Bruntwood’s Green Summit Fringe Event to shine spotlight on sustainable workplaces

Ahead of the Greater Manchester Green Summit 2022, Bruntwood is hosting a second fringe event discussing the sustainability challenges of future workplaces.

“Future Workspaces: The Sustainability Challenge” will be held in Bruntwood’s Neo building on Thursday 13 October from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm.

In partnership with SSE Energy Solutions, the event will discuss the future of work and how we can create workplaces that put low-carbon infrastructure and employee wellbeing at the centre while encouraging workers back into the office in a hybrid culture.

Mayor of Greater Manchester and GM LEP board member Andy Burnham will join senior leaders from Bruntwood, Electricity North West, SSE Energy Solutions and I Want Plants to influence positive environmental change in Greater Manchester.

Speakers and topics include:
  • Andy Burnham, The Mayor of Greater Manchester – The importance of getting people back into our town and city centres
  • Alex Edwards, Sustainability Director, Bruntwood – Overcoming the sustainability challenges of the changing workplace
  • Neil Kirkby, Managing Director, SSE Energy Solutions – The energy infrastructure needed to support people back to workplaces and decarbonisation
  • Jonny Sadler, Strategic Decarbonisation Manager, Electricity North West – How Electricity North West is supporting the region to reach net zero
  • Richard Rowlands, Managing Director, I Want Plants – New evidence for the well-being benefits of biophilia in the workplace

The aim of the event is to kick-start conversations ahead of the Green Summit on Monday 17 October and provide the opportunity for like-minded individuals to network across industries.

The event invites business leaders, academics, journalists, policymakers and individuals to kick start the conversation around the Green Summit, encouraging ideas and conversations ahead of the wider conference, in hopes that when the Green Summit comes around conversations and ideas will already be in motion.

It’s hoped that the introductions made at the Greater Manchester Green Summit and Bruntwood’s fringe events will accelerate action against Greater Manchester’s five-year environment plan and help the city-region to reach its target of becoming net zero by 2038.

The Greater Manchester Green Summit will be held at The Lowry Theatre on Monday 17 October and will be hosted by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham. It’s a free event aimed at innovators, policymakers and communities, anyone who is passionate about tackling the climate crisis is welcome.

Learn more about “Future Workspaces: The Sustainability Challenge” and register to attend.

Learn more about the Greater Manchester Green Summit and how to attend, here.


Kellogg’s Launches Food Innovation Centre at Trafford Park Factory

Manchester headquartered cereal brand Kellogg’s has announced the launch of a new food innovation centre at its Trafford Park factory.

The Culinary and Sensory Centre, which has been officially opened by Greater Manchester Mayor and GMLEP Board Member Andy Burnham, has taken over 18 months to develop.

It features a packaging design lab, culinary kitchen, sensory hub and small-scale cereal factory.

Kellogg’s has invested over £500,000 into the innovation hub, which will be home to Kellogg’s team of food developers, culinary experts, chefs and packaging designers. 

The cereal giant, which is currently celebrating 100 years since it first arrived in the UK, already has a history of innovation. It was one of the first organisations within the food industry to hire a registered dietician, as well as the first to print nutrition messages and product information on cereal boxes.

Manchester is already home to many of the business’ cereal creations including the fan favourite Crunchy Nut, which was first created at the Trafford Park factory in 1980.

The launch of the centre comes as part of the cereal giant’s decade-long plan to improve its foods.

 One of the first projects to come out of the innovation hub was the recent reduction of salt in Special K, removing an average of 20% across the cereal range.

As well as reformulation, the space will also be used to trial new cereals, test future ingredients and experiment with recipes in hopes to improve and diversify Kellogg’s offering to create foods of the future.

The inclusion of the packaging design lab will allow the business to trial new sustainable packaging options.

