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Industry and academia join forces for Festival of Enterprise

Michele Barbour (right), Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor of Enterprise and Innovation, chairs a panel discussion at the 2022 Festival of Enterprise

The Festival of Enterprise 2023 takes place on Friday 7th July

Press release issued: 20 June 2023

Leading voices in industry and academia will be joining the Festival of Enterprise being held at the University of Bristol on Friday 7th July.

The Festival of Enterprise presents an opportunity for businesses in the Bristol area to link with researchers and academics and discuss how they can team up to meet business challenges and achieve aspirations.

The event will be held in the Great Hall of the Wills Memorial Building and will feature interactive panel discussions, insightful talks, and an exhibition featuring the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus and other exciting business initiatives.

Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said: “The Festival of Enterprise celebrates the great things that happen when academia meets industry. Spin-outs, start-ups, industry-academia partnerships and collaborative research all play a part in addressing the greatest challenges of our time and contribute to economic growth and competitiveness in our region and beyond.”

To make networking simple, attending businesses are invited to submit short statements describing a challenge or opportunity they are facing, and academics and researchers will submit short statements on their expertise and research interests, which will then be shared with all delegates.

The Festival will feature panel discussions on the benefits and challenges of industry-academic collaboration with a particular focus on SMEs, and one on spin-outs and investment readiness.

Keynote speakers include Alison Derbenwick Miller, Vice President of Oracle for Research, and Anna-Lisa Wesley, Director of Sapphire & Steel and Entrepreneur in Residence at SETsquared Bristol.

There will also be an exhibition featuring the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus, QTIC+, Future Space, and Business Growth Hub.

Michele Barbour, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor of Enterprise and Innovation at the University of Bristol, added: “The University of Bristol is a large organisation and works with companies in many different ways. This event is intended to make it easier for businesses to meet academics with interests that match their business needs.”

Paul O’Collins, Regional Manager, Innovate UK EDGE South West, said: “We’re proud to support the Festival of Enterprise and it’s important mission to foster new partnerships between academia and industry. We’ll also be looking forward to showcasing our game-changing growth support at the event, demonstrating how we help the South West’s most innovative businesses to overcome challenges and achieve scale.”

The university also has several state of-the-art facilities with full technical support that are available for industry use as a service, through collaboration with academics, or via consultancy. 

The event aims to attract businesses with a current interest in engaging with research and researchers. To register interest in attending the event, visit: Festival of Enterprise – Academia meets Industry (

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