Tech Summit showcases county's innovators

By Tim Aldred

15 May 2023

Lancashire Tech Summit Speakers

Lancashire’s Tech Summit discussed technologies of the future while highlighting today's current innovators.

And taking part during the Highest Point musical festival, proceedings were given a rock'n'roll touch with a special guest presentation by Kliph Scurlock, the former drummer of the Grammy-award winning US band The Flaming Lips.

Summit highlights included a series of inspirational ‘quick fire’ presentations from some of Lancashire’s most dynamic, successful and innovative tech businesses.

These included representatives from Lancashire’s growing digital health sector, including Richard Stoddart, commercial director of Redmoor Health, and Lynette Ousby, managing director of Alcidion.

In addition, harnessing and commercialising the power of IoT, AI,  smart devices, and big data, were covered in talks from  +24 Marketing’s MD David Walker; IoT Horizon’s director of sales and marketing, Niamh Allen; and Joshua Bailey, senior data scientist from Relative Insight.

Some of Lancashire’s emerging tech sectors were also explored. Will Maden, chief commercial officer at EV charging business Fuuse focused on the rapidly evolving world of electric vehicle infrastructure, while Chris Mayne, managing director of Forsberg described how Lancashire’s Electech Innovation Cluster, centred around the Morecambe Bay area, is rapidly becoming recognised as an international hub of hi-tech electronic engineering.

Kliph Scurlock was interviewed about how rapid advances in audio technology are transforming the delivery of both live and recorded music.

As part of his Q&A, which was hosted by one of the BBC’s leading digital R&D innovators, Emma Young, the Kansas-born Kliph invited the audience to interact collectively with music performed by ex-Super Furry Animal’s lead singer Gruff Rhys, via a new multi-user smartphone application. This real-time interactive demonstration reinforced the relationship between creativity and technology, one of the Summit’s main themes.

Another core theme was how technology could drive entrepreneurialism and innovation. To support this there was a  special session featuring Paul White and Conor Walsh from Patch, the revolutionary window cleaning booking and payment app. They were joined by Christina Melling, CEO of the Stipendium lifestyle, property and wealth management online platform, and Hannah Drake, founder of energy analytics business, Enerlytic.

Diversity and inclusion in the tech industry was another theme running throughout the Summit’s programme.  

Leading inclusivity and equality activists Lee Chambers and Alice Ashcroft talked about combatting bias in software development, while the county’s digital skills lead Kerry Harrison explained how the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub has been actively promoting STEM careers to groups who were currently underrepresented in key tech sectors such as cyber, advanced engineering, and low carbon.

Dan Knowles, organiser of the festival, said: "The Lancashire Tech Summit is aimed at bringing together Lancashire’s tech businesses, entrepreneurs, and investors to showcase the latest innovations and developments in the industry.

"Backed by Lancashire County Council, it’s also about celebrating creativity and innovation, which is why it was so fantastic to get a rock legend like Kliph involved, alongside a  stellar line-up of local tech talent.  

“Further, it was important for us to raise the issue of diversity and inclusion, building on the great work undertaken by partners such as the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub and the Digital Skills Partnership. Having diversity trailblazers like Lee and Alice here today was part of that, plus we’ve had major influencers like Emma Young, who leads the BBC’s women in STEM initiative, taking part. 

"This mix of professional insights being shared with the wider Lancashire tech community, new technologies being brought to life through interactive experiences, and addressing important social and ethical issues, helped make the event very special."

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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