Series Events 2017

We are pleased to announce that our Venturefest Series culminates in a one day Thought Leadership Conference on 17th October. The event will take place at Watershed in central Bristol. The conference will bring together the best Smart City brains to debate what we’ve learned on our Smart Cities journey. This year Venturefest Bristol and Bath will be part of the Festival of the Future City. Check back here for regular updates..


Upcoming Events   Past Events

Business Support Events

  • FEBRUARY 2017 Venturefest Launch

  • FEBRUARY 21 Start-up drinks

    6.30pm – 8.30pm | Engine Shed | FREE


  • MAR Outline of crowdfunding support programme

    Idea Squares, Engine Shed

  • MARCH 14 Disrupting the Workplace – how technology is changing the way we work

    Venue: Desk Lodge

    Hosted by Estrella Green and Near Desk

    Format: Two hours 8am kick off with 10am close
    Networking / warm up breakfast
    Introduction from the panel
    Discussion panel

    Panel line up – trends and application of them in the workplace

    Intelligent Apps
    Applied AI
    Unified customer view
    Disrupting HR

    Objectives: Trends for 2017 – take home piece at the end of the series


  • MARCH 21 Start-up drinks

    6.30pm – 8.30pm | Engine Shed | FREE

  • MARCH 22 Stimulating Innovation & Growth

    Venue: Engine Shed

    Format: Registration and meet up will be from 10:00-10:45

    10:45 – 11:00 Sam Bell West of England Growth Hub introduction

    11:00 – 11:30 Paul O’Collins EEN overview

    11:30-12:00 Jamie Duggan International trade adviser – Q&A

    12:00 – 15:00 -13:00 Networking, Talk to a International trade advisor

    13:00-15:00 Open format

    The event is open from 10:45-15:00 open format, if you which to book for the presentations please register.

    The West of England’s Growth Hub’s first Venturefest event in collaboration with Enterprise Europe Network South West and Export for Growth.
    Managing and harnessing innovation is essential for growth and there is a wealth of support designed to help businesses overcome barriers to growth and innovation. Paul O’Collins will provide an overview of the support and expertise available from the innovate2succeed coaching programme aimed at high growth businesses who are looking to introduce new technologies or processes to their business or considering launching new products and services to their customers. Paul will also talk about the EEN service support and expert advice they can provide to those businesses wanting to innovate and grow internationally.

    Exporting to new markets

    Whether you’re new to export and looking for direction, an experienced exporter looking to break into new markets or considering international trade for the first time, the Export for Growth programme can help you on your way. International Trade Adviser (ITA) Jamie Duggan will share information about the support you could get from the programme and how to get involved. You’ll also have your chance to book a 1:1 session!


  • APRIL 4 Engine Shed Briefing: Leadership - the challenges of a scaling CEO

    Venue: Engine Shed

    Hosted by: Engine Shed

    Format: This event will feature 2 CEOs who have experienced the scaling up and subsequent exiting of a business.

    There will be an opportunity to hear the stories from the CEOs, their tips and warnings – with plenty of time for questions.

    The event will be followed by SETsquared Connect – an opportunity to network with local tech entrepreneurs.

    If you want to attend SETsquared Connect – please register here, using the password: Netw0rk

    Speakers to be announced shortly.

    The aim of this event is to be informative, provocative, raise awareness, generate new ideas and thoughts, and help build an inclusive scale-up ecosystem – we hope you can attend and contribute to that thinking.

    Please note: This event will be filmed. Please let us know if you do not want to appear in the filming and we can seat you out of view.


  • APRIL 4 #Idea2Pitch – develop your high tech business idea into a pitch!

    Hosted by: SETsquared

    Venue: SEtsquared

    Format: 2pm – 6pm

    14.00 – 14.30       Intro to SETsquared

    14.30 – 15.30       What makes a good business idea? Greville Commins (Entrepreneur in Residence)

    15.30 – 15.45       Break

    15.45 – 17.00       Developing an elevator pitch workshop by Greville Commins (Entrepreneur in Residence)

    17.15 – 17.45       Pitch practice

    17.45 – 18.00       SETsquared and Engine Shed tour

    18:00 – 20.00       The workshop is followed by SETsquared Connect networking event at Engine Shed which you are welcome to attend and meet some of our current member businesses.

    This event is designed for non-SETsquared members

    Do you have a great high tech business idea, but don’t know where to start? Or are you unsure what to do next in order to grow your technology company? Then sign up for #Idea2Pitch event hosted by SETsquared Bristol to help hone your ideas, and shape them into a pitch for gaining interest or support in your venture.

    The event includes an interactive workshop on what makes a good business idea, and how to pitch it for maximum effect and an introduction to SETsquared, the Global No.1 university-backed business incubator. Attendees are also invited to the Bristol Centre’s regular SETsquared Connect networking evening following the session. This is an opportunity to informally meet mentors and experts in residence, as well as the start-up community and to try out your new pitch.


    Please apply to attend this session by answering the questions fully in the booking form, and we will let you know if your application has been successful. We have a limited number of spaces available and will be selecting participants based on SETsquared’s ability to help you develop your business ideas.



