Building global innovation bridges - Power of Relationships

17 July, 2007

Kent has notched up another successful first by hosting a major international conference about business innovation.

The European Business and Innovation Centres Network held its annual congress for the first time in England from 20th to 22nd of June and attracted 370 delegates to Canterbury from 32 different countries including Canada, Russia and South Africa.

They were also joined by a first-ever delegation from the US to coincide with Kent's trade mission to Virginia while celebrating the founding of the first English colony at Jamestown 400 years ago.

Kent County Council beat stiff competition from various cities and capitals including Bucharest to act as hosts for the three-day event in partnership with Technology Enterprise Kent (BIC Kent TEK).

KCC Deputy Leader Alex King said the pioneering English settlers in America had set the example for a spirit of adventure today. "This is about modern merchant adventurers finding new products, new ideas and new markets," he added.

Shadow Technology Minister Charles Hendry told delegates that securing the conference was a great testimony to KCC's work in the year of innovation as one of the most dynamic and successful counties in the country.

The 2007 EBN Congress addressed one of the most current issues of concern for European policy makers, scientists and Business Support Organizations: globalization and the urgent need for cross-border and transcontinental benchmarking, looking at the opportunities as well as the potential threats of global competition.

The Strategic Ambition of this year's Congress was, for both Europeans and non-Europeans, to build a roadmap for the BICs for the next 10 years, and to look ahead to a new generation of Business and Innovation Centres.

Invited speakers for the Congress included also Günter Verheugen and the EU Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potocnik. Other invitees included senior international representatives from industry and diplomatic guests.

For further information please contact Eileen Moloney, CORKBIC, National Software Centre, Cork, Tel: +353 21 2307008


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