Chris Silcock, Kellogg’s UK vice president, said: ‘”As Kellogg’s this year celebrates its 100th anniversary since launching in the UK, it’s incredibly exciting to be opening a hub of food innovation as we look to what’s to come for us in the next 100 years. 

“The space will be the source of new products, innovative packaging solutions and reformulation – that will not only be rolled out across the UK but will be seen by consumers across Europe.”

Jason Billingham, Kellogg’s senior director of R&D, added: “This new centre in Manchester will allow us to innovate and create in ways we’ve never done before. It’s something we’ve been working towards for a long time, so it’s great to now see it come to life.”

Webinar to help Greater Manchester Businesses tackle rising energy bills

GMLEP Green Lead Steve Connor will chair a webinar hosted by The Growth Company helping businesses to gain practical insight into the rising costs of energy bills.

As energy prices are rising to levels which are unsustainable for many businesses at all levels, The Government has introduced the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, which is a six-month package of support to help businesses through the upcoming winter period.

While this support is a lifeline for many, it also raises questions. This webinar hopes to provide answers and offer greater clarification to Greater Manchester business leaders.

Held on Tuesday, October 11 at 9 am, the webinar “#HereForBusiness: Making Sense of the Energy Challenge” will bring together experts in hopes to reduce concerns amongst the Greater Manchester businesses community.

The panel is made up of Kate Mulvany, Senior Consultant at Cornwall Insights Rachel Galdwin, Director of Utilities Intermediaries Association and Kevin Lambert, Sustainability & Net Zero Lead at Business Growth Hub.

The webinar aims to cover what the six-month support package really means for businesses and the prices they pay for energy. The panel will also try to anticipate what will happen after the six months of support is over. The panel will discuss energy prices and whether they can see a reduction in prices or solutions to find a better price.

However, the panel will also consider ways to reduce energy consumption or switch to renewable, sustainable energy sources which can help to meet net-zero targets as well as provide a long-term solution to the energy crisis.

The Growth Company drives forward business, economic, personal and professional development within communities by boosting employment, skills, investment and enterprise for the benefit of all. Helping local businesses to tackle the energy crisis will be vital for economic growth within the city-region.

You can learn more and register to attend the free webinar here.

Manchester Digital to offer businesses insight into AI-powered customer solutions

Manchester Digital will be hosting their next Emerging Tech event on Thursday 29th September 2022 to help Manchester based businesses embrace the future of AI-powered customer solutions and to power up the digital sector.

The free-to-attend event will be held at Tech Incubator, Manchester Technology Centre on Oxford Road, Manchester from 2:30 pm on Thursday 29 September and is sponsored by Bruntwood SciTech.

The event will set out which businesses are harnessing the power of AI to deliver real customer solutions and solve business challenges.

Speakers include Mark Chamberlain, Chief Evangelist at Lokulus, Dr Maria Aretoulaki, Principal Consultant Consumer Solutions & Experience at GlobalLogic UK&I, Professor Nira Chamberlain, Professional Head of Discipline for Data Science at Atkins, James Proctor, Client Director of Robiquity and Nick McCafferty, Business Innovation Manager at Bruntwood SciTech.

The digital landscape is fast-moving and as digitalisation and AI are becoming the norm, businesses are now fully immersed in the fourth industrial revolution.

Digital transformation is no longer a consideration but a necessary part of all successful businesses. Enhanced AI including artificial intelligence of things, machine learning and conversational AI is making big, digital transformation waves and helping us solve more business challenges than ever before.

Manchester Digital’s Emerging Tech forum deep dives into which Greater Manchester businesses are leveraging these new technologies to drive new and better solutions for their customers.

The event will explore how these new technologies impact productivity, profit margins and economic growth as well as which Greater Manchester businesses are successfully integrating these new systems. It will explain areas to be cautious of and advice on how to act quickly in the digitalisation of your business.