  • MAY 17 SETsquared Workshop: Elevator Pitch

    Hosted by: SETsquared

    Venue: Engine Shed

    Format: 10am – 1pm

    SETsquared Workshop: Building your team

    Speaker: Greville Commins, Entrepreneur in Residence

    Another top-class workshop, presented by SETsquared’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Greville Commins, bringing years of experience of pitching to investors, corporates and stakeholders.

    Essential for SETsquared companies who would like to pitch at this year’s Innovation Showcase, now rebranded as ‘SETsquared Tech-xpo’ (event details and pitching selection panel TBC).

    Your Elevator pitch is a basic business skill you need to help you take advantage of every chance encounter or phone conversation where you have 90 seconds to convey your proposition.

    This workshop helps you distil your entire business proposition into a 90 second ‘elevator pitch’.

    There will be plenty of time to practice and develop your pitch in this session.

    Delegates: Open to anyone who needs to improve their skills in presenting their business in a time constrained environment.

    Outcomes: The attendee will know how to refine key messages, build a template for an elevator pitch and leave with some experience of delivering a pitch.


  • MAY 31 SETsquared: Building your first Board

    Hosted by: SETsquared

    Venue: SETsquared, Clock Tower Room, Engine Shed, Bristol

    Format: 2pm – 4pm

    This workshop, led by Nick Sturge, Director of Engine Shed, IoD Fellow and Chartered Director, will help you understand the role of the board, how you can enhance your business with an effective board and how to use it.

    We will cover the why, the what and the how based on years of experience of working with SETsquared member, and other, companies, as well as Nick’s own experience of growing and listing a technology business.

    Register here

  • JUNE 15 Flawless Finances driving perfect decisions

    Venue: SETsquared, Clock Tower Room, Engine Shed, BS1 6QH, Bristol

    Format: 2pm – 4pm

    Presentation/workshop by Rich Corrigan Associates

    Flawless Finances driving Perfect Decisions

    Presented by Luke Rees and Hayley Stead of Corrigan Associates

    How the Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet and cashflow integrate with each other to give a   financial picture of the business. To Include:

    • An explanation of what a Profit & Loss account and Balance Sheet are
    • Business modelling – How these integrate with cashflow forecasts and help you manage the business’ finances
    • What items in the Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet lead to cash/non-cash movement
    • A brief review of the different types of accounting systems that are available
    • What different roles do these people undertake – Bookkeeper, Accountant, Financial Controller, Finance Director?

    Register here

  • JUNE 22 Enhance your competence as a line manager

    Hosted by: SETsquared

    Venue: SETsquared, Clock Tower Room, Engine Shed, BS1 6QH, Bristol

    Format: 2pm – 4pm  

    Presentation/workshop by Alice Chapman, Practice

    Good line management is at the heart of an effective organization. This workshop, led by Alice Chapman of Practice, will reflect on the line manager’s role and give you concrete ideas for building your, and your organisation’s, competence.  

    The workshop is open to anyone who is new to line management or who wants to strengthen their line management skills.  


    • To enhance your competence and confidence as a line manager


    • People who are new to line management, and/or those who want to reflect on and improve their skills.

    Learning objectives: 

    • By the end of this workshop you will be able to:
    • Define the role and objectives of a line manager
    • List the key activities of the role
    • name at least two things that you intend to do differently with respect to:
    • understanding your team
    • setting objectives
    • managing 1:1s
    • help people develop

    Register here

  • JUNE 27 Business Plan Fundamentals

    Hosted by: SETsquared

    Venue: SETsquared, Clock Tower Room, Engine Shed, Bristol

    Format: 9.30am – 12.30pm

    Presentation/Workshop by Greville Commins

    This workshop covers a broad spectrum of key items you must consider when developing a business plan with the intention of helping the attendee producing a better plan.

    The workshop also covers how the plan is used to either raise investment or become the base upon which to run the business.

    This workshop covers: what is a business plan for, structure, Executive summary, basics of finance, planning for investment, commons questions investors ask and how to handle them and Do’s & Don’ts of writing business plans.

    Delegates: Anyone with limited or no experience of developing new business plans.

    Outcomes: Attendee will leave with a good understanding of the key components of a business plan, its structure, finance information, techniques on how to write plans, do’s and don’ts, good writing tips and using plans for raising funding or managing a business.

    Register here

  • JUNE 27 The Anatomy Of A Ransomware Attack

    Experts from the South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit will walk you through a real cyber attack that happened to a business in the southwest recently.

    You will be taken on a journey, from a hacker choosing your business as a target through to the police investigation and potential arrest.

    They will highlight ways in which you can identify the threat at an early stage, mitigate the impact from an attack and suggest the lessons that should be taken away to protect yourself and your business.

    This is an excellent opportunity to understand just how cyber attacks happen and what you can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim too.


    – Lisa Forte and Victoria Stone: Cyber Security Advisors for the SW RCCU

    • Jonathan Atkin: Acting Detective Sergeant SWRCCU
    • Louise Simpson: Cyber Crime Investigator SWRCCU

    There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions throughout.

    Register here

  • JULY 6 Workshop: So you want to write a press release?

    Hosted by: SETsquared

    Venue: SETsquared, Clock Tower Room, Engine Shed

    Format: 2pm – 4pm

    Presentation/workshop by Trevor Day & Julian Evans, Royal Literary Fund

    Led by Trevor Day, writing consultant and proprietor of Reading and Writing for Results, on behalf of the Royal Literary Fund’s Writing Project.

