Innovation For Business Conference 26th June 2019

Curated by Acceleration Through Innovation (ATI) and featuring a unique line-up of innovators, business leaders, researchers and academics, we explored  how forward-thinking SME’s can incorporate innovation to not only secure their place in the future, but thrive in a fast moving and competitive landscape.

In addition to our world-class speakers, the conference also provided businesses with the opportunity to get involved in high level discussions, attend innovation workshops and experience demonstrations of emerging tech, such as robotics and immersive theatre.

Thank you for joining ATI and the University of Plymouth at the inaugural Innovation For Business Conference.


To view the pictures, visit:


Jonathan MacDonald

Global speaker and award-winning Sunday Times Best Selling Author of “Powered By Change”

Jonathan has had a varied and unconventional career. A career which has spanned three decades in which he has not only created businesses, but also has advised the likes of Google, Apple, P&G, Unilever, Nestlé, Microsoft and IKEA.

His expertise encourages companies to challenge their thinking and provide new perspectives and avenues of thought, particularly on the topics of disruptive innovation, future trends and how to use change to fuel outstanding business and personal success.

Some of his many accomplishments include Ministry of Sound’s digital strategy, launching a Sky TV channel and becoming the youngest ever Chairman of the British Music Industries Association. He remains one of the world’s most highly rated speakers, a contributor to Forbes and the author of several books, most recently “Powered By Change“, the Sunday Times Bestseller and winner of the 2019 Business Book Award in the Embracing Change category.


Richard Shotton

Head of Behavioural Science at Manning Gottlieb OMD and Amazon best-selling author of “The Choice Factory”

Richard is the author of The Choice Factory, a best-selling book on how to apply findings from behavioural science to advertising.

Richard started his career as a media planner 18 years ago, working on accounts such as Coke, Lexus, and comparethemarket, before specialising in applying behavioural science to business problems. He is currently the Head of Behavioural Science at Manning Gottlieb OMD, the most awarded media agency in the history of the IPA Effectiveness awards.

He regularly runs training session with brands, big and small, using insights from behavioural science to help solve their problems.

Dr Peter Bloomfield

Research Manager at Digital Catapult

Through the Machine Intelligence Garage programme, Peter works with start-ups to provide them with the facilities and support they require in order to remove computing constraints from their product development. In his role he also works on AI public policy, government strategy and mapping the UK’s evolving AI ecosystem. Before working at Digital Catapult, Peter was a Neuroscientist working on problems including how different cell populations change when learning new skills, brain changes associated with schizophrenia and new ways to treat multiple sclerosis. He has also worked as a scientific consultant on projects developing human-computer interfaces for immersive environments.


Prof Sa’ad Medhat

CEO of the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange

Prof Sa’ad Medhat is the founding Chief Executive of Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange, the UK professional body for innovators and a leading provider of SciTech innovation and growth services to business, education and government. He is also the Founder of the STEM Foundation – an educational charity that has supported some 250 colleges in the UK and impacted positively the lives of over 700,000 students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Kim Conchie

CEO of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce

Since his appointment as CEO in early 2012 Kim has developed Cornwall Chamber of Commerce into an organisation that is firmly at the forefront of Cornwall’s business community. Kim is also a member of, and chairs, several business and education boards and recently launched a new product onto the market – a Cornish tonic water named Navas. With his local knowledge and business insight, Kim will present an overview of what the Cornish Innovation Landscape looks like.


Paul Gilbert

Exelin Manufacturing Specialist

Paul has over 25 years manufacturing experience and in recent years has concentrated on supporting businesses in the Southwest. With academic diplomas in both Business and Engineering fields, his career has seen him deliver business support to over 1,000 companies and has helped over 100 companies bring new products to market. As a manufacturing specialist highly experienced in the low carbon sector, as well as having a keen interest in issues around sustainability, his talk will focus on the latest in process innovation.

Adrian Dawson

Head of Research and Innovation at the University of Plymouth

Adrian is Director of the University of Plymouth’s Research and Innovation Directorate, responsible for supporting academics across the Institution in the delivery of the University’s Research and Innovation Strategy, with a particular focus on research funding and the delivery of impact.

