Innovation vital to shaping future of the West Midlands says new Mayor

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street
X The Business Desk

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The important role innovation will have on shaping the future of the West Midlands will form the basis of an important keynote speech being delivered by the region’s new Mayor today.

Andy Street is the keynote speaker at this year’s Venturefest West Midlands, which takes place at the NEC.

The event brings together hundreds of entrepreneurs, innovators and investors with specific innovation expertise. The event will also see over 30 companies exhibiting to showcase the support and services on offer in the region for new and growing businesses.

In his keynote address, Mr Street will explore the contribution innovation can make to driving up productivity and reforming public services in the West Midlands; both cornerstones of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s strategic economic plan.

Mr Street will also introduce the newly completed West Midlands Science and Innovation Audit that identifies the market strengths, enabling competencies and ecosystem factors the region needs to focus on to best exploit its science and innovation assets.

Mr Street said: “The West Midlands region is already renowned for its science and innovation, but we can make it work harder for us to help deliver higher productivity and better services across the West Midlands.  Venturefest West Midlands is a unique event that stimulates new partnerships, investments and approaches across our innovation ecosystem by brings together innovators, investors and entrepreneurs.”

Dr. Peter Dirken, Innovate UK’s regional manager for the West Midlands, added: “Venturefest West Midlands will be a showcase for the very best innovation, bringing together innovators, investors and entrepreneurs, with a wide range of business support and advice organisations.

“We are delighted Andy Street will have a prominent role in the event as keynote speaker. We know he is a strong supporter of innovation and we will work with him and his team to drive West Midlands innovation forward.”

Venturefest will also see finalists of Pitchfest, a Dragons’ Den-style investment competition taking place as part of the event, given the opportunity to raise their profiles and pitch to a panel of leading investors and industry experts for a £1,000 prize and chance for direct investment.

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