Innovate08: The business of shaping our world

08 Oct 2008

October 7 2008: over 900 people from business, research and the world of innovation gathered at London's Business Design Centre for Innovate '08. 

Innovate 08, hosted by the Technology Strategy Board, is growing year by year as a day of inspiration and learning on technology-enabled innovation. This year's event, with the theme The Business of Shaping our World, took a close look at some of the big challenges facing society - and how innovation can help to address them while contributing to UK prosperity.

Compered by broadcasters Kirsty Wark and Martha Kearney, the day offered a rich menu of keynote talks, parallel sessions, interactive debates, advice areas, project showcase, exhibition and networking opportunities. 

Visitors first encountered the showcase area featuring a range of innovative projects and products ranging from Morgan and Lotus low-carbon cars, to building materials, lighting systems, travel technology and more.

Highlights of the morning sessions included keynotes from John Denham, Secretary of State for Science and Innovation; MD of Garlik Tom Ilube; investor Richard Farleigh of Dragons' Den fame, and Iain Gray, Technology Strategy Board Chief Executive. 

In the afternoon a series of presentations looked at key challenges - the business of shaping the environment, the way we travel, and the way we live - and how Innovation Platforms are bringing government, research and business together to begin to address them. Other parallel sessions focused on marketing, intellectual property, finance sources, and new strategies for innovation in specific technology areas.

The pace changed with a lively interactive debate on the inter-relationship between business, sustainability and innovation - featuring Lord Drayson in his first week as Minister for Science and Innovation, Richard Farleigh, Professor Max Boisot and sustainability pioneer Julia Hailes.After a packed day there was some light relief, with Jon Culshaw bringing a parade of uncanny impressions into the hall - followed by time to network and relax. He asked guests what they thought of the event: 83% rated it as good or excellent; and perhaps more importantly, 58% of delegates said they would definitely or most likely do something different and better as a result of attending Innovate ‘08. To view more feedback, with photos, presentations and videos from the event, see the dedicated event website at

Innovate '09 will be held in early October 2009 - visit again soon for further information.

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Last updated on Monday 15 December 2008 at 09:44

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