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business growth programmes & events

The STC’s Support agenda aims to bring the best, most relevant insights and opportunities to our members at the most opportune moments.

With a strong foundation in bringing forward programmes like those presented in partnership with the British Business Bank, Be the Business, Amazon Web Services and the UK Space Agency, the STC also strives to curate content both from its members and other key industry players for regular webinars and other exclusive events and workshops.

An unparalleled peek at the latest opportunities came, back in 2021, when the STC set its sights on defence and security. Experts in their fields advised on how to effectively engage with the UK defence and security sectors, giving practical advice on how to identify opportunities and ways to build useful networks and capabilities – and told us exactly what the most sought-after capabilities were at that time.

The Defence Growth Partnership and BAE Systems presented on the changing procurement landscape and brought insights into their current industrial strategies for the UK defence sector, including how SMEs form part of that picture and which skills and capabilities would be required. Following which, Make UK’s Defence Division outlined the practical support available to build those skills and capabilities, as well as sharing insights on current common bid management gaps, and how they might be exploited.

STC member RML Group shared their experiences of engaging and then working with a larger Tier 1 organisation in the defence arena, following which a National Security expert advised on their new outlook for technology sourcing and procurement process.

Then at the Silverstone Technology Cluster’s Annual Conference in November 2022, we saw the announcement by US DEVCOM’s Global Technology Advisor for the UK, Dr Patrick Fowler, not only of their own Xtech International programme, but also of their exclusive call to STC’s membership to join them in a ‘speed dating’ event whereby in January 2023, through elevator-style pitches, STC members and the US Department of Defence (DoD) representatives got to find out about each other.

Find out more about that event by watching the below:

US DEVCOM is the US Army’s combat capabilities development command and both its technology leader and largest technology developer. The purpose of this event is to comb the STC’s membership for potential new additions to DEVCOM’S supply chain.

The STC sees this as a really exciting opportunity for our members to engage in a new marketplace with a new partner, which allows scope for STC members to genuinely be put on the map with an organisation that is a huge, global player.

During that same Annual Conference, Roz Bird (currently Head of Norwich Research Park and former STC Chair) announced the Norwich Research Park’s own ‘Explorer Funding’ programme, designed to help researchers and businesses located there and within the Silverstone Technology Cluster to explore potential collaborations.

Norwich Research Park’s Explorer Fund can be used to assist businesses to conduct feasibility studies to explore new business opportunities, which also include potential for access to a longer-term growth fund, for those businesses collaborating.

Lots of great examples of collaboration already exist between them, and they all share one vision which is to maximise the potential of the research and innovation on site. All of which are excellent reasons for Roz to have set up the Explorer Fund as part of their Enterprise Strategy: to provide ‘pre’ pre-seed funding to encourage new collaborations and new business opportunities.

This also highlights once more how impressive the Cluster membership’s abilities and specialisms are to other significant tech and life science organisations.

And the list goes on: from webinars to face-to-face seminars and in-depth Q&A sessions with industry key players. STC’s Business Growth agenda has created events covering the gamut of topics, from the real-life struggles and most vital lessons learned by five entrepreneurs from our very own member companies (‘Overcoming Growth Challenges’) to ‘Doing Business in China’ where member companies shared their real life experience, alongside a wide range of trade and industry experts to share their experience and advice including:

  • China-Britain Business Council
  • Department for International Trade
  • Sino-British Trade Association
  • China and Emerging Economies Centre – The University of Northampton
  • Britain China Services Group of Grant Thornton

The Silverstone Technology Cluster presents all these things, alongside occasional partnership and exhibitor opportunities.

If you would like to get become more involved in any of the areas mentioned here, please contact Nina Walsh.