Manchester Digital is the voice of Greater Manchester’s tech and digital sector. It brings together a community of a range of businesses from across sectors with the ambition to grow the region’s digital offering, support the North-West’s digital and tech sub-sectors as well as helping to bridge the tech skills gap.

To learn more and register to attend, visit the Manchester Digital website.


High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult to support local innovation and boost Greater Manchester’s productivity by £500m

Business-led R&D organisation, the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult and one of its founding members, deep tech innovation organisation CPI, will take up a new local office at Bruntwood SciTech’s Circle Square.

It’s hoped that both organisations moving to Manchester will bridge the region’s manufacturing output gap of £500m million, according to new research cited by HVM Catapult.

The HVM Catapult formed 11 years ago from its seven constituent innovation centres, including CPI, and has worked with more than 5,500 industrial partners in 2021/22.

CPI collaborates with partners in industry, academia, government, and the investment community to catalyse the delivery of incredible healthcare and sustainability innovations.

The first HVM Catapult presence in Manchester will support the region to deliver its technology and innovation plans and bolster the local economy.

HVM Catapult and CPI will encourage businesses to invest in innovation and support the creation of new products and processes, which could boost productivity in the region by up to £500m a year.

As the UK’s leading property provider dedicated to driving the growth of the science and technology sector, Bruntwood SciTech will be supporting the Catapult with direct introductions to fast-growing startups and scaleups both at Circle Square and at their other Greater Manchester and Cheshire campuses – Manchester Science Park, Citylabs and Alderley Park.

The organisations join a strong community now based at Circle Square, including disruptive tech and digital start-ups in the Tech Incubator and global leading companies such as Hilti, Bosch Automotive, Roku and Octopus Energy.

HVM Catapult will host a launch event next month after moving into Circle Square.

Mayor of Greater Manchester and GMLEP Board Member, Andy Burnham, said: “This is fantastic news for Greater Manchester and especially for our manufacturing sector. The HVM Catapult is there to help businesses innovate, which will spark further investment and the support the creation of high-quality jobs.

“Going back to the Industrial Revolution, our city-region has been at the centre of advances in science and technology. Innovation is just as important to our future. Increased R&D spending and more productive businesses can power the growth of our economy and level up the North.”

HVM Catapult Chief Executive, Katherine Bennett commented: “Backing manufacturing through technology innovation in Manchester is an important part of the ‘levelling up’ agenda. Mancunians are extremely hard workers and there is so much opportunity for growth in the region. Manufacturing not only brings direct benefits to the local economy, but every 100 manufacturing jobs creates in turn an additional 90 jobs in the wider economy.

“To expand its impact across the North, CPI’s new Manchester office, alongside its office recently opened in Liverpool City Region at another of Bruntwood SciTech’s locations – Liverpool Science Park, will further connect the innovation ecosystem and boost prosperity across the North of England. HVM Catapult and CPI hope to pave the way for R&D in the region and deliver commercial and collaborative technology innovation projects that boost sustainability, health and economic prosperity.”

Frank Millar, CEO of CPI, said: “CPI has worked collaboratively with businesses and institutions in Manchester over several years. With its industrial history, outstanding academic institutions, and thriving start-up, science and technology scene, opening an office in Manchester is delivering our strategy to enable place-based innovation. Through high-impact innovation partnerships, strategies and programmes, we’re excited to support businesses in Greater Manchester to become more competitive, delivering impact in the local economy, developing skills, and creating and protecting high-value jobs.” 

Dr Kath Mackay, Director for Life Sciences at Bruntwood SciTech, added: “As a long-time supporter, we’re delighted to welcome both HVM Catapult and one of its founding members CPI to Circle Square. They will be located in the heart of Manchester’s innovation district, the Oxford Road Corridor, putting them perfectly placed in immediate proximity to the world-renowned academic institutions and the largest cluster of the city’s science and tech businesses, enabling the HVMC to tap into the ecosystem we’re proud to have nurtured here.

