Some of the best minds and most successful companies Cambridge has ever seen are contributing to a brains trust designed to elevate the Cluster’s firepower on the world stage.

The Innovate Cambridge 2023 Summit at The Guildhall on October 11 is already a sell-out but that phrase will certainly not apply to the Cambridge ‘super sneezers’ gathering to spread the word about the city’s science and technology prowess.

The summit is presenting a proposed innovation strategy for Cambridge – namely what needs to be done to maximise the impact the ecosystem can have? And to ensure everyone in the region benefits.

The three founding organisations of Innovate Cambridge are The University of Cambridge, DeepTech investor Cambridge Innovation Capital and the University’s tech transfer arm Cambridge Enterprise.

A ‘State of the Nation’ feature will present the innovation vision and strategy that has been developed for the Greater Cambridge Ecosystem. Contributors to the debate feature Professor Deborah Prentice – Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

She is joined by Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor, Anglia Ruskin University; Lord David Willetts, Chair, Innovate Cambridge; Robert Pollock, CEO, Cambridge City Council; Shaun Grady, Vice-President Business Development Operations, AstraZeneca; Dr Ant Rowstron, Vice-President Cloud Systems Future, Microsoft Research; Dr Kristin-Anne Rutter, Executive Director, Cambridge University Health Partners and Dr Jason Mellad, CEO of Start Codon.

Other sessions cover: Activating our innovation assets – What does Cambridge need to do to compete on a global stage? Maximising our unique strengths – How do we nurture the people that deliver pioneering discoveries? Delivering for the local community – How can we provide value and benefit for all? Forming partnerships and increasing porosity – How can Cambridge achieve scale and deliver economic benefits across the UK? Ensuring the innovation ecosystem is firing on all cylinders, a glittering speaker line-up will drill deep into the heart of the matter. Ranch Kimball reflects on Kendall Square, its journey and how that relates to the outcome from the Innovate Cambridge work.

That will be followed by a panel discussing the funding landscape comprising Dr Andrew Williamson, Managing Partner, Cambridge Innovation Capital; Duncan Johnson, CEO, Northen Gritstone; Theodora Harold, CEO, Crescendo Biologics – plus a discussion on the ‘Spaces to Places’ agenda involving Jane Hutchins, Director of Cambridge Science Park and Caroline Foster, Development Director with Urban&Civic.

Maximising our unique strengths – How do we nurture the people that deliver pioneering discoveries? What Cambridge can do to accelerate the UK’s lead globally? Once again, a stunning line-up of contributors will add mental muscle to the debate.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser presents UKRI’s vision for the Science Super Power agenda and the unique role Cambridge plays for the UK.

A panel of key academics and founders continue the discussion, namely Professor Allan Bradley, CEO and entrepreneur; Poppy Gustafsson, Chief Executive Officer at cyber security world leader Darktrace; Professor Anne Ferguson-Smith, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of Cambridge;
and Professor Matthew Hurles, Director, Wellcome Sanger Institute and co-founder, Congenica.

Forming partnerships and increasing porosity will also be addressed under the banner: How can Cambridge achieve scale and deliver economic benefits across the UK?

There will be keynotes from Professor Andy Neely, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Manufacturing, University of Cambridge; Lou Cordwell, Director, ID Manchester and Andy Williams, Chair, OxCam Supercluster Board.

Delivering for the local community: How can we provide value and benefit for all? will be addressed by Antony Ross, Development Chair, Greater Cambridge Social Impact Fund; Professor Emily Shuckburgh, Director, Cambridge Zero; Sonita Alleyne, Master of Jesus College, University of Cambridge and Dr Sue Broster, Executive Director for Innovation, Digital and Improvement at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and a Consultant Neonatologist.

Next steps – a rallying cry for the ecosystem to sign up to a bright and action-oriented future will welcome Ministers and Shadow Ministers to close the summit with their reflections – namely Peter Freeman, Chair, Cambridge Delivery Group and Daniel Ziechner, Shadow Minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.