Two weeks ago, ADEPT held its annual Autumn Conference in the beautiful city of Bath. Speaking to a packed house of local authorities and corporate partners, Darryl Eyers, the ADEPT President, set the scene for the overall theme ‘Well-connected places in a changing world’.
The two-day conference covered everything from environmental issues to Brexit, but showcasing innovation and new approaches underpinned it all. For our eight Live Labs, this meant the second day was their time to shine!
The session was opened by ADEPT’s Immediate Past President, Neil Gibson, followed by Karen Farquharson of Proving Services who explained the importance of monitoring and evaluation to the shared learning and smooth running of the programme. Programme Director, Giles Perkins gave an overview of the project’s progress so far, which was quickly followed by each project’s strict four-minute lightning pitch, and the ‘soothing’ cow bell signalling time was up! It was a great opportunity to really highlight the abundance of creative ideas, from recycled plastic in roads to smart city platforms.
Once presentations were complete, it was time to date! For the high-speed networking session, our Live Labs were spread around the room, complete with their own posters and ready to share information and learning so far. We could sense the growing excitement as delegates visited each team and the conference became more animated, filled with engaged huddles asking questions and responding to each team’s passion for their project. The lively conversations coming out of these sessions were fascinating, as delegates started driving discussions around challenges, solutions and technology.
As the session came to a close in the room, the Live Labs teams were busy sharing contact details and arranging follow up meetings with many of the delegates, who were unusually slow to head for coffee!
The conference left all of our Live Labs authorities feeling energised and motivated to continue sharing their project findings as they develop. We can’t wait to see how they take shape as they head towards the testing phase next year.