    This workshop will take you through the process of writing and circulating a press release, to capture the attention of an editor.

    It will take you from initial ideas through to finalising your story. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to write that vital first paragraph of your enticing press release.

    Trevor Day, a trainer and writer, has worked with dozens of private and public sector organisations in the UK and US and has written press releases for the UK’s largest research council.

    The workshop is particularly suitable for those who intend to write press releases for a small or medium-sized organisation.


    • The reasons for writing a press release
    • What needs to be in place before you write one
    • Telling your story
    • Checking your story

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the workshop, participants should be better able to write a press release, with an appropriate structure, narrative and writing style, aimed at particular editors and readerships.

    Register here

  • JULY 12 Raising your first venture round

    Hosted by: Osborne Clark

    Venue: Osborne Clarke, 2 Temple Back East, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6EG

    Format: 5.30pm – 8pm

    Moderator: Alex McCracken, Managing Director of SVB’s UK Commercial Banking


    • Rory Stirling @ BGF Ventures
    • Paul McNabb @ Episode 1 Ventures
    • Michael Dimelow @ Accelerated Digital Ventures
    • William Orde @ Oxford Capital
    • Nigel Toon @ Graphcore


    • 5:30pm – Open doors
    • 6pm – VC funding insights/ trends presented by Alex
    • 6:15pm –  Panel discussion
    • 7:30pm – Wrap up & networking
    • 8pm – Close

  • JULY 12 Negotiation Skills

    Hosted by: SETsquared

    Venue: SETsquared

    Format: 9.30am – 12.30pm

    Presentation/workshop by Greville Commins

    Negotiation skills are of key importance in business

    This workshop combines negotiations theory backed up by audio examples together with practical exercises related to real-world business cases.

    The workshop studies the various modes of negotiations, behaviours, techniques and attendees discuss real world application of these modes.

    You will investigate sources of negotiation power, techniques to test the resolve of the other party, how to ask for a better deal and what to do when the crunch happens.

    Register here

  • JULY 17 Social Engineering: See What The Hacker See

    Description: Workshop.

    Hosted by: Avon & Somerset Police. Delivered by: Lisa Forte- Cyber Security Advisor

    Venue: Engine Shed

    Format: 2pm – 4pm

    We all use social media and have Facebook friends we don’t really know and we all love to share photographs from the happiest moments of our lives.

    In this workshop you will become a hacker and learn how they would use your social media against you, to attack you and make you believe they are someone you can trust.

    You’ll never look at friend requests in the same way again!

    Register here

  • SEPTEMBER 6 Cyber Security Workshop

    Hosted by: Avon & Somerset Police

    Venue: Engine Shed, Bristol

    Time: 2pm – 4pm

    How would your business respond to a cyber attack? 


    Over a quarter of all businesses in the UK suffered one or more Cyber breaches in 2016 and 51% of medium businesses were attacked.

    Many SME’s and start-ups never recover. The ones that do recover often have a plan in place.

    This practical table top workshop will run through a realistic cyber-attack based on real life cases that the Cyber Crime Unit have dealt with.

    The simulation will get you thinking about how your business would respond and highlights just how quickly things can escalate out of control.

    Attendees will walk away with plenty of food for thought and practical steps to increase your resilience and protect your innovation.

    The simulation will get you thinking about how your business would respond and highlights just how quickly things can escalate out of control.

    Attendees will walk away with plenty of food for thought and practical steps to increase your resilience and protect your innovation.

    The event is aimed at those with little to no IT knowledge and due to the nature and content of this workshop, it is only suitable for staff and decision makers within business.

    This session will be facilitated by Lisa Forte from the South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit.

    Lisa’s role involves informing businesses how to avoid falling victim to cyber-crime but also what to do if they find themselves under attack.

    Register for this event

  • SEPTEMBER 12 Cyber Security: where to start?

    Hosted by: North Somerset Enterprise Agency Ltd

    Venue: The Hive, 6 Beaufighter Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS24 8EE (spaces 50)

    Time: 12–2pm – Panel introductions with Q&A session.

    Format: Establishing an effective governance structure for keeping your business safe including protecting networks, home and mobile working, managing users and risk management.

    Knowledge and basic action plan for substantially reducing the cyber risk to their business.

    Aimed at: All micro/SMES


    Barclays Bank on the 10 Steps to Cyber Security Awareness

    BPH on Cyber Essentials Accreditation

    Gregg Latchams on GDPR

    Register for this event

  • SEPTEMBER 20 Digital Diversity in a Smart City workplace

    Digital Diversity: improving access to great jobs and places to work to the wider population-including those who do not live in cities.

    Hosted by: Osborne Clarke LLP

    Venue: Osborne Clarke, 2 Temple Back East, Bristol BS1 6EG

    Time: 8.30am – 11am


    A truly great business will be one that involves the widest community and which creates better access to work from anywhere. The best and most successful businesses will be those with the most diverse work forces. 

    The best and most successful businesses will be those with the most diverse work forces.

    We live in a country where pre and post Brexit there may be a smaller talent pool available to business, so how can you access the best?

    Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor of Bristol, will be our keynote speaker, joining Osborne Clarke and a panel of experts from business, academia and the tech industry for a wide ranging discussion on:

    –          the benefits of having a diverse workforce;

    –          how to improve diversity in start-ups;

    –          how the academic sector is addressing access and opportunities;

    –          how global companies address the issue and what lessons can be learned

    –          how you can improve diversity legally in the UK

    The participants will include:

    Monika Radclyffe, Centre Director, The Bristol SETsquared Centre

    Julian Hemming, Chair of the International Employment Law Group, Osborne Clarke LLP

    Dr Helen Mortimore, Head of Bristol Business School’s Human Resources, Work and Employment Research Group, University of the West of England.

    Register for this event

  • SEPTEMBER 21 Data Protection and Privacy issues in AI systems and devices

    Event: Data Protection and Privacy issues in AI systems and devices

    Hosted by: Osborne Clarke

    Venue: Osborne Clarke, 2 Temple Back East, Bristol. BS1 6EG

    Time: 12pm – 1.30pm

    Through the use of AI use cases, we will set the scene for a wide-ranging debate and discussion on data protection and privacy issues, including:

    • A simple recap on the basic concepts under the current data protection regime in the UK, and how this applies to the collection and use of data by/for AI technologies.
    • How the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that comes into effect in the UK and the rest of the EU next May, will impose stricter requirements and further limitations, such as in relation to automatic profiling.
    • Some specific issues that arise from example data flow in the context of a couple of AI use cases, such as:
    • IoT/robotic devices that may operate in the home or in connected cities 
    • eHealth and well-being devices that collect sensitive personal data and profile users against large data sets 
    • Other data considerations, such as the exploitation of confidential information and “data ownership”. 

    We aim to keep the discussion balanced across the implications for developers, vendors, customers, consumers/individuals, and regulators.

  • OCT 5 Venturefest Bristol and Bath at the South Gloucestershire Business Show

    Hosts: South Gloucestershire Business Show

    Time: 9am – 5pm

    Venue: Bristol & Bath Science Park

    Format: On 5th October, the inaugural South Gloucestershire Business Show 2017 will be hosting Venturefest Bristol and Bath as part of their series of events. We are delighted to present a line-up that takes in some of the highlights of the VFBB17 programme:

    • The planned developments around driverless vehicles and robotics
    • South West Regional Energy conference
    • TEDx – High Tech Businesses in a High Growth environment
    • A Smart City Guide for Business

    (Sessions can be booked individually or as a full day programme)

    For further information on the South Gloucestershire Business Show please visit:


  • OCT 12 Grow your business with gigabit connectivity and do better digital business

    Hosts: REPLICATE / Connecting Bristol

    Time: 6.30pm – 8pm

    Venue: Cash Hall in City Hall

    Format: New UK Government incentives will shortly be available in the Bristol City Council area to help businesses get gigabit broadband. Come along to this event, as part of Venturefest Bristol & Bath, to find out more about how your business could get a gigabit broadband boost.

    The average SME employee loses 15 minutes every day due to slow internet – full fibre, gigabit connectivity could be transformative for your business:

    • boosting productivity by saving time and speeding processing
    • opening the door to new innovations, like far greater use of cloud services and VOIP phones
    • enabling employees to work remotely and more flexibly
    • delivering more satisfied customers, more likely to come back

    helping your business grow and expand. Hear from other West of England businesses with faster broadband.

    Are you missing out?

    Following new investment, there are now more options to get full fibre / ultrafast broadband in the Bristol area than ever before. Thanks to new incentives from the UK Government for gigabit-ready broadband – the time is right for businesses and organisations to upgrade their connections

    Come along to our event:

    • hear about the difference ultrafast broadband makes, from businesses themselves
    • how your business could benefit
    • the new ultrafast options available to many Bristol businesses
    • Doing better digital business
    • UK Government incentives for you to get gigabit-enabled speeds

    They’ll be time to network with other businesses / organisations and talk through the options and answer any questions in our Connectivity Market Place. Refreshments will be provided.

    Doors open at 18:00 and the event begins at 18:30.

    Entrance is at the rear of the building in College Street. The event takes place in the Cash Hall of Bristol City Hall.

  • OCT 17 Finale event: Thought Leadership Conference

    The Venturefest Bristol & Bath Series will culminate in a Thought Leadership Conference in October.

    For more information on our October event please visit:

If you would like any more information on any of the events listed please contact us.
Sam Snow, Marketing Executive
Invest Bristol & Bath

These events are subject to change as the Series grows. We hope to see more events added to the programme, and if you would like to hold a Smart City themed event, or if you would like further information on the events listed please contact us. We can also give you details of how to register.

Tech Events

  • FEBRUARY 2017 Venturefest Launch

  • MARCH 1 Machine Learning & AI – Application levels & impacts

    BCS  |  Speakers from Graphcore & UWE | 7pm – 9pm | Engine Shed | Spaces: 80 | FREE

  • MARCH 2 Cloud Software Conference

    Voxxed Days| Watershed | Spaces: 200 | TICKETED

  • MARCH 3 IoT Boost


  • MARCH 16 How will we ever trust computers to drive us safely?

