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Open Innovation Conference is First for Wales

Wales will play host to a major conference this summer that will provide businesses with the opportunity to engage with and pitch business to some of the country’s biggest technology anchor firms.

‘CoInnovate’ is organised by IQE PLC, General Dynamics UK, Airbus Group, GE Healthcare, the ESTnet (the technology network for Wales) and Welsh Government and will focus on providing business opportunities across the digital, healthcare and defence and security sectors.

Delegates at the free event – at Cardiff’s Mercure Holland House Hotel on 23 and 24 June – will be offered insight into how they can collaborate and create business opportunities through a series of keynote talks and showcase of previous products that have been developed through open innovation.

They will also have the opportunity to respond to a series of ‘challenges’ set by the anchor companies by presenting their business pitch to a live technology challenge, which could be converted to a real opportunity to work together.

The technology sector in Wales contributes in excess of £7billion to the economy, has a GVA (Gross Value Added) of £92,000 per job and employs around 24,000 people. The sector comprises businesses of all sizes from start-up organisations to the multi-nationals that are the driving force behind CoInnovate.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: “I am delighted the Welsh Government is supporting this event which encourages open innovation and collaboration which can benefit businesses of all sizes – and ultimately the Welsh economy. The involvement of some of our anchor companies opens up exciting opportunities for smaller enterprises to get actively involved, understand the benefits of collaboration and potentially win new business.”

Chris Meadows, Head of Open Innovation at IQE plc, said: “Innovation and collaboration are at the forefront of IQE’s business. We continually seek to work with new and existing partner organisations to develop and enhance our supply chain and to help develop new technologies and capabilities.

“CoInnovate will put Wales on the map as a country that is open for collaboration and innovation by providing opportunities for businesses and academia to work closely to develop and commercialise new technologies. We want Wales to be known for its culture of open innovation and in turn nurture and attract more businesses, entrepreneurs, investors and academics into the country.”