WRc 5th Innovation Event - Sharing Knowledge for a Changing World?

Posted: Thursday 26th May 2016

On the 26th April, WRc kicked off their 5th Innovation Event in the exciting surroundings of STEAM Museum in Swindon with an invitation only evening Innovation Awards Ceremony.

Nestled alongside the Caerphilly Castle Steam Engine, the evening commenced with a presentation from Neil Kermode, EMEC's Managing Director who talked about Innovation: I wish it was rocket science. This was then followed by the formal launch of the WRc and Arup Partnership - Venturi, the global innovation platform that brings innovative products and services, together with real sector needs, to resolve a wide range of global water issues.

Finally, there was a series of eight five-minute pitches, against the clock, for the coveted WRc Innovation Award 2016. Guests interactively voted for the innovation that impressed them most. The winners were Weeding Technologies for their Foamstream technology closely followed by 2 highly commended winners - Strathkelvin Instruments with ASP-Con and Hechler Umwelttechnik with their presentation on Modern Sewer Rehabilitation Robots. The awards were presented by WRc's CEO, Mark Smith and guests then took a tour of the museum.

The following morning over 300 guests arrived at the newly wrapped WRc office. The theme for the 2016 Innovation Day was Sharing Knowledge for a Changing World. Mark Smith opened the sold-out event with a welcome speech followed by 4 great talks from the day's Keynote Speakers - Simon Walker of Candover Consulting on Future Proofing Your Organisation,

Ian McAulay of Viridor presented on The Circular Economy as a Driving Force for Change, Jon Brigg, Yorkshire Water presented on An Integrated Approach to Innovation and finally Eileen Linklater from EMEC spoke about A pathway to Commercialisation for New Technologies. WRc guests then had time to network and visit the exhibition halls which housed over 55 innovative technologies and processes showcasing Innovation in Action.

The afternoon saw 3 parallel workshops take place on topical themes. The Circular Economy workshop looked at the complexities of true circularity and discussed new emerging business models during a hands-on activity to build a town. The Maximising Digital and Real-World Interactions workshop covered how we prefer to give and receive communication in different styles and how this relates to our digital interactions and networking. Finally, there was the New Platforms for Innovation and Knowledge Sharing workshop which gave attendees the opportunity to learn about some options for knowledge sharing and collaboration and how to select the right platform to achieve their goals.

The day came to a close with a short reporting back from these workshops as well as the video and photo montage from the day's artists, photographers and film crew from Isambard Community School. This was the student's own take on the event and was a huge success - it captured the feel of the day perfectly.

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