Advanced Engineering expands innovation showdown

Advanced Engineering says it is expanding its Enabling Innovation competition following high demand in recent years.

The annual contest is open to all SMEs and start-ups looking for a chance to showcase their innovations for free at the country’s biggest meeting of engineering and manufacturing professionals. The competition will culminate with presentations on the main stage at this year’s show, taking place at the NEC, Birmingham on October 30 and 31.

Each finalist will have its own exhibition space in the Enabling Innovation Zone, open to over 9,000 visitors for the duration of the show. This popular exhibition area connects startups with valuable networking opportunities across booming sectors, including automotive, aerospace, composites and Industry 4.0. On the second day of the show, contestants will present their innovations on the main stage, with the winner chosen by a panel of industry experts.

The winner will be awarded a free full-sized stand for Advanced Engineering 2025, plus marketing opportunities. The marketing for the finalists will extend throughout the year, encompassing email campaigns, video interviews, social media exposure, press releases and a dedicated page on the Advanced Engineering website under the Enabling Innovation section.

“It is incredible to win,” said Chris Horton, managing director at last year’s winner, OxDrive, provider of e-hubs for electric off-highway vehicles operating in demanding environments. “We’ve been working on this for a long time, and this is the first recognition. We are over the moon! We are looking forward to using the prize to further the R&D in production to develop the products and take them to customers so they can use them in the fields. The show has been fantastic for us; it is the first time we exhibited the product. We had lots of interest and good feedback.”

Another previous winner, iCOMAT, has returned to Advanced Engineering as an exhibitor every year since it won the competition in 2019.

The Enabling Innovation initiative receives support from leading innovation partners, Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Innovation DB and Innovate UK. These organisations work with start-ups throughout the UK, offering them the means to accelerate and commercialise their innovations in the advanced manufacturing and technology sectors.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to present at Advanced Engineering, taking place at the NEC, Birmingham on October 30 and 31, 2024.

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