10 December 2020
Andrea Leadsom MP and Charlotte Horobin were among the senior figures from politics and industry to heap praise on the Silverstone Technology Cluster during and after its 2020 Annual Conference.
The event, in association with Silverstone Park and supported by Hexagon, Silverstone Composites and Woodfines, went ‘virtual’ for 2020 due to the COVID situation, and attracted more than 200 registrations.
Around half the audience were professionals in advanced engineering and/or manufacturing, design, electronics, software development, R&D and future mobility operating in tech sectors such as automotive, healthcare, aerospace, EVs, energy, artificial intelligence, medical devices, space exploration, motorsport, defence and marine.
A further third were from local government organisations and professional service providers, many focused on technology sectors, including law, finance, strategy and marketing.
A major development announced during the Conference was the STC being selected by government-supported business advice network Be The Business to become one of its national ‘Trailblazer’ projects.
Be The Business was launched in November 2017, with funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), to help the UK government examine and improve the nation’s productivity, and, as a result of COVID-19, also recovery strategies.
Andrea, former BEIS Secretary of State and MP for South Northants, enthused: “The Silverstone Technology Cluster does excellent work bringing together so many innovative businesses in advanced engineering and manufacturing across South Northamptonshire and the wider region. They are leading the way in advancing R&D and I was delighted to take part in their Conference.
“It’s great to hear that the Silverstone Technology Cluster has been chosen as a Trailblazer project partner by Be the Business – they will make a significant contribution by bringing companies together and providing practical guidance in areas such as leadership, management, tools, technology and, importantly, mentorship.
“This will be of real benefit to the businesses in the Cluster and I look forward to following its progress.”
During the Conference, Emma Cooper, Strategic Projects Lead, Be The Business, said: “We need to work out how to get innovation strategies that spread across all business – working with the STC is going to be really important for that because we have such a fantastic cluster ready-made…”
Charlotte Horobin is Membership Director, East & Midlands for Make UK – the organisation that champions engineering and manufacturing across the country.
She also told the audience: “I think the STC is far ahead of the game.
“It’s a world leading place. Silverstone… people know where that is. It’s diverse, agile, ahead of what the green opportunities are and is working as a local network.”
Elsewhere, the Conference also enabled members of the audience to ‘speed network’ with one another via a series of dedicated on-line rooms.
STC CEO Pim van Baarsen said: “I’m delighted with how our Conference went and we are grateful for the numerous emails and texts of congratulations we’ve received post event.
“These are very trying times for businesses, and also to arrange an event of this nature, but the quality of presentations was outstanding and the level of engagement was very high, with the vast majority of the audience staying with the Conference throughout.
“Our aim was to give people an overview of the STC, highlight the work of our members and Special Interest Groups and also provide some thought-provoking perspectives for people to consider for the benefit and future growth of their businesses, and I believe the Conference achieved that.”
Re-live the STC Conference via these links:
Speakers, who took time to answer around 40 questions from the audience, included:
• Helen Wylde (East Coast Trains)
• Jon Corbett, (Barclays)
• Roz Bird (Silverstone Park & STC Chair)
• Philip Guest (Oxford Strategy)
• Simon Reader (MAHLE Powertrain)
• Kieron Salter (KW Group)
• Charlotte Horobin (Make UK)
• Emma Cooper (Be The Business)
• David Brown (Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence)
• Julian Moore (CIAMM/University of Birmingham)
• Hannah Ingram-Moore (Maytrix Group)
• Andrea Leadsom (MP for South Northants)
• Joana Lenkova (Futures Forward)