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We’re delighted that the Innovation Manchester blog has moved to a new home at the new Manchester: Knowledge Capital website. We’ll continue to blog about innovation and interesting stories from Manchester so come and join us at


Today the Soccerex European Forum opened in Manchester, and the first session was Sport: A Total Entertainment Industry.

John Skipper, Executive Vice President, ESPN is in confident mood arguing that the secret of sport is it’s unknown quantity- it’s the ultimate reality series on TV.

Brian Barwick, however warns that sport shouldn’t be complacent, as live celebrity shows like Dancing on Ice, are broadcast live and provide similar interest at less cost.

All agree that the future of sport is reliant on live attendance, but Philip Beard, of  AEG Europe suggests that sports marketeers need to find innovative ways to get new audiences into the stadium eg: ground sharing, half time penalty shoot outs from schools or showcasing different different sports.

Which sports clubs do you think give you the best live experience?  Do you get involved at the match? Online? or in front of the TV?

Let us have your views on the future of sports entertainment! 


The Panel for this event comprised:

• Casey Wasserman, Chairman & CEO, Wasserman Media Group

• John Skipper, Executive Vice President, ESPN

• Brian Barwick, Barwick Media & Sport

• Philip Beard, Non-Executive Director, AEG Europe

• Jeff Mallett, Principal Owner of San Francisco Giants & Former President of Yahoo

• Kevin Roberts, Editorial Director, Soccerex Business (moderator)


For more information visit

 Sent from my iPhone


There is some serious talent  on the streets and in the bedrooms of Manchester.  Young people with the kind of creativity we would give our right arm for, Manchester’s future is in their hands.

A teacher I met at the BBC 21st Century Classroom in Salford, told me about his 15 year old student (let’s call him John) who made £5 here, £10 there, by designing My Space pages for his friends. The teacher was frustrated at not having the ability to help John take his digital talent to the next level, nor access to appropriate business start up advice for this teen entrepreneur. When asked what he would do after his GCSE’s, John told the teacher that he’d follow into his father’s shopfitting business, he didn’t consider college, work in the creative sector, or starting his own business as possible options.

To be clear, I am in no way critical of John’s choice. Good design is needed in the physical world as well as the digital (if not more so!).  However,  I do think the story raises the question of how we best nurture young talent, both in and outside schools.

I like the idea of business advisors having surgeries in schools and youth clubs, helping young people to think about markets for their ideas, before they get squelched by the ‘real world’.  I’d love to hear of any case studies where this works (or doesn’t).

We’re lucky to live in a city like Manchester, where projects and partners are aiming to resolve  some of these issues.  Robots have been built at the  MADLAB,  and last year Innovation Manchester and the Manchester Innovation Investment Fund supported Creative Open Access – growing the inner geek in some of Manchester’s brightest young people.

Now a new course, also to be held at Cornerhouse, will not only nurture creativity in 18-24 year olds, but also introduce the skills to progress a career in the creative industries

At the core of the scheme, the kids at the App School will develop their ideas for an iPhone ‘app’, and they’ll work on those ideas throughout the programme. In addition, they’ll get training on things such as project management, team-working, presenting their work, and business & financial management. At the very end of the scheme, they’ll be pitching their ideas through to a panel of some of the city’s best creative companies – who, if they like what they see, will be able to offer them internships. If the ideas are good, the companies will actually create the ‘app’ as a joint venture.

If you know of any young people in Manchester, please help spread the word!

The course is being run by The White Room, in partnership with Manchester City Council, MMU, and Cornerhouse, and applications close next Sunday, 21st February.

After a slow and snowbound start, 2010 really got going last week with the highlight of the Northwest Business calendar.

Leading Manc entrepreneurs, Mike Perls, Imran Hakim & Scott Fletcher promised us that RAW2010 would ‘change everything’ –  they didn’t let us down!  Run by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, the calibre of the event and audience were outstanding – Manchester: Knowledge Capital was pleased to be involved.

The Lowry Centre was awash with talent and cash (according to hilarious scouse compére John Bishop) – but most importantly people met, networked, did deals and learnt. Yes they really did learn new things! Already, the President of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce has been drawing me bell curves from the Ian Gotts session. Now I know about the IMPACT theory of ‘Killer Products‘ I can and will pass it on, and that viral spreading of knowledge is a real sign of success. You can get a copy of Ian’s book here and many other good bookshops, of course!

