12 October 2021
Silverstone Technology Cluster (STC) CEO Pim van Baarsen and Chair Roz Bird say the network’s Annual Conference highlighted “an even greater appetite to innovate”, from its members, and industry’s desire to explore opportunities with those businesses.
The Conference (5 October) attracted senior figures from advanced engineering and manufacturing, electronics and software development and commerce.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), BAE Systems and Be the Business were among the speakers. One Nucleus, Cambridge Network, Oxford Innovation, Oxfordshire Greentech and MKAI also presented – they and the STC are among a ‘Super Cluster’ of high-tech networks working together to provide business with a credible business voice in the future development of the Oxford to Cambridge Arc.
Roz enthused: “The reason the Silverstone Technology Cluster exists is to provide opportunities for our members to grow their business and I believe we really delivered on that promise at the Conference.
“We were able to talk about some of the successful initiatives and programmes we’ve delivered in the last 12 months, in spite of the pandemic, from securing Kickstart funding, for businesses to recruit apprentices, the exceptional knowledge being passed on through our special interest groups (SIGs), to the free consultancy advice being provided through the Be the Business trailblazer project, sponsored by Silverstone Park.
“AWS and BAE Systems presented their plans on how they might work with our STC members. Plus, we were very lucky to be able to pull together an excellent session on the Oxford to Cambridge Arc ‘Super Cluster’ with lots of representatives from the high-tech clusters, in the Arc.
“People have talked to me about the great atmosphere, on the day, and how the Conference helped to celebrate the innovation and can-do attitude that the region has to offer the UK and beyond.”
Pim commented: “It was obviously a big thing to be back with an in-person event again – the feedback has also shown just how much people enjoyed the networking and the presentations from AWS, BAE Systems and the Super Cluster have really got people excited.
“The STC has continued to experience growth even during the pandemic with the number of organisations coming to engage with us increasing all the time.
“We listen to our membership all the time and can sense after the Conference there is an even greater hunger to innovate – they really can see more potentially very rewarding opportunities opening for them.”
The Conference was held in association with founding STC member MEPC Silverstone Park. Partners included STC Board members EMW Law and Hexagon and member Beckhoff, whilst further support came from Additive-X, Altair and Tecadec – also members.
Joining the speakers were esteemed business and scale-up experts Shai Vyakarnam and Tony Hart, and Andrew Lewer, MP for Northampton South.
Pim continued: “Now the STC moves on to the Advanced Engineering Show at NEC Birmingham in early November where, along with Silverstone Park, we will be hosting the event’s VIP Lounge and an additional ‘Innovation Zone’ which will enable ten of our member businesses to showcase their technologies.
“This will be the fourth time in a row we have hosted the VIP Lounge and we very much look forward to meeting and hearing from businesses across the advanced engineering and manufacturing, digital and electronics and software development spectrum.”
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