Celebrating innovation – West Yorkshire Innovation Festival

Innovation and collaboration take centre stage in a packed programme of activities as part of the inaugural West Yorkshire Innovation Festival this month.

Co-ordinated by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, and curated by partner organisations through the West Yorkshire Innovation Network, the festival aims to profile and encourage innovation-led activity, whilst showcasing the support and collaboration opportunities available to a wide range of stakeholder groups across the region.

Join businesses and innovators for a week of virtual events, workshops and talks starting on Monday 15 March.

View the full festival programme, highlights of which are outlined below:


Event banner

On Tuesday 16 March, the Yorkshire Universities (YU) network combine their resources to stage Innovation Now: opportunities for business and universities to work together. Bringing together expertise and opportunities from the 12 universities in West Yorkshire, the session will explore how strong relationships and interaction between business and universities can bolster innovation and benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

During the plenary session, Professor Andy Brown, from Leeds University Business School (LUBS), and Harrison Evans, from the University’s innovation hub Nexus, join fellow YU representatives to discuss the current state of play for businesses in the region, as we move towards post-pandemic economic recovery.

As part of the discussion, Harrison will talk about current entrepreneurial attitudes, whilst Professor Brown will share insights from his work around Place Based Economic Recovery (PERN) and the West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Framework. There will also be a break-out session, led by academics from the University of Leeds, exploring opportunities for collaboration and innovation with businesses within the decarbonisation of heating and cooling.

Register for your place.



The Future of Innovation - How will the future of healthtech and ai affect patient care? on Thursday 18 March from 16:00 until 17:30

As part of the festival, Thursday 18 March sees the launch of our brand new event series – The Future of Innovation – where we welcome a line-up of leading experts from across business, government, academia and society to explore and dissect ‘big picture’ topical issues within innovation.

The first event in the series explores the potential effects futuristic technologies may have on patient care and how this might alter current and future healthcare landscapes. With the rapid acceleration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation in the use of technology throughout health services, the event endeavours to answer the question How will the future of HealthTech and AI affect patient care?

The panel welcomes senior figures from the NHS, including David Brettle, Chief Scientific Officer for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, and Dom Cushnan, Head of AI Imaging at NHS X, alongside Nexus member Nikhil Seghal, Co-Founder of Vastmindz, which delivers AI-powered telehealth solutions for health and wellness. They’ll be joined by academics from the University of Leeds including Professor Alex Frangi, Director, Centre for Responsive HealthTech Innovation, and Gabriela Arriagada Bruneau, Postgraduate Researcher in AI and Data Ethics at Leeds.

Register for your place.



Three people stood at a banister in conversation

Rounding off the week, Nexus and LUBS are joining forces with medical technologies consortium Grow MedTech to bring innovation ‘back to basics’ with Building the blocks for an innovation dream team. Exploring and sharing insights around co-design and innovation stakeholder management, the session will encourage businesses to embed principles of ‘innovation-led’ thinking within the heart of their organisations and teams.

Register for your place.


Want to find out more about how working with Nexus can help your business? Get in touch with us today.