Innovate Local visit Profiting by Innovation.

Milton Keynes-based Catapult ensures the South East Midlands is an innovation hotspot Image supplied by SEE Media

Cranfield-based briteyellow benefits from new 5G technology

In Milton Keynes, the Connected Places Catapult, which is funded by a number of partners, including Innovate UK and SEMLEP’s Local Growth Fund, is providing new 5G technology to help innovative start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises to address challenges related to transport, health and wellbeing, and clean energy.

It includes a 5G mobile network designed exclusively for research and development purposes that will cover key areas in around the Milton Keynes area. Including the Stadium, Bletchley & CMK rail stations, Hospital, Universities), key junctions on the M1 and a number of rural communities.

Cranfield-based briteyellow is among ten businesses that are already set to use the infrastructure and datahub facility for development and trials. Briteyellow is an indoor location technology company that specialises in visualising the ways in which spaces are used.

A key component of its solution is the ability to have a reliable, secure and low latency network for the transmission of data. The MK 5G testbed will enable briteyellow to safely and securely transmit private data with greatly reduce risk of a data breach.

briteyellow Image supplied by SEE Media

Cranfield-born aviation technology takes flight

Innovate UK is supporting the future of the UK’s research into digital aviation technology through the Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC). The centre is due to open this year at Cranfield University in Bedfordshire.

Research projects will include the integration of drones into civilian airspace, and increasing the reliability and availability of aircraft through self-sensing, self-aware technologies.

Technologies, such as the UK’s first operational digital air traffic control centre and next-generation radar technologies on the University’s licensed airport, create a unique research and development environment.

The facility is attracting global companies such as Boeing, Saab and Thales to the area, directly and indirectly creating jobs for local people.

DARTeC is being built by a consortium that includes the Innovate UK-funded Connected Places Catapult and Satellite Applications Catapult, and with funding from Innovate UK’s sister organisation Research England.