    Venue: Engine Shed

    Hosted by Venturer/Flourish

    Format: 10am – 12pm

    Registration from 9.30am. Coffee and Tea provided

    A 2 hr round table discussion on the Smart City challenges and solutions of CAV technology.

    How can we trust a computer to drive us safely? Who becomes liable in the event of an accident? And will CAV’s take away the pleasure of the driver experience on the open road?

    We know that as we move towards Smart Cities technology development is inevitable, so how do we keep the consumer at the heart of it?

    Come along and discuss these questions and more with partners in the Venturer and Flourish projects.


  • MARCH 22 Innovate2succeed & Export for Growth

    Innovate UK & The Growth Hub  | All day drop-in session | 10am – 4pm | Engine Shed | FREE

  • MARCH 30 Cyber Security and its impact for SMEs

    Venue: Engine Shed

    Hosted by: Bristol and Bath Cyber Security Cluster


    6:00pm            Registration

    6:15pm            Introductions and Bristol and Bath Cyber Security Cluster updates

    6:30pm            The National Cyber Security Centre – Head of Innovation Development for UK Government

    7:00pm            Zephyr Focus and Challenges – Detective Inspector Ed Heath, South West Regional Organised Crime Unit

    7:30pm            AoB and Networking

    8:30pm            Close


    Further information:

    The Bristol and Bath Cyber Security Cluster represents SMEs involved in Cyber Security within the local area and is part of the UK Cyber Security Forum.

    As a qualifying SME, it is completely free to join the Forum, and there are now more than 500 Core Members across the country. We also have associate and large membership categories for other companies that are not cyber security SMEs, but are involved in the industry such as academia, law enforcement, legal, accountants, investors, PR and Recruitment.


    Tim Moran by email at or on 07801 678432.

  • APRIL 5 - 7 Bristol Quantum Information Technologies Workshop

    Hosted by: University of Bristol

    Venue: M Shed


    The Bristol Quantum Information Technologies Workshop will return from the 5-7 April 2017 with a new programme of speakers and panellists bringing you everything you need to know about the emerging field of Quantum Technology.

    Since our conception in 2014 we have had 119 speakers and panellists who have presented their work and opinions on a range of topics from Quantum Sensing and Metrology to Quantum Communications and Networks, Quantum Algorithms to Quantum Hardware and Quantum Computation. Speakers for our 2017 BQIT workshop will include:

    Aephraim Steinberg (University of Toronto)
    Akira Furusawa 
    (University of Tokyo)
    Ashley Montanaro 
    (University of Bristol)
    Gerald Buller 
    (Heriot Watt University)
    Jason Smith
     (University of Oxford)
    Joshua Nunn 
    (University of Bath)
    Marek Zukowski 
    (University of Gdansk)
    Michael Bremner 
    (University of Technology Sydney)
    Morgan Mitchell 
    Sebastien Tanzilli 
    (University of Nice)
    Sven Hoefling 
    (University of St Andrews)
    Tommaso Calarco 
    (University of Ulm)
    Winfried Hensinger 
    (University of Sussex)
    Wolfram Pernice 
    (Münster University)

    This year we will be “going harbourside” with our three-day event being held at the M Shed and our evening meals at Bordeaux Quay and the SS Great Britain. These venues have been chosen to represent the best of our Bristolian maritime engineering history, and to introduce the innovative and industrial city of Bristol to newcomers and return visitors.


  • APRIL 11 - 13 VR World Congress

    Hosted by: VRWC

    Venue: Various Locations around Millennium Square

    VRWC has become an unmissable occasion: an industry-leading VR conference, expo and matchmaking event now spanning three jam-packed days with a raft of world-class speakers and exhibitors. VRWC17 will take place in four of Bristol’s most unique venues, bringing 2000 international guests to one of the UK’s leading tech sectors.

    The three-day event is centred around Millennium Square, home to the At-Bristol Science Centre and Planetarium. The expo will take place on the Square itself with At-Bristol, the Planetarium and The Watershed hosting talks, meetings and other events.

    VR World Congress is tailored for both industry professionals and consumers, so if you’re looking to make a start in VR, an experienced industry veteran, or just interested in the possibilities of the tech, there’ll be plenty for you to discover.

  • MAY 3 Robotics & AI Ethics

    Hosted by: British Computing Society

    Venue: Engine Shed


    Speaker meeting from 7pm – 9pm

    Professor Alan Whinfield, BRL

    Law firm – Chris Holder, Bristows

    The next talk is scheduled for Wednesday 3rd.. May @ Engine Shed and will be undertaken by Alan Winfield Professor of Robotic Ethics, at the University of the West of England (UWE) and Chris Holder, Partner at London law firm Bristows where he leads the Robotics & AI division. Their brief biogs can be found below. The talk on AI (Artificial Intelligence) & Robotic Ethics will examine how intelligent robotics has the potential for huge benefit, but is not without ethical or societal risk and where we stand legally on such matters and what this could mean for potential applications and the impact on people.

  • MAY 9 The Innovation Opportunity for an effective Smart City Strategy

    Hosted by: Knowledge Transfer Network

    Venue: TBC


    A free to attend event for local Urban Living innovation centric businesses, Smart City system/platform R&D leaders to primarily network with like-minded practitioners.  Challenge & Opportunity thinking will be presented by Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) together with those open to thinking for Bristol and Baths development strategy.  This will be an event to share thinking and follow-up on new alliances that you will make as the KTN will be seeking impact.  The event will be set for open thinking for those minded to collaborate.

