The Innovation Leaders Conference, run by the Innovation Forum, an international network of pioneering companies, entrepreneurs, researchers and policymakers, is an annual event that brings together innovation across life science, pharmaceutical, healthcare, engineering and clean tech sectors. 

There is also the opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch their business idea to judges, and potential angel investors, in a Dragons’ Den style competition. Last year, over 100 companies from around the world submitted their ideas.

Held on 16th & 17th April at the Cambridge Judge Business School, the event has an impressive line-up of speakers including:

·         Kieran Murphy – CEO and President, GE Healthcare

·         Dr Jonathan Milner – Co-founder of Abcam and angel investor

·         Dr Hermann Hauser – Co-founder, Amadeus Capital

·         Kook-Hyun Moon – President of the New Paradigm Institute of Seoul and former CEO of Yuhan-Kimberly

·         Professor Sir Tom Blundell – Former Head of Department of Biochemistry; University of Cambridge, co-founder of Astex Techology Ltd and Biofabrika

·         Professor Mischa Dohler – Head of the Centre for Telecommunications Research, co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of the smart city pioneer Worldsensing.

·         Professor Jim Smith – Deputy CEO, Medical Research Council

·         Professor Frederick Dubee – Former Senior Office, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, United Nations and Senior Advisor, United Nationals Global Impact

·         Dr Anthony Freeling – President, Hughes Hall, Cambridge; former Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, Director of the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Councils for Europe and Asia

Dr Marek Tyl, co-founder and chief executive of the Innovation Forum has a strong interest in knowledge exchange and collaborative projects between academia, industry and government.  He said: "The Innovation Leaders Conference looks to facilitate communication, introduce partnering opportunities across disciplines and act as a channel for the next generation of technological innovation."

Winner of last year’s Business Idea Competition, Tanya Hutter co-founder of SensorHut, an innovative business that has developed a chemical sensing technology that can be used in applications ranging from chemical process monitoring to medical diagnostics, explains the impact of attending the event:

"I was impressed by the quality of the speakers.  There was a good mix of academic speakers, as well as a broad mix of high profile professionals from industry. I felt very inspired by the talks and came away from the event on a real high. It was also useful to be able to talk to people from different disciplines, who were both interested in academic research but also technology commercialisation."

Tanya continued, "The judges offered up some very interesting feedback and also pointed out a few problems we might have communalising our technology."

SensorHut was awarded a cash prize of £1,000 for winning the competition.  It then went on to secure another £1,000 from a Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE) competition that month, and shortly after received seed-fund investment of £15,000 from Accelerate Cambridge, which is a start-up "accelerator" established by Cambridge Judge Business School. These were matched by a grant from Innovate UK in order to develop SensorHut’s technology further.

The Innovation Forum has an impressive list of sponsors.  Gold sponsors include Novartis, AstraZeneca, MedImmune, George James Ltd, Johnson & Johnson, KISS Communications and KISS PR, specialists in science, healthcare, technology and cleantech marketing. The event’s silver sponsors include GE Healthcare, Dhahran Techno Valley, Stanford University Business School Ignite Program, Crescendo Biologics, F-Star Biotech and Avacta Life Sciences.  

To attend the event, please visit:!conference/cpop

Editor’s notes

The Innovation Forum is run by early career academic and industry researchers and seeks to build bridges between academia, industry and policy makers. It focuses on the future and the evolution of today’s technologies, which range from the nascent stage to the cusp of commercial application.

The Innovation Leaders Conference is in its second year.  Last year, 300 research students, academics, business leaders, disruptive entrepreneurs and investors attended.

The Business Idea Competition will be judged this year by: Dr David Cleevely, Angel Investor and serial entrepreneur; Mary Anne Cordeiro, director of Albion Ventures; and Dr Andy Richards, Angel Investor and serial entrepreneur.  A 1000 word summary of your idea should be submitted by the 15th March 2015 for a chance to present it to business angels.  Further details can be obtained from

For further information, please contact:

Meredith Ash / Victoria Ellis / Justine Smith


T: 01223 911 123

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