Business, Innovation & Growth Summit 2022

Over 200 leading entrepreneurs, academics and policymakers came together at our Business, Innovation & Growth Summit, which took place on 29th November at Kingston University’s Townhouse.

Skills, training, higher education, the future of work, business clusters and prosperity were all on the agenda, as the summit aimed to examine how the ecosystem for innovation can be developed across the South London boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, and Sutton. Read more about the event

The following is a summary of each content session from the day.

Keynote: Innovation Opportunities: Institute of Cancer ResearchProfessor Paul Workman

Speaker: Professor Paul Workman, Harrop Professor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Sutton’s world-leading cancer research and treatment to take a leading role in boosting the region’s economic growth.

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Panel: What role does higher education play in creating communities?Higher Education panel

Panellists: Martin Davies, Pro Vice Chancellor, Kingston University; Diana Beech, Chief Executive, London Higher; Rosemary Nunn, Executive Director, University of Greenwich; Richard Keogh, Vice-Provost, University of Roehampton

Higher education is ‘driving the link between mobility and social value’ to support communities now and in the future.

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Innovation Awards 2022Innovation Award winners

The BIG South London Business Innovation Growth Summit Awards recognised the extraordinary vision and ambition of BIG-supported South London entrepreneurs and businesses who are impacting and inspiring the community to push forward and innovate.

Find out who scooped an award

South London Innovation ClustersWill Cookson

Speaker: Will Cookson, Lightcast

New analysis, commissioned by BIG and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, looked at the economies of the South London Partnership (SLP) boroughs – Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Sutton – and the sector clusters within them.

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Breakout session: Future of WorkFuture of Work panel

Panellists: Diana Sterck, Merton Chamber of Commerce; Vibushan Thurukumar, ORU Sutton; Carol Squires, London Borough of Croydon; Forbes Low, Kingston Chamber of Commerce

Trailblazing coworking spaces and accessible, inclusive opportunities for all are laying the foundations for the workplaces of the future, experts discussed at the BIG South London Business Innovation & Growth Summit.

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Breakout session: How can South London’s Innovation Clusters Deliver For The Clusters breakout sessionWider Community And Economy?

Panellists: Shona Campbell, Innovate UK KTN; Tom Sweetman, PA Consulting; David Randall, Founding Member, Crystalisr; Kevin Richardson, Local Growth Consultant, Research England

Leading experts in cluster innovation emphasised the importance of collaboration and place-based focus.

Sector focus: Creative IndustriesCreative Industries breakout session

Panellists: Dr Robin Hutchinson MBE, Community Brain; Hannah Price, Not my Beautiful House; Sheila Fraser-Whyte, Richmond upon Thames College; Bernett Thornes, Kingston University

Dr Robin Hutchinson MBE, director, Community Brain led a dialogue focusing on the creative industries in South London and the opportunities that can arise from collaboration.

Sector focus: Construction Construction breakout session

Panellists: Chika Udeaju, LSBU; Polly Persechino, South London Partnership; Peter Sutcliffe, Aecom

Early collaboration between employers, educators, and skills practitioners, emphasising sustainability training, will be vital to bridging the skills gap and future-proofing the construction sector.

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Sector Focus: Life Sciences & HealthcareHealthcare breakout session

Panellists: Andy Carr, Institute of Cancer Research; Joop Tanis, Health Tech Enterprise; Dr Grant Trewartha, Nurvv; Anna King, Health Innovation Network South London

Life Science and Healthcare sectors can provide opportunities for all in south London’s thriving Life Sciences and Healthcare Cluster…with the proper support!

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Keynote: Business Evolution Through Cluster Innovation Kate Patton, CBI

Speaker: Kate Patton, Confederation of British Industry

Clusters are often centred around a sector or region with anchor institutions and centres of innovation, enabling businesses to collaborate and share best practices to accelerate.

Panel: Delivering Essential Skills For Tomorrow’s WorkforceDelivering essential skills panel

Panellists: Paul Kirkbright, BIG South London; Peter Mayhew-Smith, South Thames College; Professor Helen Laville, Kingston University; Bushra Iqbal, Southwark College and Larisa Page, NHS South West London

The ‘Delivering Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s Workforce’ session heard about challenges and solutions around issues including recruitment, retention and skills gaps.

Keynote: Climate Change Innovation Prof. Richard Templer

Speaker: Professor Richard Templer, Imperial College London

In the closing keynote speech, the current level of greenhouse gases, with emissions continuing to go up every year, and the challenges that are now being faced, requiring change to happen faster and becoming more costly – were all discussed.

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