Manufacturers can innovate way to success; Contact Owen Hughes on 01492 574493 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Byline: OWEN HUGHES
MANUFACTURERS packed into the OpTic centre in St Asaph to hear from the Government's technology experts at Innovate UK about how they can offer help and support to get new ideas off the ground. The fully booked event, which is the first of its kind that Innovate UK has run, came to North Wales because of the breadth of manufacturing and innovative businesses in the St. Asaph 'cluster' that could be helped by Innovate UK and might be missing out on the opportunity.
Businesses heard from Innovate UK's Head of Manufacturing Dave Wright about what Innovate UK see as the trends in manufacturing in the UK in the coming months and the future of high-value manufacturing in the UK.
He also explained that businesses who want support from Innovate UK don't need to worry about which of the programmes they should apply for, they should just get in touch and Innovate UK's experts can help guide them to the right support for their innovative idea and their particular problem.
There was then a chance for a 10-minute "speed dating" session with Innovate UK's lead technologists to ask questions about how the UK-wide agency could help them, what they needed to do to apply for funding or support, or ask for advice on problems they were facing.
Those attending also got to hear the business benefits of working with Innovate UK from people who have done it.
John Adamson of Birkenhead based JP imaging told the audience that they are a living example of the support that Innovate UK can provide and Ewan Mercer from Perceptive Engineering in Warrington said that Innovate UK's support on a trade mission meant that they could open an office in Singapore.
Dave Wright said: "I wanted to bring our high-value manufacturing team to St Asaph because we knew there were a lot of businesses here in the North Wales corridor that we can help and assist in driving their innovations forward.
"I have to say I'm delighted that so many businesses found the time to come along to the session.
"This sort of direct, on-the-doorstep engagement is so important to us because we know business people are very busy and might not otherwise have the chance to come and hear from us and find out how we can help them turn their great ideas into reality.
"Our unique role, looking after innovation in all of the UK, means that we've seen a lot of the difficulties businesses face and we've set up our programmes to help overcome them.
"I know the team have had some really great conversations already with people who are interested in our programmes, so I'm really looking forward to seeing North Wales businesses bidding for, and winning funding through our competitions and programmes in the coming months."
| To find out more about Innovate UK |and the funding opportunities available to it, go to gov.uk/innovateuk