Doug Richards gives opening keynote at RAW2010

By the way, I missed Ian Gotts talk because I happily found myself in the  ‘future of digital‘ session run by Magnetic North‘s Lou & Braden. Magnetic North are supplementing their digital marketing work with the *actual production of physical product* – including these cool mix-tapes. The Mixa tapes tap into nostalgia for teenage years when you would compile an analogue playlist for your latest crush. More importantly they signal a growing trend to link media and product design, and a desire for tangible things to touch and feel.

I met some great people in the cafe and Professor Lynn Martin (Director of Centre for Enterprise at MMU) found me using the spotme devices that we all had.

Yes, there’s LOTS to follow up on from that event, and lots of new people to work with in spreading the Innovation Gospel.

We are!

Today, in Schenzen China, Manchester has officially been declared the Most Admired Knowledge City-Region in the World!

An international panel of experts have today named Manchester ‘The Most Admired Knowledge City Region’ at the MAKCi global awards ceremony in Schenzen, China, topping other city regions such as Bangalore and Valencia.

The judges commended Manchester’s connectivity, culture, civic identity and overall quality of life. Manchester also scored highly for the way in which it has built on its heritage and its radical, ethical and sustainable core values. Whilst remaining true to these values, as a city we have continued along a trajectory of renewal and transformation, into the highly creative and innovative city we are today, leading the way in the 21st Century.

Dr Cathy Garner, CEO of Manchester: Knowledge Capital, said:
“This award is fantastic recognition of  Manchester: Knowledge Capital’s achievements over the past five years. The Manchester: Knowledge Capital partnership enables the city region to capitalise on its outstanding universities, the creativity of its people and its capacity for world-changing innovation. Through Innovation Manchester, we are continuing to build an even stronger future for the Manchester City Region.”

If conversation is key to innovation, then events like BarCamp play an important role in our Innovation Ecosystem.

Innovation Manchester members may be interested to know that on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8th November, a BarCamp will be held at the Contact Theatre.

BarCamp Manchester 2 is an open, free-to-attend, participatory 2-day unconference. Unconferences differ from normal conferences in that the schedule is created and filled by the attendees with everyone running a session or talk about whatever subject they have a passion for. From Cocktail Making to Programming for Beginners, from Arduino Hacking to Photography, BarCamps attract people from all sorts of backgrounds, each sharing their expertise and experiences.

BarCamp attendees come from all walks of life and ages 8-80; what they have in common is a passion for stimulating conversations and expanding their own knowledge. They love to give back to the community and a BarCamp is the perfect place to do this.

BarCamp attendees are not only the great thinkers of today, but the great thinkers of tomorrow. They are excited by the diversity of discussions and insights that are achieved in the intellectual melting pot that is BarCamp.

Additionally, if you know anyone who might like to sponsor the event, you can get in touch with the organisers through us here at Innovation Manchester. Sponsorship options range from £100 upwards, or provision of food, drinks, t-shirts etc. Options are very flexible!

Thanks for reading – please feel free to add to this discussion and tell us what you would talk about, or like to hear at an Unconference. Please feed back your experience (& photo’s) of the event, or even better, your talk there! Enjoy!

An exciting and varied debate about the future, at the Manchester CoMixed discussion.

A series of provocations on the scientific challenges of our time including Climate Change, Digital Economy, Ageing, Food Security and Nanotechnology. Thoughts are remixed into a cooperative production by the Manchester Beacon’s network of people, places and knowledge.

Panellists include:

  • Warren Bramley (Creative Director at Four23)
  • Dr. Martyn Amos (Principle Investigator on Nano-Info-Bio, Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • Professor Remco Polman (Director of Centre for Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences, Principal Investigator Medical Research Council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Grant)
  • Professor Callum Thomas (Professor of Sustainable Aviation, Centre for Air Transport and the Environment, OMEGA, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Professor John Whittle (Professor of Software Engineering, Lancaster Business School)
  • Kate Bailey (Senior Research Associate, Cardiff Business School)

John Whittle is currently talking about a vision of the future where we can see into peoples minds, and understand what makes them tick. A previous ‘twitter sceptic’, John now sees twitter as an early indicator of future technology that will increase mutual understanding and relationships in society.

My favourite quote so far is from Martin Amos, and his assertion that “Bio-Hacking already happens in people’s kitchens”.

Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Innovation Manchester

Innovation Manchester is a dynamic and diverse network of innovators and entrepreneurs, working together to make Manchester a better place to do business. We’re making Manchester a global innovation leader by creating: - new connections - new business opportunities - radical city-wide solutions Be part of the innovation conversation - all you need is enthusiasm and original thinking.

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