“This exciting partnership aligns perfectly with our vision and model of curating interconnected, industry-leading innovation districts and ecosystems right across the UK. With CPI and the Manufacturing Technology Centre – both founding members in the Catapult, already operating from Liverpool Science Park and the HVM Catapult in talks for further sites with us, there has never been greater access to facilities, funding, talent, or collaboration opportunities for science and tech businesses looking to form, scale and grow in the UK’s leading regional cities.”

Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at The University of Manchester, said“The High Value Manufacturing Catapult will provide another key element in our rapidly developing regional innovation ecosystem – in Manchester, we have developed an approach which accelerates the flow of new knowledge into applications.

“We do this through our world-class facilities in graphene and other advanced materials, biotechnology and health which together provides firms of all sizes the opportunity to work in partnership with leading experts, as well as giving access to our state-of-the-art equipment.

“A vital part of the Manchester offer is the highly qualified graduate workforce which attracts knowledge-based firms into the city while, at the same time, helps existing companies to grow their innovative activities.

“This entrepreneurial culture is driving the formation of growing numbers of spin-outs and start-ups, evidenced by a record year from the University’s Innovation Factory. Scaling-up will also be strongly aided by the new Northern Gritstone investment company which this year raised £215m for investment in high-tech spin-outs.”


Greater Manchester’s Digital Security Hub opens applications for start-up accelerator scheme

Early-stage cyber security and digital startups can now apply for the new digital security accelerator programme from Greater Manchester’s Digital Security Hub (DiSH).

DiSH is being delivered by Barclays Eagle Labs, Lancaster University, University of Manchester and Plexal with support from Manchester City Council. It was first launched in June 2022 with the aim of supporting 500 start-ups and creating over 1,000 jobs in Greater Manchester.

The next accelerator scheme will begin on 24 October and will be delivered by Plexal. The three-month DiSH Accelerator will give digital security and cyber businesses from Greater Manchester access to mentors, coaching, events, industry connections and support to help them grow their early-stage businesses.

Applicants will be able to work from the 11,000-square-foot DiSH workspace in Manchester and will benefit from investment readiness and funding support, business masterclasses, 1:1 mentoring, pitch coaching, industry introductions and events with networking opportunities

According to the government’s latest Sectoral Analysis of the UK’s cyber sector, more than 1,800 cyber security firms generated a total of £10.1bn in revenue in the most recent financial year. This is a 14% increase from the previous financial year.

Cyber also contributed around £5.3bn to the UK economy in 2021, rising by a third from the previous year from £4bn – the largest increase since the report began in 2018.

Greater Manchester is already home to several tech unicorns as well as GCHQ’s offices. The city-region has a burgeoning cyber security sector and is the fastest-growing tech city in Europe.

Greater Manchester’s homegrown digital security companies include Avecto, Hedgehog, NCC Group and Secarma, and it’s also attracted cyber divisions of companies such as Raytheon, BAE Systems AI and Northrop Grumman.

Saj Huq, CCO and head of innovation at Plexal, says: “We’re thrilled to be the innovation partner to the DiSH and are excited by the opportunity to design and deliver the first DiSH Accelerator targeted at supporting innovative, early-stage startups. Greater Manchester has a fast-growing cyber scene, and there are increasing opportunities for the regional startup ecosystem to engage and collaborate with an array of potential customers and partners as they scale their propositions and build market share.

“The DiSH Accelerator promises to act as a catalyst for that opportunity and we encourage ambitious startups to apply.”

David Bleakman, Barclays Eagle Labs Cyber Security Lead, says: “We know from experience that access to accelerator programmes with mentoring and support is hugely beneficial to the growth of an early-stage business. Connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs, universities and industry bodies, as well as potential clients and investors, helps to build networks and stimulate growth.

“This is why we want to encourage digital security and cyber startups across the region to join us on the DiSH accelerator, to help boost their growth and unlock their potential.”