On the 20 of February 2019 the NAAME network, in collaboration with the College of West Anglia, hosted their second annual Evolution East conference. The day-long event was all about bringing together industry leaders and local champions to impact innovation in Engineering and Manufacturing businesses. Over 100 delegates attended the event, benefiting from talks and panels by regional industry experts as well as a series of workshops and exhibition space showcasing the regional talent available.

NAAME, New Anglia’s Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering network, is run by Hethel Innovation under their ERDF funded project Breakthrough. Breakthrough aims, over the next three years, to build a community of cross-sector collaboration and innovation across Norfolk and Suffolk and beyond into the East of England. Evolution 2019 was the first day-long event run under 

the Breakthrough project and delegates were able to profit from the event’s cross-sector focus. As well as talks and panels on the traditional side of innovation in engineering and manufacturing delegates heard from companies such as The User Story as to how they can improve their client’s user experience through design thinking and from main sponsor Mitsubishi on digitising your shop floor.

In addition to the talks and panels attendees were able to partake in interactive workshops run throughout the day on topics such as design and adaptation, future gazing, innovation thinking and making the shift to services. Tom Wood, co-founder of Norwich-based design agency Foolproof, said:

“I’ve long been an advocate of cross-sector communication and collaboration as a way to advance the local economy. It was great to be at a conference where this was put so nicely into practice.”

After such a successful February event NAAME are looking forward to the rest of 2019, already jam-packed with events including Ingenuity 2019, a daylong conference focusing on productivity, being held at East Coast College, Lowestoft on the 16 of October. For more information on our events or how to get involved please email hmules@hethelinnovation.com.

Alex Millard

Author: Alex Millard