NEW INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES: SHOULD YOU CARE? – Spreading impact, addressing challenges, demonstrating successes

Date: Wednesday, 20th November 2019

Time: 8:30am to 11am

Venue: Gripple GLIDE House, Terry Street, 300 Attercliffe Common, Sheffield, S9 2AG

The manufacturing sector is undergoing a digital transformation that is promising to address the challenges of productivity and efficiency. Tales of how the factory of the future will be smart, connected, but still with a human touch are all around us, but how can that vision be turned into reality?

In this event co-organised by Make UK, the Regional Technology Foresight project and Gripple, we place the perspective of firms centre-stage and invite you to join us in an interactive discussion of the opportunities, challenges and success cases.

Attendance at the event is free. To book, please contact Annette Hobson 01709 782936 or


8:30 – 9:00 Welcome

9:00 – 9:15 Why is Industry 4.0 relevant and accessible to manufacturers of all sizes (June Smith, Make UK)

9:15 – 9:35 Three key challenges of new industrial technologies and how to address them (Jorge Martins and Ivan Rajic, Regional Technology Foresight, University of Sheffield)

9:35 – 9:50 Automating our way to success: helping manufacturers deploy new technologies (Gordon Macrae, Gripple)

9:50 – 10:05 Q&A

10:05 – 11:00 Food & networking

MD Club Autumn Social 2019

MD Club Autumn Social 2019


  • 90% of attendees rated the social either Excellent or Very Good*
  • 100% of attendees either made new useful contacts or progressed existing relationships *
  • Both Sheffield universities provided teaser demonstrations on food sustainability

Thursday 24th October saw the annual MD Club Social take place at Saw Grinders Union, nestled in one of Sheffield’s oldest industrial districts, Kelham Island. MD Club socials take place each year and are an excellent opportunity for like-minded Sheffield City Region businesses and academics from both Sheffield universities to come together and explore partnerships and knowledge exchange in an informal setting.

Guests were welcomed by Eleanor Edey, Regional Partnerships Development Officer at the University of Sheffield, and the MD Club team.

MD Club 24.10.19

Eleanor opened the event welcoming both new and familiar faces, introducing the interactive experiences and highlighting collaboration success stories from MD Club members. Kevin Parkin, Chairman of Parkin Ltd and Chairman of the newly formed MD Steering Group, gave a further welcome highlighting the important role of the MD Club to draw together this regional network of academics and industry.

MD Club 24.10.19

The Autumn Social provided two teaser experiences for the first MD Club event of 2020 which will focus on food sustainability. Dr Cecile Morris and Michael Benson from Sheffield Hallam University’s Business School spoke on the success of the ‘Food Innovation Consultancy Challenge’ where a final year student project with ASDA won high acclaim for its contribution to reducing the sugar content in its own brand biscuits. Christian Reynolds, Knowledge Exchange Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, showcased the ‘Climate Change Food Challenge’ game that provides an interactive way to learn more about the carbon footprint of our food.

MD Club 24.10.19

Communications Consultant Lucy Harper spoke with attendees regarding the MD Club campaign to capture stories about the innovative partnerships between the region’s businesses and Sheffield’s universities, demonstrating the opportunities and routes available for collaboration. This includes commercial and research partnerships, student placements or graduate recruitment through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). We’ll shortly be sharing examples of how companies such as The Floow, Maxons Sweets and Lablogic have utilised the MD Club network to further successful collaborations and company growth. Please contact Bryony Price on if you have a similar story to share.

* Of surveyed attendees.

Sheffield Innovation Programme Receives Funding Boost

Originally published on

A successful project set up to support businesses across the region to innovate through collaboration with the city’s two universities has received £1.8m in further funding.

The Sheffield Innovation Programme was set up in 2016 to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the region to access academic expertise, facilities and resources at both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University to stimulate innovation to deliver new products and services.

The programme is jointly funded by both universities, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF). The new phase of the project also includes the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, and enables the project to continue for a further three years until 2022.

The programme is free for businesses to use and, since it began, more than 200 academics from both universities have worked with more than 300 companies from across the region. This has helped businesses in the region to engage in more than £1.2m worth of collaborative projects through Innovate UK programmes.

