Westminster Business Forum

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Next steps for supporting business innovation and innovative businesses - policy and regulation, finance, procurement, talent, leadership, and investor skills, and access to market and export opportunities

Morning, Monday, 11th July 2022

This conference is discussing priorities for policy and action to support business-led innovation in the UK - in enterprises of all scales, including innovative scale-ups and SMEs.

It is bringing together stakeholders with key policymakers to examine progress and next steps for the Government’s UK innovation strategy and UKRI’s Plan for action for business innovation - with an added discussion focus on priorities following the pandemic. 

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with Sarah Mackintosh, Deputy Director, Innovation, BEIS; and Dave Wilkes, Director, Innovation Ecosystem, Innovate UK.

Delegates will assess what is needed - from government, regulation, finance and the wider private and public sectors - to help meet the needs of innovators through all stages of corporate and product development, including in R&D, feasibility studies, investment, partnership development and commercialisation.

The agenda looks at:

  • finance:
    • growing private investment in UK innovation ◦ leveraging public funding ◦ building specialist investor skills
    • regulation ◦ use of mechanisms such as BBB & Global Britain Investment Fund
  • partnerships - better facilitating creation collaboration between investors & businesses ◦ opportunities for sharing knowledge, best practice, intelligence & talent
  • public procurement - improving tendering processes ◦ mechanisms to better support innovators ◦ widening access & opportunities for SMEs to expand in domestic & international markets
  • talent - options for domestic and international skills, education & recruitment pathways ◦ potential & use of the new Scale-up, High Potential & Global Mobility visa routes

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside policy officials who are due to attend from DCMS; DIT; the Home Office; and The Scottish Government.

Keynote Speakers

Sarah Mackintosh

Deputy Director, Innovation, BEIS

Dave Wilkes

Director, Innovation Ecosystem, Innovate UK

Keynote Speakers

Dave Wilkes

Director, Innovation Ecosystem, Innovate UK

Sarah Mackintosh

Deputy Director, Innovation, BEIS


Baroness Blake of Leeds

Shadow Spokesperson, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and International Trade


Connie Moser

CEO, Navenio

Nadia Edwards-Dashti

Chief Customer Officer, Harrington Starr

Jenny Tooth

Executive Chair, UK Business Angels Association

Peter Barrand

Managing Director, Newable Capital

Josh Robson

Head of Public Affairs and External Relations, ScaleUp Institute

Katie Newbury

Partner, Immigration, Kingsley Napley

Simon Gibson

CEO, Spirant Group

Dom Hallas

Executive Director, Coadec

Dr Jeremy Silver

CEO, Digital Catapult

Tom Graham

Managing Director, Banking, Accenture