Delegates at the event

Adapting businesses for a future of change

‘Business as usual is not an option’ under climate change was the message for companies from across the South West at a special event held at the University of Exeter.

Representatives from more than 50 companies turned out for Exeter’s first iNet event to hear how they can adapt to the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities for new products and services  based on predictions of rising global temperatures.

Experts from IBM, the Met Office and the University of Exeter’s Business School were among speakers on hand to give their insight on expected changes in commerce over the next few decades.

Hotter, drier summers and milder, wetter winters combined with a potentially higher frequency of extreme weather events are all likely to affect the marketplace, delegates were told  and opportunities focussed both on a response to this changing climate and the need to consume less carbon

As well as talks, there were three innovation workshops focused on managing innovation which were run by expert facilitators.

Topics covered across the event included renewable energy, sustainable buildings, water systems and environmental innovation.

Gerry Shattock of Exeter Science Park, one of the organisers of the event, said: “We had a fantastic turnout from a wide range of organisations and that really shows businesses in the region are determined not to be left behind by changes in our climate.

“There was a lot of enthusiasm for the event, inspired by some great speakers and discussion sessions, and I think everyone took away a lot of valuable information on how they can  focus on adapting and developing products and services for the future.”

This was the first South West Environmental Technologies iNet event to be held in Exeter.  The Environmental Technologies iNet is a £2 million 3-year programme to support and stimulate growth in the Environmental Goods and Services sector in the South West of England.

There will be a series of other events across the South West as part of the iNets programme. Anyone wanting to find out more can go to the environmental iNets site.

Picture shows, from left to right, Ian Holmes (Environment Sustainability KTN), James Morris (Enlightened Designs), Ben Powis (SW Environmental iNet), Richard Miller (Technology Strategy Board), Hazel Thornton (Met Office), Dawn Scott (RKT, University of Exeter) and Andrew Carey (IBM).

Date: 24 February 2011

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