Dr. Susie Mitchell, Glasgow City of Science & Innovation: Venturefest Scotland and The Art of Possible

On the 20th September 2017, Scotland’s top innovators, entrepreneurs and investors will come together for the national innovation and growth summit, Venturefest Scotland.

Venturefest will once again be held in Glasgow Science Centre nested on the River Clyde; a science and innovation hub that’s iconic design resembles the canted hull of a ship. Indeed, a bold architectural reference to the adjacent historical canting basin and the city’s deep engineering heritage.

But our scientific, engineering and technological prowess has moved on quite apace since the early 20th century when shipbuilding reached its height in the city.  We are leaders in innovation across a range of key sectors, which is reflected in our strong entrepreneurial business base. Indeed, Glasgow and Scotland’s innovation has shaped the modern world. It has transformed cities, it has transformed lives and it continues to do so.

For me, Venturefest Scotland provides a crucial opportunity for entrepreneurs, innovators and investors across Scotland’s diverse sectors to learn about each other, and to better acquaint themselves with emerging and future technologies that have the potential to drive future markets.

Technological change is accelerating at an unprecedented rate and innovators need to know about technologies that have the potential to disrupt their market, even if they don’t quite know how!  And with more businesses competing and collaborating simultaneously, there is increasing room for creative interactions, collaborations and practices (like open innovation) that can bring about promising solutions – whether they be products, services, or business models.

Glasgow’s new economic strategy 2016-2023 references the region’s areas of smart specialisation including a world-leading precision medicine programme at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, a distinctive offer in emerging and enabling technologies (notably quantum technologies), and a growing creative economy.

But how can we better embrace and enable the diversity in our R&D base to improve lives, support productivity gains and bolster our innovation performance? Programmes like Venturefest that support cross-sectoral convergence and interaction are critical in this regard.

Glasgow City of Science and Innovation is also working with Glasgow City Council, The Lighthouse, Technology Scotland and Cultural Enterprise Office to develop an exciting new programme entitled The Art of Possible to create space for innovators, entrepreneurs and investors across the STEM and creative industries to explore the opportunities for their own businesses and institutions.  An official feeder series for Venturefest Scotland, The Art of Possible will explore the potential of our emerging and enabling technology sector (quantum, imaging and data technologies, and advanced manufacturing tech). It will serve industry need whilst fostering new and impactful innovation opportunities through knowledge exchange and interactive co-design labs.

At our sold-out launch event on March 17 2017 at Glasgow Science Centre our multi-disciplinary audience will ‘explore our quantum future’ with live demos and inspirational presentations from our speakers Prof Steve Beaumont, Director of QuantIC (the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging) and Dr Graham Malcolm, CEO of the fast growth, multi-award winning global SME, M Squared Lasers – a Scottish company embracing quantum to create a new generation of electronics. A waiting list is available here.

Please keep your eye on future #ArtofPossible sessions where you can also explore the developing Venturefest Scotland feeder event series for 2017.

And finally, I look forward to seeing you all at the main summit in September – pre-register today for alerts and updates!

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