    Full day event

    Contact: Email to register interest in a place.

  • MAY 10 - 11 Drone Tech

    Hosted by: Saved By Tech

    Venue: Engine Shed & Passenger Shed

    Format: 9am – 5.30pm (both days)


    SavedByTech 2017 is a celebration of advanced and disruptive technologies that are being used to save the planet, it’s species and society. Co-located with Europe’s most engaging drone technology event, Dronetech Europe 2017, the SBT17 exhibition will be a melting pot of inspiring technologies like: 3D Printing, Virtual & Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Nanotech, Smart Vehicles, Smart Cities, Smart Homes…smart everything! With a global line-up of speakers who are pioneering innovation in tomorrow’s technology, disrupting and improving the world around us, SBT17 will bring the future to Europe in May 2017.


    The conference provides the industry specific focus you need to take your tech projects to the next level. A wide range of advanced technologies, presented over three days with a big focus on cross-over application and real world opportunities.

  • MAY 18 How can we put people and play at the heart of future cities?

    A Playable City workshop | Time TBC | Venue TBC

  • MAY 27 BathCamp – VR and AR

    Hosted by: Bathcamp

    Venue: The Guild, Bath

    Format: 7pm – 9pm

    This month’s BathCamp is all about VR and AR. We have people working with VR and AR, and producing immersive video experiences. We should also have some kit for people to get their hands on, including a Hololens.

    Development of a 360˚ filming rig for VR video – Richard Harbutt

    OWL VR ( are a VR/360° video production company who build their own camera rigs. Richard will be talking about how they build their rigs from commodity hardware and showing off some of their kit.

    Working with VR and AR (Hololens) – Rocketmakers

    Bath-based Rocketmakers have recently been working with both VR systems and Microsofts Hololens AR platform. They will be talking about the work they’ve been doing and bringing along a Hololens.

    Converting video to VR to fight domestic violence with Sam Downie – presenter and journalist (including the BBC’s Click).

    Sam has been converting 2d videos to 360/VR videos to create more immersive material to highlight domestic abuse. He will be talking about why he took this approach and the process he uses to create these 360 videos.

  • JUNE 12 The Future of Work: Sparking Innovation

    Hosted by: Desk Lodge

    Venue: Desk Lodge, 1 Temple Way, Bristol, BS2 0BY.

    Format: 8am – 10am

    This event will explore further themes around the future of work. We’ll reveal the dangers and opportunities that are likely to crop up and use this as a springboard to discuss the skills and tools that will help us to define success in the future.

    Our panel includes:

    Zoe Taylor – Sparkol

    Ben Highfield – Microsoft

    Andy Lunness – Blu Wireless

    Lauren Branston – Lauren Branston Consultancy

    Register here

  • JUNE 21 Internet of Things

    Hosted by: BCS

    Venue: Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Bristol Office (Nr UWE, Filton Road, BS34 8QZ)

    Format:  7 – 9pm Speaker Talk

    Glenn Parry, Professor of Strategy and Operations Management, UWE / Carl Shaw / Georgina Graham, Senior Associate at Osborne Clarke LLP.

    IoT and supply chain: Does technology enable freedom and/or efficiency for human kind?

    The talk will examine how new technology is pushing the boundaries of value, how security is often forgotten within the IoT arena and the challenges that arise by the regulatory framework for data protection and privacy when applied to the Iota ecosystem.

  • JUNE 28 The future of work in a Smart City: Evolution to Innovation

    Hosted by: Hays

    Time: 08:30 – 11am

    Venue: Engine Shed (Platform 14/The Junction)

    Format: 3 x presentations, 2 x discussion segments / mini workshop, Q/A session

    Are we ready for ‘Different’ to become the ‘New Normal?

    Synopsis: Technology continues to evolve our businesses, in particular changing the way in which people can deliver their work and employers manage their workforce.

    For example, today, flexible working options are the new normal, and almost an expectation of staff. As things like flexible or agile working continue to become easier as a result of technology, how will this growing separation between employees impact business culture? What effect will this have on business success 30 years from now?

    An organisation’s culture is a key differentiator that enables an employer to recruit or retain staff.

    Competitive compensation, benefits and progression opportunities today are predominantly table stakes, and although factors that attract good candidates, it is the working environment and culture that typically keeps a staff member engaged.

    If technology is creating the opportunity for work efficiencies while staff are apart, how will this growing gap in interaction impact a business’s culture and what effect will this have on business success and staff productivity?

    Assuming that in 30 years from now, the speed of change will be constant, as it relates to workforce planning and management, the question business leaders need to start asking, is what will need to evolve versus what can stay as is?

    How do you evolve your business with technology but don’t leave behind what made you successful in the first place?

    The following topics will be discussed in relation to the above synopsis.

    Topics: Workforce planning, managing a workforce, attracting talent, HR considerations & implications, how will technology support and change our people management approach?

    Register here

  • JUNE 29 Can CAVs really reduce congestion and pollution in cities and urban areas?

