Life sciences pioneer joins speakers at Invest Midlands

Dr Glenn Crocker MBE

Dr Glenn Crocker MBE, director at We Are Pioneer Group, which recently bought BioCity, and head of life sciences at JLL has been confirmed as a speaker at the forthcoming Invest Midlands online conference, to be held on Wednesday May 26.

Crocker will join a session entitled Health and Life Sciences: An Untold Midlands Story, set to begin at 10.25am.

He joins a panel of experts, hosted by Midlands Engine Health, representing our region’s thriving health and life science sector that contributes £20.5bn to Midlands GVA and nearly 600,000 jobs. Our cutting edge facilities, world-leading research expertise, two Life Science Opportunity Zones and two Freeports make the Midlands a fantastic investment location. Our panel will cover our wide-range of dynamic activity, promising investment opportunities, as well as the region’s potential as a leader in this sector.

The session will be chaired by Dr Darren Clarke, The Midlands Engine Health Board member and CEO of Medilink East Midlands. Also on the panel will be Alexis Toft, head of Minerva Business Angels and Dr Faz Chowdhury, CEO of Nemaura Medical Inc.

These new additions will join an already established, high-powered array of speakers.

You’ll have the chance to listen to keynote speeches from Business Secretary Rt Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng, who will outline the ambition for the Midlands and look towards its post-pandemic future as a real engine of growth.

He will be joined by leaders from across the region, including Midlands Engine chairman Sir John Peace and we’ll also have an exclusive interview with newly-re-elected West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street.

EY’s Midlands market leader Simon O’Neill will lead a session exploring some of the disruptive trends that are shaping our region, alongside ideas and opportunities that will boost productivity, fuel the recovery and unlock growth across the Midlands. Simon will be joined by specialists across EY’s network including Silvia Rindone, Chris Romans and David Borland to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Midlands businesses presented by shifting consumer trends, the changing entrepreneurial landscape and the transition to electric vehicles.

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Meanwhile, Mac Alonge, founder and CEO of The Equal Group has been added as a panelists on the Making the leaders of tomorrow part of today’s recovery plans session, which will look at how young entrepreneurs are shaping the future of the region.

Fiona Allan, chair of the regional board for tourism and chief executive of Birmingham Hippodrome completes the Selling the Midlands to the World session.

Paul Smith, area director for Leicester at Lloyds Banking Group joins the panel for the Funding the next wave of entrepreneurs and disruptors session.

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Also, Dan Storer, chief investment officer at the West Midlands Growth Company and Richard Eadie, head of strategy, sustainability and group transformation at Severn Trent are added the panel for the Racing Towards the Commonwealth Games session.

Robert Franks, managing director of West Midlands 5G and Jane Woods, group nations and regions director at BT, will discuss the digital roadmap of the Midlands.

Shehzad Chaudhary, deputy director – trade and investment Midlands at DIT, Stephen Pratt, director of Godwin Developments, Dafydd Williams, head of policy, communications & economic development (Humber) at Associated British Ports and Pat Doody, chair of Greater Lincolnshire LEP will join a session looking at the two Midlands Freeports as a gateway to growth.

Also, Ian Reid, the chief executive of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, and Gurmit Kler of the University of Birmingham will speak on how the event will showcase the city and region to the wider world.

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Kathrin Enenkel, senior analyst for Centre for Cities, Jo Gideon, MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central and PPS to the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Department, and Phil Stewardson, director at Stewardson Developments, will join a panel session looking at placemaking with a purpose: the future of towns and cities.

Ken Cooper, managing director at the British Business Bank, will lead a panel discussing how to fund SME growth through post-pandemic recovery.

Meanwhile, Claire James, MD of East Midlands Airport, Dave Penney of Network Rail and Maria Machanchoses of Midlands Connect will debate whether the Midlands Engine is joined up – or two separate islands, in a much-needed debate on transport in the region.

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Development manager at the FSB Natalie Gasson-McKinley and Paul Faulkner, the chief of staff and operations within the group of businesses owned by the Richardson family join a panel chaired by Shakespeare Martineau CEO Sarah Walker-Smith on a session called Diversity in action: Pointing a rainbow of talent towards a bright business future for the Midlands.

Reshma Sheikh of Octavian UK, Sarah King of We Are Radikl, Anita Bhalla OBE of the West Midlands Leadership Commission and Tru Powell of Aston Performing Arts Academy will take a look at the importance of diversity and how businesses should place it at the heart of growth.

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The vastly-important automotive sector will be debated by John Russell of Norton Motorycles, Charlotte Horobin of MAKE UK, Derby entrepreneur Graham Mulholland and Chris Reeves of Horiba Mira.

The Big Ideas to Change the Midlands session will see Matheu Parr of Rolls-Royce, Liz Draper head of corporate partnerships at Coventry City of Culture Trust, Christopher Ware of Conygar and Ricky Sandhu of Urban-Air Port outline their vision for the future of the region.

To see the full agenda for Invest Midlands, click here.