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Venturefest20 goes back to the future at Oxford Brookes

PUBLISHED: 10:41 22 August 2018

Motorsport at Oxford Brookes University

Motorsport at Oxford Brookes University


“Oxford Brookes University gives us the chance to radically improve our programme, making it more dynamic and streamlined, and we look forward to rising to the challenge it presents us.”

In celebration of its 20 years, Venturefest Oxford has moved its annual event to the new Oxford Brookes building this year. Not only that, it has moved the date to Wednesday September 12 2018. Click here to buy your tickets.

Venturefest is going back to the future for this milestone event. That means it is going back to its original mission of showcasing the cutting edge work being done across Oxfordshire. At the same time it is looking into the future by focusing on Space technologies, Quantum computing, digital health and autonomous vehicles and robotics. All of these sectors have the potential to significantly impact both our lives and the local, UK and world economies.

Each of the four sectors will be offering enlightening sessions on the technologies behind them in the morning. In the afternoon, there is a chance to learn about the many diverse applications they give us assess to.

Two breakfast sessions open the day, which is host to a large exhibition, a competition for young businesses to pitch for funding or other help, extensive networking opportunities and a closing plenary of local experts who will lead a debate on the challenges and opportunities the four sectors present to Oxfordshire and the UK.

Oxford Brooks University ForumOxford Brooks University Forum

Visitors to the event will be greeted by the Brookes University robot. There will be a captivating driverless car and Aston Martin racing car on display, and a host of other stunning demos and exhibits. Local businesses - big and small - will be alongside representatives from both universities, local organisations, government authorities, and a cross section of local support services and investors.

The Pitching for Success session will focus on showcasing businesses from these sectors and will expand to not only those wishing to pitch for funding, but also mentoring, skills and personnel.

Highlights of the event include:

• IBM introducing its revolutionary work on the next quantum computer

• Harwell Space Centre will be bringing along its satellite instrumentation to illustrate how they are used to assist urban planning, determine where to put solar panels and assess water supply, to name just a few

• Harwell will also be showcasing the amazing work being done across its site including a Flat Panel X-ray source, the new generation of deployable satellite antennas and cognitive mobile healthcare solutions to name a few.

• Oxford Brookes University will be showcasing a variety of robots, Age Simulation Suit, and Gait Analysis software as well as some exciting new technologies and software. They will also be running tours of their bioimaging unit (bookable in advance).

• Oxbotica and RACE from Culham will display their autonomous vehicle. Prodrive are bringing their Aston Martin Racing car and the Brookes Formula Student car will also be on display.

• The closing panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities that the amazing innovations can offer us - but with a dose of reality, insight and humour that will help us understand just what it all really means for us! Panelists are a mix of academics and business people so we get a good balance, chaired by Dr Matt Perkins, CEO of Oxford University Innovation. MD of Oxford Bus Company, Phil Southall will be joined by Sarah Heywood, CEO of MedCity, Rob Buckingham Head of RACE, Tim Ellison of IBM and Barbara Ghinelli from Harwell.

Lynn Shepherd, Chair of Venturefest, said of the new venue “Oxford Brookes University gives us the chance to radically improve our programme, making it more dynamic and streamlined, and we look forward to rising to the challenge it presents us. The new Clerici building, in particular is a triumph and we are excited to be one of the first to book it for our event.”

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University and Board Member for Venturefest Oxford said:

“We are delighted to host Venturefest Oxford 2018 at Oxford Brookes University.

“Next year marks 20 years since Venturefest Oxford first began and in that time it has grown into a premier business networking event. The University is proud of its strong partnerships with business and industry both in the UK and globally and we recognise the value of these events in providing opportunities, support and connections. We will be working with our award-winning Oxford Brookes Venues team to create an exciting hub for innovators, investors and businesses to come together.”

Full details of the programme can be found on at the Venturefest website.

Tickets are £25 and include free travel, courtesy of Oxford Bus Company, free entry to all the sessions, exhibition and showcase, free lunch and refreshments.

Click here to book your tickets.


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