    Hosted by: Venturer/Flourish

    Venue: Engine Shed

    Format: Breakfast workshop 10am – 12pm

    A two-hour roundtable discussion on the benefits and challenges of CAV technology.

    Join partners and colleagues from the Venturer and Flourish projects as they debate whether CAV’s will enable cities and urban areas to work smarter. Can they help with parking issues, and getting to your destination quicker?

    Will the lack of pollution mean better air quality for our families? And how will we get used to CAV cars?

    Register here

  • JULY 6 The Bluffers Guide to Smart Cities - In conjunction with Business West

    Hosted by: Business West and Invest Bristol & Bath

    Venue: KPMG Offices: 66 Queen Square, Bristol, BS1 4BE.

    Time: 8am–11am

    Format: This event will create an opportunity for businesses not fully up to speed with what is really meant by a smart city and how it might affect them, and create future opportunities for them.

    Why is this important? 

    Smart Cities will mean very little until just about every city based business has itself become smart and put technology at the centre of its business. In turn this will put them at the centre of the connected living dynamic smart city organism. Opportunities will magnify but with those opportunities will come risks and exposures which are not fully understood and which will slow the pace of the smart city evolution.

    We have developed this workshop session for Bristol and Bath’s most important businesses to understand directly how technology developed in the region is creating the cutting edge opportunities for the smart city and how they could exploit it. They will participate in a forum that will form a part of an intense region-wide conversation that will make Bristol and Bath the most prominent adopter of technology and creating one of the most innovative smart cities in the world.

    Sessions from experts will include;

    Collecting data; Internet of Things/ connected devices – mapping, asset management, automation and technology will transform the delivery of services and management of inventory in businesses.

    Exploiting data; using ever increasing computer power to make use of ever increasing sources of data to make better decisions for the business and for customers. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will transform our ability to detect, diagnose and develop new products and services.

    Communicating data and decisions – using higher speed and greater bandwidth to transform higher volumes of data, deliver them between points of collection and processing nodes flexibly, reliably and cost effectively.

    Who should attend?

    Business owners, CTOs, sales and commercial managers. Anyone who can see the potential, or would like to further understand the potential that these transformative technologies could have on their business, and would like to understand the local opportunities presented by them.


    8.00am Arrival and Coffee

    8.30am Introductions

    8.45am Overview of ‘smart’ and emerging technologies – Rick Chapman

    9am Speaker 1:  Ben Gaster – UWE – Head of IoT and Comms Group, Co-founder of LoRaWAN Bristol

    9.15am Speaker 2: Charles Radclyffe – Data Philosopher –

    9.30am Speaker 3: Vassilis Seferidis, CEO, Zeetta Networks Ltd

    9.45am Speaker 4: BIO – Barney Smith or Sophie Ross-Smith

    10am Summary, Closing remarks

    10.15am Coffee and Networking

    11am Close

    Register here for this event.

  • JULY 25 Future Cities Dialogue – the opportunity for business

    Hosted by: KTN

    Venue: The Engine Shed, Bristol

    Format: 1pm – 4pm

    Join us and Innovate UK for and overview of the Future Cities Dialogue, a creative toolkit highlighting a wealth of trends and insights on how we might live in the cities of the future.

    The toolkit will be a great resource for developers, technology innovators, and professionals across the health, mobility, utilities, food and public sectors and civil society, to explore the integration of critical urban systems.

    Hear about future city design principles, which could increase resilience, catalyse new thinking about urban infrastructure solutions and market opportunities, and open up new financing and governance models.

    The future of the city is ours to shape! This event as part of the Bristol and Bath Venturefest events will also enable you to have your say within the active discussion as well as an opportunity to meet the Knowledge Transfer Network/Innovate UK Infrastructure leads and specialists.



    13:00 Registration & Networking

    13:30 Welcome from the Chair/ James Goodman, Director of Futures, Forum for the Future

    13:05 Overview and Highlights – The Future Cities Dialogue/ James Taplin, Technology Lead, Urban Living, Innovate UK

    13:25 The Future Cities Dialogue in Practice/ Speaker invited

    13:45 Visualising the Future City Scenarios/ Sam Markey, Head of Relationship Development, Future Cities Catapult

    14:05 Future Proofing Bristol, Challenge Led Opportunity/ Priya Prackash, Founder, Design for Social

    14:25 Future City Dialogue, Summarising the Urban Living Key Messages/ Bruce McLelland, Urban Living Specialist, KTN

    14:40 Panel Discussion/ Chair: James Goodman, Forum for the Future

    • To draw out the future city scenarios that resonate with the delegates.
    • To discuss the challenges that would inhibit the innovation journey to reach these scenarios.
    • Where would the priorities be for the local Government and business enables that would see fruition for business opportunities.

    15:15 Break & Networking

    The speakers, Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network will be available for direct discussion during the refreshments as well as your chance to initiate collaborative thinking with fellow delegates.

    16:00 Close

    Register for this event here

  • SEPTEMBER 14 Who will be the winners & losers in a future CAV world?

    Hosted by: Venturer/Flourish

    Venue: Engine Shed

    Format: 10am – 12pm (registration from 9.30am)

    A two-hour roundtable discussion on who will come out on top in the CAV world.

    Will the consumer or the developers flourish? What will happen to insurers and how will the new cars be taxed? Are we approaching a world of reduced motoring costs for all?

