Nexus officially launches

Business leaders and heads of local government joined the Nexus community on Tuesday (May 14) for our official opening and the launch of a major new report by the CBI in partnership with Nexus.

Broadcaster and Channel 4 News presenter, Cathy Newman, opened the event and said she was delighted to call Leeds, Channel 4’s new home. She also highlighted the growing importance of collaboration between businesses and universities, and their role in helping the UK economy to thrive and succeed.

Guests chat to each other during network drinks reception

Cathy’s welcome address was followed by a speech from Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor, University of Leeds, who hailed Leeds as a great place to live, study and do business and described Nexus as at the forefront of connecting business with world leading research, talent and facilities.

Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research & Innovation, followed, shining a spotlight on the University’s success in nurturing established businesses, start-ups and spin-outs. She also highlighted the benefit that this reputation will have for Nexus as it welcomes new and exciting businesses into the growing community.

Group photo of (from right to left) Sir Alan Langlands, Cathy Newman, Dr Martin Stow and Professor Lisa Roberts. They are all stood on a blue stage with Nexus logo behind them

Sir Alan Langlands - Vice-Chancellor, University of Leeds, Cathy Newman - Broadcaster, Dr Martin Stow - Nexus Director & Professor Lisa Roberts - Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research & Innovation, University of Leeds

Cathy Newman then led an insightful panel discussion on the new report, ‘The Changing Nature of R&D’, which states that vital research and development spending is more than two decades behind the UK growth’s target, but that huge opportunities are available as advanced data analytics open up a new frontier for business R&D.

The expert panel included Stuart Sherman, Founder and Director of Nexus community member Scaled Insights, Professor Chris Gale, Associate Professor at Leeds Institute for Data Analytics and Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Leeds, Rebecca Endean, Director of Strategy for UK Research and Innovation and Felicity Burch, CBI Director of Innovation and Digital.

The event was drawn to a close with a speech from Nexus Director, Dr Martin Stow, who shared his ambitions for Nexus to be a portal for business leaders of the future and to become a place where collaboration and innovation bolster business growth in the Leeds City Region and beyond. His aim, in time, is the creation of an enterprise hub that rivals anything in the US.

Download a copy of the ‘The Changing Nature of R&D’ report.

Aerial shot of Leeds City Square at night

Take a look at what Stuart Sherman (CEO, Scaled Insights), Chris Hearld (North Region Chairman, KPMG), Sue Dunkerton (Interim CEO, Knowledge Transfer Network), Chris Gale (Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Leeds) David McKee (Founder, Slingshot Simulations), Trevor Hardcastle (Chief Data Scientist, Vet-AI) Rebecca Endean (Director of Strategy, UKRI) and Felicity Burch (Director of Innovation & Digital, CBI) had to say about Nexus and our official launch.