The Celebrating Innovation event (February 13th) saw 100 businesses, supporters and delivery partners come together to celebrate three years of Cornish innovation with the Acceleration Through Innovation project (ATI). Held at the glamorous Atlantic Hotel in Newquay, ATI’s Project Manager, Jo Hancock, opened the evening revealing some of the key findings and Insights from the independent end-of-project evaluation (ATI ERDF Summative Assessment Dec. 2019), demonstrating the overall impact of the 3-year programme in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Key highlights included engaging 565 businesses, collaborating on 145 innovation projects, delivering 3,629 hours of support and awarding 48 innovation grants that have supported projects in excess of £1.2M. The audience also heard a number of client testimonials from Cornish businesses featured in a project impact video, which demonstrated the diverse mix of innovation projects that ATI have intensively worked on (click here to view the full 6-minute video).
In addition, delegates heard from two businesses that recalled their own unique journey with ATI. One of which was Greg Welch, Managing Director at Gendall Design and Co-founder of Chatter Voice Labs. Speaking about his experience, he described how ATI support enabled Gendall to pursue innovation outside of the day-to-day running of the business, which led to the launch of a new business called Chatter Voice Labs.
“ATI have been an absolute pleasure to partner with and have significantly enhanced the ability for us to innovate within our business,” he says.
Other positives of Gendall’s innovation project were that it increased team morale, created two new jobs and deepened relationships with existing clients, whilst also boosting client acquisition.
Lucy Crane, Senior Exploration Geologist at Cornish Lithium, the second of ATI’s client speakers, explained how an ATI innovation grant assisted them with the purchasing of 4D modelling software, called Leapfrog Geothermal. This new technology is “adding the 4th dimension” and providing additional data, which is allowing them to “better target exploration boreholes and expedite their exploration programme”, she explained.
In addition to the presentations, the event also featured an ‘Innovation Showcase’ of 10 client exhibitors that had completed an innovation project with ATI. The showcase consisted of a vast array of businesses; from VR games developer Triangular Pixels, who gave guests a sneak preview of their new game Unseen Diplomacy 2; to Dynamic Edge Innovation, who offer a broad range of design and prototyping services and were 3D printing live examples of their work from their exhibition stand.
Founder of Peboryn and star of Channel Four’s Extreme Cake Makers, Phil Jensen, was also in attendance exhibiting as Director of The Cake Professionals. Launched in 2019, The Cake Professionals was set-up to provide events and services that help custom cake businesses and their owners flourish.
“In the last year, we were incredibly grateful for ATI’s help in getting proper legal terms and conditions set up for the (Cake Professionals) awards, and also research into the US market which we will target in the next few years”, says Phil.
Other exhibitors that took part in the showcase included The Big Beanbag Company, Odyssey Innovation, The Online Book Company, Bellyphants, Hi9, Ultramed and Flora Drainage. To find out more about them click here.
Jo Hancock, Project Manager at ATI, had the following to add:
“ATI’s ambition was always to add to the rich heritage of Cornwall’s innovation history and champion the University of Plymouth’s world-leading research and expertise, so that SMEs in the county could benefit and grow.
“We truly believe that this has been achieved and would like to thank every business that has engaged with our programme, all those that took part in our celebration event and attended on the day – we wish you every success in the future and look forward to watching you drive innovation throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”
If you would like to find out more about ATI (April 2017 – March 2020), you can download a digital copy of the project impact brochure by clicking here.
ATI INNOVATION SHOWCASE EXHIBITORS:
Dynamic Edge Innovation – www.dynamic3dge.com
The Cake Professionals – www.thecakeprofessionals.com
Bellyphants – www.bellyphants.com
Odyssey Innovation – www.odysseyinnovation.com
Hi9 – www.hi9.io & SWIN – www.swinhere.co.uk
The Big Beanbag Company – www.bigbeanbagcompany.com
The Online Book Company – www.digitalbooks.theonlinebookcompany.com
Ultramed Ltd – www.ultramed.co
Triangular Pixels – www.triangularpixels.com