Published: June 24th, 2021
A showpiece Shropshire conference investigating the way technology can help tackle the climate change crisis has been hailed a huge success.
Shropshire Council’s two-day Tech Severn 21 event attracted experts from across the country – and a global audience – as it shone a light on the ways innovation can help protect the environment.
The virtual conference – which was supported by the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire – ran across June 16 and 17 and featured expert speakers, panel sessions and workshops and was launched by Shropshire Council’s chief executive Andy Begley.
The opening address was given by the Government’s UK Net Zero Business Champion Andrew Griffith, who said the world was at a crossroads but technology and innovation would help provide solutions to developing a sustainable future.
Mr Griffith said the conference – following on from the G7 world leaders meeting in Cornwall and coming in the run-up to the Cop 26 UN Climate Change conference in Glasgow in November – was helping ‘build a crescendo to make real, lasting change happen’.
“Business and innovation are the key to solving this challenge. We need the private tech sector to continue to work with Government and we want public investment to catalyse substantial private sector investment and innovation.”
Mr Begley said he was delighted with the success of the event.
“It is essential that we all play a part in meeting the greatest challenge facing our planet at the moment and Tech Severn is a key part of the council’s response to this crisis.
“By bringing together so many experts, stakeholders in the business and academic sectors, key decision makers and influencers and members of the public, we can focus the debate in a way that can generate real change.
“The only way we can all meet our climate change targets and responsibilities is by working together and forging partnerships, and it was both inspiring and exciting to see that actually happening over the two days.
“The feedback we have received from both the people who took part and the audience who watched and engaged in their thousands has been hugely positive.”
On-demand video of the conference will be made available at https://techsevern21.co.uk/ for those who could not make the event itself.
Key speakers included telecom giant BT’s head of environmental sustainability Gabrielle Giner, Fflur Lawton, head of public affairs at Smart Energy UK and Vian Sharif, head of sustainability at FNZ Group.
Mark Thompson, managing director of Telford-based battery and energy storage pioneers AceOn, and Parveen Begum, the chief executive of Telford clean energy specialists Solisco shared their expertise, along with Coventry University bioleaching expert Sebastien Farnaud, Mike Barry, Cambridge University sustainability expert and Neal Hooper and Matthew Small from Oswestry-based Aico.
The event, supported by The Marches Growth Hub Shropshire, was funded through the Shropshire Council-led ARG Economic Recovery.
The Recovery Programme is a £3.2m series of projects, utilising Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) funding from Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to fund wider business support activities.