Hundreds of businesses, entrepreneurs, investors and experts descended on St James’ Park, Newcastle today (28 November) for VentureFest North East.
A series of high-profile national and international speakers and business leaders provided inspiration and practical tools to delegates who gathered at the region’s innovation conference to learn from one another before celebrating success at the North East Innovation Awards during a ceremony that brought the event to a close.
Winners included a private platform that allows people to create a legacy to share with family and friends, a company that provides customers with the right energy at the right time and an organisation that designs environmentally friendly tank lining systems.
Northern Accelerator, an innovative collaboration that has brought the regions universities together to help strengthen the commercial offering available in the North East, were named Innovation Champion and Railview took the coveted title of Idea of the Year following a live pitch. Mistura Informatics were recognised for their Innovation of the Year and Graham Hillier, the CPI’s Director of Strategy and Futures received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The North East Innovation Awards are delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork in partnership with RTC North. They shine a light on organisations and individuals that are driving innovation forward in the region. Competition was steep with a record number of entries received for each category.
The awards celebrate the region’s most important sectors – Manufacturing, Energy, Healthcare and Digital.
The winners are:
- Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Award in partnership with Martel Instruments – Abfad Limited
- Offshore and Energy Innovation Award in partnership with ENGIE – Hyperdrive Innovation
- Healthcare and Life Science Innovation Award in partnership with AHSN – Your Health and Care
- Creative and Digital Innovation Award in partnership with Jumping Rivers – Nine Software
- Innovation Champion in partnership with CPI – Northern Accelerator
- Innovation of the Year (linked to the Innovation Showcase) in partnership with North East Business Innovation Centre (BIC) – Mistura Informatics
- Idea of the Year (pitching competition with live delegate vote) in partnership with RTC North – Railview
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Graham Hillier, CPI
Simon Green, CEO at the Innovation SuperNetwork, said: “I speak on behalf of all the judges when I say that deciding an overall winner for each category was a difficult and painstaking task. The quality of entries this year was outstanding and reflects the high standard of innovative practice that is currently taking place in the region.”
Speakers from throughout the day included entrepreneur, Kresse Wesling, MBE who helped present the awards.
Kresse added: “It was a real privilege to be asked to attend VentureFest North East and help host the North East Innovation Awards. The region is clearly brimming with talent with entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes really embracing innovation and driving forward change. It was fantastic to be a part of such a collaborative, celebratory event.”
Paul Marriott, Programme Lead at RTC North added: “We are delighted to have had such an overwhelming response and are thrilled that the Awards continue to go from strength to strength.
“RTC North helps businesses across the region innovate, compete and grow so our involvement in the Awards is extremely important to us as it helps showcase the best of the region’s innovative talent.”
VentureFest North East is all about bringing together people from different business sectors to learn from each other and use innovation to improve their competitiveness and profitability.
VentureFest North East and the North East Innovation Awards are part of the wider Innovation SuperNetwork programme, developed with around 60 partner organisations to support innovation in the North East. The SuperNetwork is supported by the North East LEP, Northumbrian Water Group, ENGIE and North East BIC with part-funding from the European Regional Development Fund.