Northern Powerhouse Business Summit: 4-6 July, 2018

Boiler Shop, Newcastle upon Tyne
From Jul 4th 2018
To Jul 6th 2018
See the website


The Great Exhibition of the North is a three-month celebration of the North of England’s pioneering spirit and the impact of our inventors, artists and designers. It’s a chance to show how our innovative spirit has shaped the world and is building the economy of tomorrow. 

The Northern Powerhouse Business Summit, taking place 4-6th July, is the central experience for businesses during the Exhibition. With an outstanding line up of speakers, workshops and showcases, businesses can expect to be inspired by stories of innovation from across industry. 

All sessions are free to attend. Attendees are encouraged to read the session descriptions before booking.         

Wednesday 4th July, 9am-5pm – Great Innovators

A full day of inspiring talks by world leading innovators. Speakers will discuss a range of topics, sharing their stories of innovation and insights into cutting-edge sectors such as digital, energy, advanced manufacturing and health. Join speakers including Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, to find out what our future holds. (Full programme to be announced shortly). 

09.00 - 10.00: Registration

10.00 - 11.45: Session 1

11.45 - 13.00: Lunch

13.00 - 14.45: Session 2

14.45 - 15.25: Break

15.25 - 17.00: Session 3

Thursday 5th July – Great Opportunities 

9am – 12pm, Session 1 – Finance

With a keynote talk by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, join speakers who will discuss the economic challenges that face the north of England in the coming months, and the future of the finance industry. 

09.00 - 10.00: Registration

10.00 - 12.00: Session 1

12.30pm – 2.30pm, Session 2 – Design

Join Sarah Weir from the Design Council who will be launching a report uncovering the importance and value of design to the economy. 

12.30 - 13.00: Registration

13.00 - 14.30: Session 2

3pm – 5pm, Workshops. 

Delivering Digital Transformation – delivered by Bay Digital

Hosted by Siemens

Venue: Urban Sciences Building

This workshop will introduce participants to the principles behind delivering customer-centred digital services. Learn how your organisation or team can be structured to add more value to your business, and how you can deliver value to your customers by shifting your focus onto their needs.


Aging 2.0 Design Hack – delivered by hedgehog lab and Aging 2.0 Newcastle

Venue: hedgehog lab @ Generator Studios

Businesses need to start considering how they can deliver digital experiences for an aging audience. This workshop will introduce participants to design thinking, focusing on issues facing an aging society. Part talk and part hackathon, this workshop will be run in collaboration with Newcastle Aging 2.0 which launched in the North East in May this year.  Founded in New York in 2012 and run by a team headquartered in San Francisco, Aging 2.0 supports innovators taking on the biggest challenges and opportunities in aging.


Can the North fuel the Northern Powerhouse? – delivered by Squire Patton Boggs and Leeds University Business School

Hosted by Robertson

Venue: TUS Park

Join Squire Patton Boggs and Leeds University Business School for a discussion on how a northern supply chain, talent and innovation can help deliver the industrial strategy. Businesses are invited to join this forum to discuss how the North can create opportunities for our key sectors. This workshop will feature expert speakers followed by several roundtable discussions, with the findings being turned into a report which Squire Patton Boggs will later present to government.


“Been there, done that” An insight into fast growing businesses – delivered by Ward Hadaway

Venue: Ward Hadaway

Every year Ward Hadaway celebrates the fastest growing profitable businesses in regions throughout the North of England. As part of the Northern Powerhouse Business Summit they have invited companies that have previously made the Fastest 50 to join a panel discussion, where they will share their experiences of being at the helm of fast growing, successful Northern businesses.


How to be an age smart employer – delivered by Cintra HR services

Venue: Crowne Plaza

This workshop will explore how businesses can become an ‘age smart’ employer by seeing value in the older workforce. It will look at the latest best practices in gender equality and how innovative HR policies can deliver benefits to a business. Participants will learn how SMEs can turn their workforce into brand ambassadors, without needing a large HR department.


Future Rural: Ensuring rural businesses are not left behind – Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University

Hosted by BT

Venue: Boiler House, Newcastle University

Rural areas are key to delivering the Industrial Strategy and there are already examples of new technologies being deployed and tested across the North - for example autonomous vehicles being tested in the Lake District and augmented reality helping visitors experience the cultural heritage of the Pennines. Join Newcastle University’s Centre for Rural Economy, for a practical workshop looking at how innovations can work within rural areas, and the role of the rural as a test bed for innovation.


Business Challenge: Opportunities to work with AkzoNobel

Venue: Northern Design Centre

AkzoNobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. It is also a market leader in marine underwater hull coatings. AkzoNobel are looking to meet potential suppliers that can improve its current process of analyzing video to identify fouling on the hulls of marine vessels. The challenge is to create autonomous systems which can learn to identify and quantify fouling, and output metrics, based on video footage obtained from underwater robotics.

Join AkzoNobel for a briefing on the challenge and details of the commercial opportunity for companies with relevant solutions. Please note: this session is only available to SMEs based in the North of England.


Business Challenge: Opportunities to work with Nissan

Hosted by Womble Bond Dickinson

Venue: Womble Bond Dickinson offices

Maintenance engineers at Nissan are regularly called to inspect or repair pieces of equipment. There is a lot of information involved in carrying out this activity; some of this the engineer will know implicitly, some is communicated on-site, and some has to be looked up on demand. Nissan are looking to meet potential suppliers that can design and demonstrate technology solutions to streamline the maintenance process, by maximising the time an engineer spends doing what they do best – physically interacting with the machine.

Join Nissan for a briefing on the challenge and details of the commercial opportunity for companies with relevant solutions. Please note: this session is only available to SMEs based in the North of England.

Friday 6th July, 9am - 4pm - Northern Powerhouse: Great Futures

The final day of the Summit will bring together ministers, city region mayors, and council and business leaders, who will discuss the future of the Northern Powerhouse and how businesses across the North of England can ensure an economy that is fit for the future. Speakers will include Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry, and Collette Roche, COO of Manchester United. (Full programme to be announced shortly)

09.00 - 10.00: Registration

10.00 - 12.00: Session 1

12.00 - 13.00: Lunch

13.00 - 15.00: Session 2

This project is part-funded by England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

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