The MDA Innovation Network established in October 2010. The aim of the network to assist with growth of ‘knowledge based’ businesses in the natural economic area of the North Wales / North West border. We want you to convert ideas into business growth and innovations by:
- Connecting with and learning from other knowledge based and innovative companies and individuals
- Discovering synergies and leads, and developing linkages and relationships across sectors and supply chains of relevance to your business
- Further familiarizing yourself with available innovation, R&D and business support resources and how it can assist with business growth
- Letting us know what you need and bringing along relevant colleagues and associates to connect!
Since MDA and partners from public and private sectors launched the network in Autumn 2010, we have held 38 business breakfasts in the area with between 90 and 160 attendees at each event.
In the first year the network’s events supported 1035 delegates and on average helped each company to make between 4 and 5 ongoing connections or collaborations in support of growth and innovation. 43% estimated the network to have made a medium level contribution to new sales and 35% to technology transfer.
The area is a cross border but coherent commercial zone and travel to work area linking into wider city region commercial opportunities. Key partners are the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber, Glyndwr University and the University of Chester along with local authority business teams from Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham, Cheshire West and Chester and Wirral Councils, the Science and Technology Facilities Council at Daresbury and University of Liverpool.
The project is creating a managed but informal network of knowledge-based companies and those who support growth of such businesses, such as advisors, investors, legal advisors, industry and university experts, government agencies, etc. Its objective is to encourage innovation and networking so as to exploit and extend the special strengths of the area.
There are no strict criteria for the target audience, however a definition of the knowledge economy is ‘one based on the successful input, application and exploitation of the most relevant up to date knowledge (including skills and innovation) into the development of goods and services’. The network is relevant to SME’s and business support organisations within (but not restricted to) the following sectors: energy, renewables, low carbon, health, bio-sciences, advanced manufacturing and materials, digital and creative industries etc.
It is being marketed to those businesses which are located within or want to work with businesses in the North Wales/North West border area (generally North East Wales, West Cheshire, Wirral).
The network aims ultimately to improve the performance of businesses, by getting businesses to talk to each other and be aware of relevant regional and national initiatives and opportunities; to help such businesses face economic and commercial challenges, and prepare for or continue growth. It will also provide a conduit for members to access other relevant regional and national innovation networks such as the national Knowledge Transfer Networks run by the Technology Strategy Board, and those of partners and members.
The project is being implemented through a small number of ‘innovation hubs’ in the area and consists of informal business breakfasts plus occasional seminars.
The following is a selection of comments received from attendees at past events:
- “I like the mix of networking and pitches.”
- “I had the opportunity to do an elevator pitch, which was great and it was very useful that everyone who gave a pitch was asked to cluster together afterwards, making it easier for people to talk to us.”
- “I gave a strong lead to one company, and connected two others. Personally, met a rival, but realised we are not in direct competition.”
- “positive meeting and opportunity to grow your business network.”
- “Was approached to take part in Flintshire Business Week and we will be participating; also made a useful connection with the UK India Business Council which has been very useful.”
For further information about the Innovation Network please click here to watch a short video link, or click on the links below to see some of our past events.
MDA Innovation Network , sponsored by Wales Rally GB and held at Toyota, Deeside on 25th June 2015
MDA Innovation Network, sponsored by HPC Wales and held at Redwither Tower, Wrexham on 21st May 2015
MDA Innovation Network held at SciTECH Daresbury Science Park on 21st April 2015
MDA Innovation Network, sponsored by Hill Dickinson held at Thornton Science Park on 26th November 2014
Network diary dates are available here.