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Big crowd expected at Venturefest East business showcase event

By Paul Brackley

David Gill, of St John's Innovation Centre, at Venturefest 2016
David Gill, of St John's Innovation Centre, at Venturefest 2016

Innovators, entrepreneurs and investors will be on to a winner at Newmarket Racecourse on Thursday September 21.

Prof Fiona Lettice, of platinum sponsor UEA
Prof Fiona Lettice, of platinum sponsor UEA

The region’s innovators, investors and entrepreneurs are heading to Newmarket Racecourse on Thursday September 21 for Venturefest East – one of the biggest business showcase events in the region.

A host of talks, track sessions and networking opportunities are on offer, with five immersive zones called World Beaters, Rule Breakers, Game Makers, Eye Openers and Life Changers covering key sectors from life sciences to automotive and engineering, and food and drink to culture and creativity.

Subjects covered will include funding for innovation, renewable energy, the future of sustainable batteries, intelligent food waste solutions, smart cities, selling your products into the NHS, the Internet of Things and more.

Among the exhibitors at the show, which is supported by the Cambridge Independent, will be Innovate UK, giving innovators a chance to discuss opportunities for funding and partnerships to support business growth.

Venturefest East takes place at Newmarket Racecourse
Venturefest East takes place at Newmarket Racecourse

Meanwhile, topical issues will be tackled in track sessions.

Platinum sponsor the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Anglia Ruskin University’s REACTOR team are exploring gamification in healthcare.

Jan Storgards, of Anglia Ruskin University, will leading the session and said: “We aim to demonstrate how gamification has the power of changing behaviours towards a positive change. It is all about play; achieve; and reward.”

Dr Nicola Hancock, lecturer in physiotherapy and researcher with the Acquired Brain Injury Alliance (ABIRA) at UEA, will discuss how technology can aid stroke rehabilitation.

She said: “The potential for technologies to influence the delivery and effectiveness of stroke rehabilitation is enormous. We are all working to reduce barriers to the adoption of new technologies and to use existing technologies in ever more creative ways. Our collaborations with many partners, including service users, clinicians, health care leaders and engineers, are central to this work.”

Playphysio, a finalist in the Cambridge Independent’s Entrepreneurial Science and Technology Awards, will share how it harnesses the power of play to shape a new type of chest physio for child patients managing long-term respiratory illness by increasing adherence.

Others showcasing the innovations will be Nolojy, looking at trading and competitive environments, YoYo Let’s Go, exploring tourism, Altogame, which has developed a multiplayer platform to explore human interactions and Cypherdelic, which will discuss its genetic evolution game, ‘Alive: Rule the Seas’.

Laura Welham-Halstead, Venturefest East champion, said: “This immersive session is a must attend for anyone with an interest in gamification and its wider application. UEA and ARU are really leading the way with gamification, finding novel ways to use the technology to solve real life issues.”

Venturefest East runs from 9am-5pm on Thursday September 21 at the Conference Centre at Newmarket Racecourse. For up to date ticket information, visit venturefesteast.co.uk.

Winners of the Cambridge Independent’s Entrepreneurial Science and Technology Awards will be announced in a ceremony following Venturefest East.


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