    Join representatives from the Flourish and Venturer projects as they help unravel the CAV tech world.

    For more information on the projects, please visit:

    Register here

  • SEPTEMBER 26 Towards Bristol’s first smart city district – The REPLICATE project

    Hosted by: REPLICATE Project

    Venue: Engine Shed

    Format: 8.30am – 11am

    The REPLICATE project is exploring new technology for smarter streets and homes.

    The project will research how smart technology around mobility, energy and city infrastructure could benefit local people and neighbourhoods, with an initial focus on the Ashley, Easton and Lawrence Hill area of Bristol.

    Come along and hear about plans, progress and challenges in delivering Bristol’s first smart city district around energy and mobility.

    There’ll be plenty of audience interaction with a Q&A and panel discussion. Hear from those people delivering the Bristol project and academics researching the project.

    We’ll discuss our work around smart energy – introducing connected household appliances to better manage energy use and save residents money on their energy bills, alongside more efficient district heating and local solar energy.

    We’ll also cover the smart mobility aspects of the REPLICATE project: adding more EV charging, an employee-based electric bike scheme, shared use electric vehicles and new journey planning tools.

    REPLICATE is a five year project supported by the European Commission. It brings together 11 partner organisations working on the Bristol project. The ultimate aim of this European project is to explore the potential for this technology and how it can be scaled up and replicated in other cities.

    Registration is from 8.30am, then the event starts at 9am.

    Register here for this event.

  • SEPTEMBER 28 Working Towards an Advanced Digital Model for the Smart City

    Hosted by: CFMS

    Venue: CFMS @ BBSP

    Format: Seminar (2 hours)

    Topic: Underpinning smart city transformation is the effective use of technology, the core of addressing the challenge of achieving a competitive but sustainable urban environment.

    Analysing data from smart sectors such as energy, transport, waste, health and social care, etc. will seek to enhance performance and effectiveness, achieving a truly smart city.

    In assessing both contribution and impact, the Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS) will in conjunction with its partners, develop a digital model of the city of Bristol which will illustrate the use of traffic and pedestrian routes, which can potentially be used to identify impact and efficiency for a smart city.

    The topic will also seek to encourage organisations to consider the benefits applying modelling and systems engineering to a city scale simulation.

    Scenarios such as city planning, development, and impact on existing infrastructure, new traffic schemes such as metro bus, etc.

    What will be presented:

    Utilising the following partners; FLAME software developed by Paul Richmond, Research

    Fellow, Sheffield University, High-Performance Computing (HPC) at the University of Bristol, managed by Simon McIntosh Smith, Head of Microelectronics, the High-Performance Network (HPN) and the Bristol Is Open network managed by Dimitra Simeonidou, Chief Architect, and Nathan High-Performance Computing (HPC) at CFMS, managed by Nathan Harper, IT Systems Lead, a 2D digital model (which will be rendered) will be developed that will show the movement of traffic and pedestrians throughout the city of Bristol.

    Effectively creating a digital twin of the city, this will simulate and model emergent behaviour, typically used for scenario and contingency planning and can provide benefits for traffic related topics such as congestion, accidents, etc, and the ability to respond or mitigate incidents.

    How the project will be delivered:

    FLAME (Flexible Large Scale Modelling Environment) developed by Sheffield University, is a generic agent-based modelling system which can be used to develop applications in many areas.

    It generates a complete agent-based application which can be compiled and built on the majority of computing systems ranging from laptops to HPC supercomputers.

    At a basic level, the software consists of a map, consisting of regions that avatars travel around, enacting simple sets of instructions through conditions and rules set up. Due to advancements in computing technologies, what makes this project possible is massively parallel computing, and is one of the reasons FLAME is implemented on Graphical Processing Units (GPU’s), which provides accelerated computing power.

    The software will be installed on the University of Bristol’s High-Performance Network, and will also point to the Bristol Is Open network and CFMS HPC. The

    The project is reliant upon obtaining a digital map of the city of Bristol.

    A further extension of the project, which is currently not within scope, could involve developing a holographic mock-up which could be visually shown at Bristol’s 3D Planetarium.

    This could provide a platform for local organisations to convey messaging around the impact of traffic, and awareness of environmental issues.


    • Create a digital twin of the city focused on traffic and pedestrian usage
    • Simulate and model emergent behaviour, illustrating the benefits for scenario and contingency planning applicable to the city

    What will delegates learn:

    • How to assess impact and identify efficiencies supporting the vision of a smart city
    • The benefits of applying modelling and systems engineering to a city scale simulation

    Who this event is targeted towards:

    The event is applicable to organisations that:

    • Are interested in finding out more about the benefits of modelling for product development, research and development, etc.
    • Utilise high-performance computing infrastructures, data centres to a large number of interconnected systems and are interested in understanding system efficiency.
    • Organisations that are interested in determining impact and potential contribution to realise the vision of the smart city.

    Click here to register for this event.

  • OCTOBER 17 Finale event: Thought Leadership Conference

    The Venturefest Bristol & Bath Series will culminate in a Thought Leadership Conference in October.

    For more information on our October event please visit:

Past Events

Smart City Technology : Challenges and Opportunities, Feb 3rd


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