Pioneering innovation across the Southern coast and South East – enabling business to adapt, recover and grow.

The South Coast fosters an incredible talent for tech innovation complimenting and resonating with the wider South East sector capabilities. This event is for anyone interested in learning about the latest innovation support on offer both locally and nationally. You will find out about the latest opportunities to pioneer new innovations and connect with other partners and investors across the southern region.

Why attend?

You’ll find out about the local economic priorities and the growth opportunities for businesses developing new ideas across the South Coast.

You’ll hear from and meet with national and local support agencies. They can help you to form collaborative partnerships, undertake Research and Development, access funding and finance, and develop skills and talent for your business.

You’ll hear from local businesses about their innovation journey and be able to network with people you may be able to collaborate with to fast track your innovation

Agencies and practitioners across the partner agencies will have the opportunity to network with each other and engage with businesses seeking innovation support.

There will be different sessions and workshops each day. When you sign-up, you will be able to choose the sessions that you’re most interested in.

This event is organised by Innovate UK, the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, Venture Fest South and KTN, in partnership with the Catapult Network and Business growth hub networks.


8 March 2021

  • 09:30 – Plenary Day 1: Innovate Local | South East

Welcome to event and overview of main themes and opportunities for participants. This session will explain how Innovate UK is creating impact across the South Coast. You will learn about the national and local support that is on offer to help the business succeed in the quest to pioneer and accelerate innovation. Solent LEP priorities and strategy for the future.

09:30 – Welcome from the Chair | David Legg, South East Regional Manager Innovate UK
09:35 – Innovate UK creating impact in the South East and overview of its operation | Dean Cook, Head of Regional, Innovate UK
09:55 – The Industrial leadership response | Karen Lucas, CEO Vikoma (Invited)
10:15 – The VentureFest key message | Matt Albans, Lead Innovation Technologist, BAE Systems (Invited)
10:30 – Solent LEP in action and the strategy of its Growth Hub, Chairman, LEP | Anne-Marie Mountifield, CEO Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (Invited)
10:50 – Q&A led by the Chair

  • 11:15 – Investments in the region creating impact | Case Studies

Chaired – Bruce McLelland, KTN

Interactive session with local business and partner organisations that will describe how they have benefited from support and the impact this has had for their business.

11:05 – Trevor Linn, Turbulent Designs (Maritime/offshore wind funded programme)
11:20 – Sue Simmonite, Association of British Ports, Ship to Shore Power Innovation project (Invited)
11:45 – To be confirmed

  • 12:00 – Space technologies driving the marine and maritime innovation envelope

Interactive panel describing how investments have made a regional impact and opportunities to accelerate growth.  Discussing the strengths, the region has to offer in space technologies and how these can transform logistics, marine and maritime business.

Chaired – Louise Butt, Sat App Catapult

– TBC, Airbus
– Aidan Thorn, National Oceanic Centre
– Francis Clarke, University of Southampton
– Nick Allot, CEO, NquiringMinds

  • 12:00 – Growing a Clean Growth Economy

A panel that will share insights into the opportunities for the clean growth economy and how the challenges are being overcome with investment and collaboration

Chaired – Sandra Norval, Energy Lead, WSCC


–  Gary Whittle, Sustainable Distribution Centre, Meachers/Freeports
–  Nick Royal, Commercial Manager, Ricardo Engineering
–  Sandra Sassow, SEAB Energy
–  Prof John McGeeham,Centre for Enzyme Innovation

  • 12:00 – Unleashing digital and creative innovations

A session unpacking the emerging capability of the creative and digital sector. It will include cutting edge programmes across the South Coast being delivered with the Digital Catapult

Chaired – Madalina Nazare Head of CR&D, Digital Catapult.

– Emily Savage, Immersive Product Lead, Digital Catapult
– Tom Shensdon, Telefonica

  • 14:00 – Master Class: Operating a successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Facilitated by Stephen Woodhouse, KTA Advisor KTN

  • 14:00 – Master Class: The Innovation Canvas

Facilitated by John Bound, KTN

  • 14:00 – Master Class: Creating impact by working with a Catapult

  • 14:30 – Master Class: Implementation of Design Thinking in business innovation

Facilitated by Lukasz Liebersbach, EEN

9 March 2021

  • 09:30 – Plenary Day 2 – Finance & Support

This session will explain about the latest industrial strategy challenge funding opportunities for businesses as well as wider support that you can access to develop and scale your idea. There will also be an update about VentureFest South and the local support available for investment.

09:30 – Welcome from the Chair | David Legg, South East Regional Manager Innovate UK
09:35 – Industrial Strategy Challenge Funding | The overview – Mike Biddle, Director, Innovate UK
09:55 – Balancing up the investment approaches | Speaker TBC, Newable
10:15 – The Innovate UK Funding Mechanism | Nigel Walker, InnovateUK

  • 10:50 – Navigating local and national support and funding

Chaired – Ed Gould, Director Carswell Gould

Interactive panel explaining the latest funding and support opportunities both national and local to help you develop innovative products and services

10:55   Innovate UK Edge, Keith Chessell Whzan,
11:05   Case Study TBC (ERDF), The Solent Growth Hub Assist
11:15  The Catapult making impact, The Satellite Applications Catapult Assist
11:25  The KTN making impact, Paul Copping, Fawley Waterside Project

  • 11:35 – Investment to Scale and Grow

Expert panel that will explain how to access different financial forms of support including grants, loans, R&D tax credits and wider investment.  

Chaired – Nigel Walker, Innovate UK


– Susan Elliott, British Business Bank
– Monica Montero, Newable
– Annie HunterR&D tax and grant specialist

  • 11:35 – Developing skills and talent

Practical advice on how to improve technology and business skills  working with other across the innovation ecosystem

Chaired – Jo Burgess Innovate UK talent skills adviser


– Stephen Woodhouse KTPs
– Monika Dabrowska, Fareham and Ocean Village Innovation Centre
– TBC, Solent Apprenticeship Hub
– David Huthinson, Green Tech South, University of Portsmouth

  • 11:35 – International routes to market

Helping you can maximise international opportunities via global innovation programmes and expert advice from trade advisers at DIT.

Chaired – Peter Dirken, Innovate UK


– Mark Hamsom, DIT
– Amy Hochadel,  Connected Places Catapult
– Sam Evans, Head of International, Tech Nation
– Feras Yosef, DFS Composites

  • 14:00 – Master Class: Operating a successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Facilitated by Stephen Woodouse, KTA  KTN

  • 14:00 – Master Class: Access to Funding and Finance

Facilitated by Nigel Walker/Bruce Coley/Susan Elliot/Annie Hunter/ Hemaxi Bhatt, Innovate UK

  • 14:00 – Master Class: SetSquared Digital Boot Camp

  • 14:00 – Master Class: The art of painless exporting

Facilitated by Mark Hamson DIT

  • 14:00 – Master Class: Grant writing master class

Facilitated by KTN

  • 14:00 – Master Class: Funding for Scaleups

Facilitated by Marta Rybarczk, EEN

  • 14:30 – Master Class: Implementation of Design Thinking in business innovation

Facilitated by Lukasz Liebersbach, EEN