The Humber region has long been a hotbed of innovation. Many well-known inventions – LCD technology, household names such as Dettol and Gaviscon, even the boiled sweet – have their roots firmly planted in Hull.
Scratch a little deeper, and you will find many more. The famous Venn diagram, for example, was created by Hull-born mathematician and Fellow of the Royal Society, John Venn.
In recent years however, the innovation spotlight has shone brightly on the Humber’s enviable offshore wind and low-carbon energy sector.
Next month, a Festival of Green Innovation will celebrate the region’s incredible progress as a world-leader in low-carbon technology.
Broadcasted live from the Aura Innovation Centre (AIC), funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and led by the University of Hull, the online Festival will showcase how the Aura team are supporting low-carbon business innovation, and working with the region’s SMEs to reduce their carbon emissions.
Louise Smith, Director at Aura, said: “The Festival of Green Innovation will focus on three key pillars – Accelerate, Innovate, Collaborate.
“During the event, we will explore how Aura, the University of Hull and our partners have helped businesses across the Humber region accelerate growth through low-carbon initiatives.
“The Festival will put innovation on centre stage, and allow us to celebrate some of the extraordinary new technologies which are helping businesses reduce their carbon emissions and spearhead the drive to Net Zero.
“The Net Zero journey involves everyone, and that is why collaboration is so important. For the Humber region and the UK to achieve our ambitious carbon targets, we must all play our part.”
Taking place on Tuesday 2 March at 1pm, and presented as a TV show-style event, the Festival of Green Innovation will showcase how SMEs across the Humber have been innovating low-carbon solutions.
It will also give businesses the chance to find out about the support available at the AIC, and see how the Centre’s advanced technology and facilities can help boost innovation through research and collaboration – from just the start of a bright idea right through to commercial application.
The Festival will be split into three sections – the first, titled ‘The Humber breeds innovation,’ will present the region as a hotbed of creative talent, celebrating both some of the most interesting inventions to come out of the estuary, and introducing the Humber’s latest low-carbon innovators.
This segment will see contributions from influential regional leaders who will be discussing the Humber’s extraordinary contribution to innovation and the need for concerted action to ensure we thrive and harness the potential of our creativity.
The second segment – ‘SMEs leading the way in low-carbon’ – will put the focus on businesses who have played their part in the drive to Net Zero. From a leading caravan manufacturer which has created a safer, carbon-friendly environment for its staff, to SMEs exploring the potential of novel nanofibres.
Rounding off the Festival will be ‘How you can get involved,’ including an introduction to the Aura Innovation Centre and how its InventX facilities – ranging from 3D printers to the most powerful microscopes in the region – can help businesses thrive and prosper in a low-carbon future.
Cllr Richard Burton, Leader at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “How we support our SMEs moving forwards is going to be absolutely crucial to both their success, and the success of the region.
“Having the Aura Innovation Centre gives businesses the chance to tap into research and development in a way they otherwise may not have been able to. It could be the thing that gives them the edge, and the chance to become a market leader.
“What is important to remember is our SMEs may be small businesses now, but with the right support, we can help them fulfil their potential and become the ‘games changers’ of tomorrow.”
A stellar line-up of speakers at the Festival of Green Innovation will soon be revealed.
For more details on the online event, which is free to attend, and to book your place, visit www.aura-innovation.co.uk/events/festival-of-green-innovation.
[Phil Winter – University of Hull]