Adrian has worked for the University for eight years, in a number of outward facing roles, mainly supporting the engagement of business with the University’s expertise, world class facilities and talent, to support innovation and business growth.

Prior to joining the University Adrian headed up the Exeter office of a national economic development consultancy advising Government, Local Authorities and Regional Development Agencies and also worked in a number of public sector roles in regeneration and economic development, including on large European funding programmes.


Dr Katharine Willis

Professor at the University of Plymouth

Dr Katharine Willis is Associate Professor in the School of Art, Design and Architecture at University of Plymouth. An Architect by training, Dr Willis’s research looks at the implications of technology on the future design and ways of living in cities and communities. Her current research focuses on the area of smart cities with a focus on social innovation and co-design. In 2017 she worked with smart city entrepreneurial company, Design for Social Change (D4SC) and Amey Ferrovial on the Innovate funded Smarter Streets project that involved 150 participants in testing a smart city feedback app for improving city services (
Between 2015 and 2017 she led the research project ‘Digital neighbourhoods’, part funded by Superfast Cornwall that studied the effects of broadband rollout on rural villages and communities. Internationally, her AHRC funded research project ‘Whose Right to the Smart City’ involved working with academics, industry and third sector partners in London, Brazil and India to look at how to support social innovation in smart city projects. She has published widely on the topic, with over 30 academic papers and chapters and is co-author with Alex Aurigi of a key book in the field – Digital and Smart Cities published by Routledge in 2018. Her most recent research looks at Smart Cities Data, specifically observing data collected here in Cornwall, and we look forward to learning all about this fascinating topic.

Miles Carden

Director of Spaceport Cornwall

Space and Launch – The power to Inspire and Promote for the future

Miles has worked in the property industry for 30 years starting his career as a commercial property surveyor. Moving on to regeneration Miles has worked on the delivery of major regeneration and development projects such as; The Eden project, National Maritime Museum Cornwall and The Combined Universities in Cornwall.

In 2006 Miles went to Priority Sites Ltd a private sector developer delivering employment space projects throughout Cornwall.

In 2010 Miles joined the Aerohub Team in Cornwall Development Company and has led a major programme of investment to grow an aerospace cluster at Cornwall Airport Newquay; culminating in the award of Enterprise Zone status at in August 2011 followed by Goonhilly Earth Station beingawarded Enterprise Zone status in April 2016.

Since Jan 2014 Miles has led the development of Spaceport Cornwall at Cornwall Airport Newquay.



Gabriel Aguiar Noury

Human-Robot Interaction Researcher, University of Plymouth


Gabriel is a Mechatronic Engineer and former entrepreneur, now working on the development of innovation ecosystems for the assistive robotic market, through the creation of technological platforms. He is part of the Interreg EU project, AGE’IN, developing solutions to enable older people to improve their quality of life and stay at home longer through the use of cutting-edge technology. Moreover, through his healthcare entrepreneurial program; EPICStart, an initiative from the EPIC project, he supported more than fifty students from Plymouth University, helping them set up their companies, define their business models, access funding opportunities and providing technical feedback during the initial prototyping stage.

Samuele Armondi 

Managing Director at Everest Media

MVP Workshop


Sam co-founded Everest Media with wife Allanah back in 2014, together they relocated the business to the dream setting of Cornwall a year after. Once here the business grew from a two-person start-up to a rock star team of 18 in just a matter of years. Prior to this Sam led several development teams for large AIM-listed corporate organisations. This saw him work in many sectors, including online publishing, energy consultancy, insurance and credit hire.

Across these roles he has been responsible for business-critical workflow systems, handling more than 100,000 processes at any one time. He has also designed systems which are still in use today and support the trading of energy worth more than £2 billion annually. He has also architected and built website platforms which support over 20 million users per month. Now he is responsible for ensuring quality service and managing the strategic growth of Everest Media. His infectious enthusiasm and love for the industry motivates his ever-growing team daily.