Professor Dave Petley, Vice-President for Research at the University of Sheffield, said: “We’re delighted that this successful programme, which has such a profound impact on businesses and economic growth in our region, will continue for another three years.

“This scheme is a fantastic way for regional businesses to access our world-leading facilities and academic expertise to drive innovation and find solutions to the challenges they face.

“At the University of Sheffield, we have a deeply ingrained connection to our region and a sense of pride in our civic values. Contributing to the growth and regeneration of the Sheffield City Region is a key part of our founding mission and ongoing strategy today.

“This is an excellent example of working together with partners in our region to drive economic growth.”

As part of the programme, the universities have provided businesses with academic support for projects, workshop-based innovation guidance, student interns and their world-class facilities.

Catal International produces catalysts for industrial applications and was looking for support to develop an advanced catalyst system, incorporating Potassium Titanate, for application in Municipal Solid Waste conversion processes.

This scheme is a fantastic way for regional businesses to access our world-leading facilities and academic expertise to drive innovation and find solutions to the challenges they face.

Professor Dave Petley

The company approached the Sheffield Innovation Programme to access high-performance equipment and facilities from the University of Sheffield to enable the company to develop a fibre-free Potassium Titanate product in order to overcome occupational health concerns. As a result of this, Catal is now working on scaling-up production quantities to a commercial level.

Andrew Holt, owner and CEO of Catal International Ltd, said: “Without the assistance and the facilities of the Innovation programme, we would not have been able to develop the product to the current position.”

Another example of the Sheffield Innovation Programme’s work is with Infraglo Ltd, a Sheffield-based burner manufacturer. Sheffield Hallam University academic staff worked with the company to win a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) from Innovate UK, based around embedding advanced electronic and product design methods to develop innovative ‘Internet of Things’ products for integration and deployment with burner products.

Nick Shirt, Commercial Director at Infraglo Ltd said: “SIP bridged the gap between applied research and commercialisation by giving us access to expertise in the design and development of our innovative products.”

Professor Roger Eccleston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “We’re delighted the project has received further funding which highlights the impact it is having for businesses in the region and the wider economy.

“Many of the collaborations have resulted in lasting professional relationships and, more importantly, market success for the businesses we’ve worked with, contributing to the economic growth of the region as a whole.

“Thanks to input from our academics and their research, a number of businesses have been able to find solutions to real-life business problems and bring new products to market.

“This is just one of the ways Sheffield Hallam utilises its research and innovation to support regional businesses whilst attracting new inward investment, helping to drive future economies.”

James Muir, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It’s inspiring to see our region once again leading the way with cutting-edge university and industry collaborations. I’m proud that the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership is able to support this important programme, with more than £200,000 in match funding and an active role in selecting two new specialist innovation advisors to work on the project.

“Collaborations between our two leading universities and our innovative and forward-thinking businesses leads to exciting new developments and enables companies to bring new products to the market, further strengthening the economy and boosting supply-chains.”

Working closely with the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and other key partners, Sheffield Innovation Programme provides research and innovation to support regional businesses whilst attracting new inward investment.

Royce Translational Centre Tours

The Royce Translational Centre (RTC) is opening for tours. This is a rare opportunity to tour world-leading engineering research facilities at the University of Sheffield Innovation District.

You can sign up for a tour on the 6 November via eventbrite (

This event is aimed at R&D engineers in industry, particularly SMEs who might be interested in finding out more about what the RTC, LVV, and ICAIR can offer them.

Free transport will be available to and from Sheffield city centre and tours will be followed by a drinks reception

Solutions for Sustainable and Responsible Processing of Plastics

23rd October 2019, The Hide, Sheffield, UK

This industrial summit is an international platform for market representatives, third sectors and academia to hear about the latest innovations in sustainable processing of plastics inspired by nature.

The summit will also provide plenty of opportunities to network, exchange knowledge and share best practice.

The event is hosted by FLow Induced Phase Transitions (FLIPT), a European Commission H2020 Future Emerging Technologies OPEN project. FLIPT brings together researchers and industrialists from across the EU in an effort to reduce, refine and redesign how we produce and use plastic materials.

Conference attendance is FREE, with lunch provided as well as a post-Conference networking dinner in the evening.

