The Business of Science Conference held at Millennium Point saw a successful discussion of collaborative and innovative topics on Thursday 8th October. The conference had a variety of speakers and discussion panels with a lot of emphasis on innovation and sustainability.
Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands, opened the event on the day. With his own presentation he gave an overview on what’s happening in the West Midlands. This included the excellent news of Coventry being the first all-electric bus city.
Finishing off the day the Innovative Awards took place for inspiring students and their project ideas solving future problems.
Sustainability is a journey not a destination
Amongst some of the thought-provoking topics throughout the day was Dr Simon Grant from Thomas Swann. His presentation ‘Sustainability – the future agenda’, Simon explains his organisation’s journey towards sustainability. The Technical Director goes on to speak about how science and innovation has changed their business over the years.
Throughout the day there was other insightful presentations about topics on the commercialisation of innovation of science. The morning segment of the BoS conference also saw Rhys Morgan, Director of Engineering and Education, RAe presenting ‘The Hamilton Commission – Science Inclusion’. His presentation discussed important recommendations and how we need to find other approaches to STEM engagement. Rhys goes on that there needs to be ‘better careers support for Black students and scholarship programmes for black students’.
The morning ended with three parallel breakout sessions involving ‘STEM Skills’, ‘The Science of Wellbeing’, and ‘The Use of Advanced Materials to Support Sustainability’.
The relationship between innovation and creativity
Vanessa Currie, Head of People – Learning and Development at Millennium Point joined a panel discussing ‘Innovation – the need for creativity’. On the panel was also Steve Bennett, Managing Director, Founder & Business of Science and Dr Martin Stow, Director at Nexus Leeds. Dr Martin Stow spoke on how the COVID crisis and lockdown has had a significant negative impact on innovation.
Vanessa discussed Millennium Point Trust’s STEM programmes and the creativity and innovation in the school projects that are achieved. By having STEM projects such as building Lego cars it allows groups of students to collaborate creatively and helps learn new interests and topics. She continued how the trust helps develop the talent pool for the West Midlands with the grant and scholarship programmes. Over the past 7 years Millennium Point Trust has supported 140 projects through the STEM grants initiatives.
After the discussion panel three breakout sessions took place –
– Stand-alone careers session for students
– The Business of Science Advisory Sessions to support commercialisation
– Industry 5.0: How robotics, digital and smart come together for a more resilient future
Dreaming big to solve future problems
To end the day the presentation of the BoS Innovation awards took place. The BoS Innovation Awards has the aim of encouraging students to create and dream big on ideas that could solve future problems. Throughout the day the student’s posters had been displayed for visitors and guests to see.
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Find more interesting content from Millennium Point over at our news section, or follow us for daily updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn with @MillenniumPoint. Millennium Point is a landmark public building and multi-award-winning events venue in the Eastside of Birmingham City centre. Profits from our commercial activity are invested by the Millennium Point Charitable Trust into projects, events and initiatives which support the growth of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and education in the West Midlands.