Creative Industries: The competitive edge for South West businesses

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Authored by News Desk
Posted Friday, May 17, 2019 - 11:58am

Plymouth College of Art and Falmouth University, two of the leading providers of creative education in the South West, will host a series of Creative Industries panels and workshops at Venturefest South West. The hugely successful technology industry event is expected to bring together more than 800 businesses, entrepreneurs, investors and academics from the South West’s tech industries in a one-day event on 17 June 2019 at Sandy Park, Exeter.

The Creative Industries panels will be led by Oli Raud, Strategic Funding Manager at Plymouth College of Art, who has been instrumental in building the college’s portfolio of externally-funded projects including Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs and the Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab, and Professor Greg Whelan from Falmouth University, Research & Innovation Programme Lead: Creative Industries Futures and Professor of Performance, Academy of Music and Theatre Arts (AMATA).

Oli Raud said: “We’re delighted to be hosting the Creative Industries panel and HackFest at Venturefest South West, this year. The Creative Industries and wider Creative Economy are key to the ecology of business and innovation in the South West as we strive to grow, attract and retain the brightest talent and further capitalise on the great steps being made to make our region known not only as a great place to live but also to invest, do business and shape the products and services of the future.“

In ‘Virtual Reality and Immersive Technologies’, Vicktor Brelsford, Managing Director of digital development agency One Polygon, and Dr Hannah Wood, from the South West Creative Technology Network, will discuss the new digital tools that are available to visualise future products and services, framing virtual reality as a tool that can give business owners a competitive advantage when designing new products.

In ‘Investing in Digital Design and Manufacture for Product Development’, Ben Mundy, Manager and Knowledge Exchange Coordinator at Fab Lab Plymouth, will share insights on the ways that digital design and manufacture can boost productivity and reduce lead time for the creation of new products, utilising 3D printing technologies to drive efficiency in research and development.

Interactive workshops at Venturefest will include ‘User Experience Design’, led by award winning product  UX designer Paula Kaminska, who worked on the highly successful FinTech startup Duesday app.

Returning to the South West for the third year running, Hackfest is a county-wide project across Devon for young people to come together to create product prototypes that respond to the issues of the future, led by Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs, Fab Lab Plymouth and Plymouth College of Art. Over the next month approximately 100 students aged 14 to 19, from a range of different schools across Devon, are expected to participate in two-day Hackfest events in both Exeter and Plymouth.

Taking the same format as the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs ‘Creative Jams’, each Hackfest event will comprise a two-day ‘hackathon’ allowing local young people to learn new digital and enterprise skills, design new ideas, create products or services and pitch those ideas to experts. Winners of the Hackfest pitching sessions, selected by expert judges, will go on to present their ideas to business leaders, investors and industry professionals at Venturefest South West.

Tickets for Venturefest cost £40 (plus VAT) and can be purchased at www.venturefest-sw.co.uk. The first event in 2016 was oversubscribed with a waiting list and tickets for this event are expected to be in similar demand.

Venturefest South West will be held on Monday 17th June 2019 at Sandy Park, Exeter. The event is supported by: The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Falmouth University, the University of Plymouth, University of Exeter, Plymouth College of Art, Heart of the South West LEP, South West Academic Health Science Network, Plymouth City Council and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).