Please sign up here

Using the password “silk”

For further information about the project please visit our website

We want this to be an exciting and engaging forum for all, so please feel free to forward this to colleagues and contacts with an interest in this current, interesting and important topic area.

Please do not hesitate to contact Lucy Elam, 0114 222 5998 or email directly if you have any questions.

MD Club Autumn Social

Date: Thursday 24th October

Time: 17.30 – 20.00

Venue: Saw Grinders Union

Join us at Saw Grinders Union for our MD Club Autumn Social. This event is an excellent chance to explore partnerships and knowledge exchange between Sheffield City Region businesses and academics from both Sheffield universities.

Nestled in one of Sheffield’s oldest industrial districts, this social event will be hosted at Saw Grinders Union, a selection of warming food will be provided, along with the opportunity to hear MD Club success stories and to experience interactive teaser sessions for our next event focused on food sustainability.

100% of attendees rated our last social as either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’

Continue reading “MD Club Autumn Social”

Sheffield Internet of Things Meetup

Pitch-In are hosting a Sheffield IoT Meetup on October 2nd. The aims of the event are to:

  • Create a vibrant group around IoT and cybersecurity that enables individuals and organisations to share their capability and stimulate discussion and collaboration (sales-type pitches are discouraged).
  • Enable real-world IoT applications, through facilitating technology research/development and commercial progress.
  • Help position Sheffield as a leading IoT centre and lay the groundwork for larger events/activities that reinforce this reputation

The event is open to those interested in the Internet of Things.

You can register here

Barclays AI Frenzy Discover what AI means for you

Thursday, 5th September | 17.30 - 20.30

Ko-Host Space, Kollider, Castle House, Castle Street, Sheffield, S3 8LU

As an emerging technology Artificial Intelligence can be confusing or overwhelming for those who want to get started. This event aims to demystify and educate around where Data Science is up to and what applications businesses can implement today. This is a free event hosted by Barclays at Kollider in Sheffield featuring 4 guest speakers, with an Introduction from Tim Latham, Founder, Datatrainer and followed by a Q&A Session. The guest speakers are as follows:

  • Dr. Caroline Chibelushi, Knowledge Transfer Manager for Artificial Intelligence, Innovate UK
  • Sue Daley, Associate Director, Technology and Innovation, TechUK
  • Ben O’Brien, Managing Director, Jaywing AI
  • Sherin Mathew, Founder of AI Tech North and AI Lead at IBM

Hosted by Ian Holland, Ecosystem Manager Barclays, Matt Bowler AI Eagle for the North West and Tim Latham, Founder, Datatrainer.

If you are interested in attending this free event please click here. If you know any guests who would be interested in attending, please feel free to forward on the invite.


17.30 Arrival and networking

18.00 Introduction with Tim Lathan

18.10 Dr. Caroline Chibelushi

18.30 Sue Daley

18.50 Ben O’Brien

19.10 Sherin Mathew

19.30 Q & A

19.50 Networking

20.30 Close of Event

For further information please contact
Matt Bowler
Barclays UK Ventures
+44 (0)7384438290

The Importance of Wellbeing in the Workplace – Event Summary

David Capper, CEO of Westfield Health talks about Active Work

A healthy workforce isn’t a ‘nice to have,’ it makes good business sense. The return on investment is tangible in terms of the correlation with improved productivity and reduced days off.

However, it’s up to business leaders like those attending the MD Club to take the lead on encouraging a healthier, happier and more motivated workforce. The shift that needs to happen will only occur, if it is driven by a change in culture and attitude so that your people have the means to stay well at work.   In short, if employers look after their workforces, their workforces will be motivated to look after themselves and your businesses.

Continue reading “The Importance of Wellbeing in the Workplace – Event Summary”

Gripple Ltd set to host ‘Innovation Workshop’ for city entrepreneurs

MD Club members Gripple are hosting a free event supported by Y Accellerator for Sheffield City Regions businesses and entrepreneurs.  Lead by Gripple’s Special Projects Manager Gorden Macrae the workshop will look at identifying and solving problems, explore oppurtunities, creating value and innovating by thinking out the box.

More information and registration can be found here