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Bristol hosts inaugural technology festival

The festival, which takes place 4-10 November, has crowdsourced events from across the city and will also feature a showcase to highlight emerging technologies.

 

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Bristol and its neighbour Bath are home to the UK’s most productive tech talent
Bristol and its neighbour Bath are home to the UK’s most productive tech talent

The UK city of Bristol is hosting its first technology festival from 4-10 November, which aims to raise the profile of the Bristol city region technology sector locally, nationally and internationally.

 

The Bristol Technology Festival (BTS) consists of 30 events that have been crowdsourced from technology companies, public bodies, schools, community interest groups, and charities and coordinated by a group of volunteers from across the ecosystem.

 

Technology showcase

 

The event also includes the Bristol Technology Showcase (BTS), sponsored by the University of Bristol, which is also a partner in the Bristol Is Open smart city project, that takes place at Aerospace Bristol on Friday 8 November.

 

Aimed at business leaders, investors and influencers, BTS will feature key speakers, panel debates, interviews, technology demonstrations and innovation stands.

 

Nick Sturge, director of the enterprise hub Engine Shed and chair of the festival steering committee, said, as a city, Bristol needs to make economic growth sustainable and that means the major economic drivers, such as tech, need to achieve two things. “Firstly, we have to grow a diverse workforce, reaching out to and welcoming communities within the city, which haven’t traditionally been included in the tech sector.

 

He added: “Secondly, we need to promote the region externally, nationally and internationally, to attract new talent and to continue to enjoy investment in the burgeoning tech businesses here, as many of them are now scaling up, and gaining a global reputation for innovation.”

“Firstly, we have to grow a diverse workforce, reaching out to and welcoming communities within the city, which haven’t traditionally been included in the tech sector"

The showcase will be highlighting Industry 4.0 and showcasing emerging technologies and focusing on the impact these will have on businesses and wider society. Exhibitors include the University’s Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. Among those speaking are:

  • Professor Kirsten Cater, academic director of the award-winning Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Bristol, who will be a panellist in a discussion on the future of work called Technology, People, Change - Building for the Future;
  • Professor Susan Halford, professor of sociology and president of the British Sociological Association, who will be on a panel deliberating Civic participation and engagement in technological change;
  • Dr Sabine Hauert, assistant professor in Robotics at the University of Bristol, who will be talking about the future of robotics.

Nick Rutherford, BTS Founder, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing a new discussion to Bristol and locating it at the home of Concorde. The speed of technological change is so quick today and it’s only going to get faster.”

 

Bristol and the neighbouring city of Bath is home to the UK’s most productive tech talent with each employee on average generating 320K in revenue against 201K in London.

 

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