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Hi-tech highlight of year taking shape

Hi-tech highlight of year taking shape

By Herald Express | Posted: October 09, 2014

THE Torbay Manufacturing, Technology and Innovation Conference — MTI '14 — is approaching and the Torbay Hi Tech Forum and the Torbay Development Agency, which organise the event, are encouraged by the increasing number of companies and delegates.

Now in its fourth year and well known across the south west as MTI — manufacturing, technology and innovation — the event will be held on October 23 at the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay.

Plans are progressing well and the MTI '14 aims to continue its growth by attracting more than 400 delegates and around 40 exhibitors in addition to the programme of informative seminars throughout the day.

MTI '14 is attracting attention from international companies as well as signing up leading lights in the regional hi tech industry including Oxford Innovation — which is leading on the Growth Accelerator — as well as Plymouth University's Electron Microscopy Centre, Gooch & Housego, Absolute Design Solutions, Ed Fagen Inc. Dart Valley Systems, Alpha Contract Engineering and the Laboratory for Integrated Metrology Applications.

Spirent Communications is the Gold headline sponsor and its divisional managing director, Martin Foulger, is chairman of the Torbay Hi Tech Forum.

Accountants Bishop Fleming, which has supported the event every year since its inception as gold sponsors, continue to support the event as silver sponsors, and this year Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre and South Devon College are also silver sponsors.

Martin Foulger said: "As chairman of the Torbay Hi Tech Forum, I am very pleased to announce Spirent's headline sponsorship of the forum's flagship event this year. I urge all companies involved in this sector to take part in the event; it is a key platform for knowledge-sharing and building supply chains. The TDA is doing a great job as event organiser, and can be credited with getting the inaugural event off the ground, and we are grateful to Bishop Fleming for their support as gold sponsors in the first three years of the conference.

"Now it is time for the hi tech industry to lead the way and build on the success of the last three years to deliver an exciting programme for MTI '14."

Carl Wyard, TDA economy and enterprise manager, said: "MTI is the TDA's flagship business to business event which has grown year on year since being set up by the Torbay hi Tech Forum. We are encouraged by interest from foreign companies from Canada and America, which are key target markets for inward investment, especially in the hi tech sector.

Tim Godfrey, partner at Bishop Fleming, said: "Bishop Fleming is very pleased to see the growing success of the event has attracted gold sponsorship commitment from Spirent, a key player in the Torbay hi tech sector. We are very much looking forward to being part of this year's event and urge all hi tech related businesses in and around the south west to exhibit and see what's going on in this thriving sector in Torbay."

Claire Pearce, Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre Project Manager said: "Plymouth University's Electron Microscopy Centre, having exhibited and spoken at this vibrant and successful event for the last three years, is now proud to sponsor MTI '14, as we approach the final six months of our ERDF project offering companies 12 hours of free use of the PEMC. We are also showcasing GAIN's free Business Engagement Service, which is part of the new Peninsula City Deal Growth Hub, providing business support, financial options, expertise and facilities to businesses in the South West."

Rob Newman, chairman of the Torbay Business Forum, said: "Torbay Business Forum is delighted to be involved in this year's event. The TDA's work in promoting Torbay as a centre for hi-tech businesses is making good progress and the MTI is an excellent shop window. We are extremely pleased to see the increase in potential investors from outside the area and are confident completion of the new link road next year will provide a large boost for South Devon."

The MTI'14 will feature representatives from Plymouth University robotics football team who will be in action with live demonstrations.

As well as the main exhibitions there will also be seminars from the Manufacturing Advisory Service on Manufacturing Your Future — new supply chain opportunities in the south west and beyond; Growing your Manufacturing Business by Using Social Media from Superfast Business; the University of Exeter will be presenting the latest developments in graphene technology and its applications, a wearable display; and there will be presentations from Spirent Communications, Growth Accelerator and Plymouth university.

This year the MTI will also be playing host to a number of international delegates from Holland, Germany and the US, who are wanting to see the world class manufacturing and innovation that the UK has to offer.

Businesses interested in exhibiting, sponsoring or facilitating a seminar at this year's Hi Tech Forum annual conference can contact Daniel Newman at the TDA on 01803 207827 or email Detail on seminar topics and exhibitors as they are confirmed can be found on the TDA website at


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