Jul 19, 2011 0
City businesses have come together under the leadership of Exeter Chamber of Commerce and Industry to form the Exeter Initiative of Science and Technology (ExIST). Supported by the University of Exeter and Exeter City Council, the focus of the group is on industry and a wide range of businesses from across the City have already stepped forward as leading members of the Initiative, including Flybe, South West Communications, Graphic Plc, South West Metal Finishing, Landmark, TCL Global, the Met Office, Select Statistics, Sands Engineering and Ashwoods Automotive.
Robert McIlwraith, Chair of ExIST said ‘Exeter has a wide range of businesses that are working at the forefront of innovation: the ExIST group will not only heighten awareness that these companies already exist in this area, but will push this to the next level by encouraging high business growth in this industry and incoming investment to Exeter’
The major aims of the Initiative are to optimise interaction between businesses, identifying supply chain opportunities and to raise awareness of the profile of Exeter as a centre for Science and Technology.
Ashwoods Automotive, recent winners of the Echo’s Innovation of the Year business award and ranked the fastest growing Cleantech company in Europe were one of the first companies to sign up to the Initiative. Martin Kadhim, director of Ashwoods Automotive said ‘As a business we have invested heavily to support the research and development of our products. This has been an essential part of our success. While we have joined the Initiative in order to gain increased knowledge of other businesses operating in the region and work together, a second objective is to share best practice and engage in a skills transfer with other businesses.’
The Initiative will work to increase opportunities for young people by working with education providers to ensure that their students are equipped with the skills needed by business.
Around 100 members of the business community witnessed the launch of the Initiative today at a lunch event organised by Exeter Chamber of Commerce at the city’s Southgate Hotel.
Derek Phillips the Vice President of Exeter Chamber of Commerce said “Chamber believes this Initiative is essential to ensure that local businesses benefit from the fantastic opportunities arising from the Science Park and Skypark developments to the east of the City. We are asking any businesses with science and technology at the core, or specialise in the support of this sector to get involved in the group.”
Photo left to right: Sara Randall Johnson, Flybe, Martin Kadhim, Ashwoods Automotive, Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter, Robin Jackson, Innovation Centre, Derek Phillips, Exeter Chamber, Sean Fielding, University of Exeter.