Embracing change to succeed in the future
Acceleration Through Innovation and the University of Plymouth hosted their inaugural Innovation for Business Conference at Scorrier House, 26th June. The all-day event was one of the highlights of Cornwall Business week and welcomed over 100 businesses, who were treated to a glimpse into the future.
The overarching theme of the day was ‘change’ and the importance for businesses to embrace it in order to ensure long-term success. Jonathan MacDonald, headline speaker and bestselling author of ‘Powered by Change’, gave an inspirational presentation about the “seven mindsets” needed to create the most powerful and innovative businesses. He summed up his thoughts by saying “success is about how well we change, failure is how much we don’t” and added that responsiveness to change is another critical driver of success. Whilst many businesses focus on the return of investment, he observes that most neglect to factor in the “risk of inaction” and the consequences of not doing so.
Another area of innovation explored on the day was the advances in technology, which are enabling process change across all sectors, in particular within that of manufacturing. Paul Gilbert, an Exelin Manufacturing Specialist, says “we are now in a 4th industrial revolution” and looked at how advances in robotics have moved on from automation and into a phase where humans are collaboratively working with robots. In the future, he says, we are moving towards “soft-bots and smart-bots”, and the kinds of machines which are using artificial intelligence so that they can think for themselves, learn and do the things that are impossible for the mere human brain.
There was a wide array of high level speakers, including many academics from the University of Plymouth who shared their knowledge and spoke about the collaborative work they’ve been doing with businesses. One of which was Dr. Katharine Willis, who gave a profound insight into smart urban futures enabled by urban data, the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). She says “data is the fuel which powers Smart Cities. Data plus location and connected sensors make up the killer app for tomorrow’s smart cities”.
Dr. Peter Bloomfield, AI/Machine Learning Policy & Engagement Manager at Digital Catapult, travelled from London to share his knowledge of the UK’s evolving AI ecosystem had the following to say about the conference: “it’s excellent to see such a vibrant innovation space in Cornwall. As advanced technology progresses and matures it’s important to have cross-technology approaches incorporating IoT sensors, different networks like LPWAN and 5G, AI and machine learning to make good use of the data and VR/AR and immersive technology to interface with the whole system. Adapting and being innovative is the best way to embrace these changes and take real advantage of them.”
Innovation for Business also showcased the emerging innovation trends which are set to revolutionise the workplace over the next 10 years. Attendees could experience a variety of new tech and demonstrations, such as: AR, VR, Robotics, AI and 3D printing. Some of which were provided by fellow business support programmes Epic, Agri-Tech and Enterprise Solutions, who are also led by the University of Plymouth and were united in attendance.
John Hutchings, ATI Fund Manager and host explained “this event was all about providing a glimpse into new tech and innovation from all sorts of sectors and industries. In doing so, we hope delegates can spot opportunities and threats, and exchange knowledge that can be absolutely transformational for businesses.”
To view the full line-up of speakers and photo’s from the day, visit: https://aticornwallinnovation.co.uk/innovation-for-business-conference-26th-june-2019/