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The University of Liverpool at the International Business Festival 2018

The University is involved in a number of activities across the Festival, from panel participation, hosting stages and running breakout sessions to a permanent stand presence.

What is the International Business Festival?

Running 12 – 28 June, Liverpool UK the International Business Festival (IBF) delivers 55 major events with 200 world-class speakers across nine inspiring days this summer.  It is an opportunity to boost your knowledge, help you make new connections and offer you fresh ideas. Ticket holders can connect with sector-relevant businesses, investors and local authority representatives.

How can you get involved?

Attend the Festival

Although IBF is a pay event we’ve secured Festival passes for University staff, complete the form to apply.

Meet us at our IBF 2018 hub

We’ll be on site throughout the Festival with two stands by the UK Innovation Hub (PDF), a government pavilion featuring ‘Best of British’ developments. Our hub is a fantastic base for engaging with businesses, delivering demonstrations and sharing expertise.


Maximise your networking time with delegates on the Festival floor thanks to the new online Delegate Select platform. Going live in the run-up to the Festival, it will allow ticket holders to connect with collaborators and arrange meetings in advance. 

Activities by Day

Each day of IBF 2018 is themed. We’ve mapped those themes to University activity as below, but there’s still the opportunity to get involved. For assistance contact your relevant Business Gateway representative.


DateIBF theme UoL activity
12 June Global Economics
  • Host: Festival chairman, Max Steinberg CBE
  • Top speakers: Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general CBI; Anthony Behan, IBM-Watson
  • Example topics: Britain, the Global Economy & Political Landscape, The Future World of Work

UoL at IBF:

The Management School’s expertise shapes world-class academic thought and impacts directly on businesses and institutions worldwide. Our researchers are at the forefront of academic research, making a difference to our many partners. We will showcase the impact of research through key theme case studies, including ‘The Risks and Opportunities of Emerging Market Economy Currency Internationalisation: the role of Brazil in the Mercosur.’

The University of Liverpool in London showcasing key themed programmes, including case studies from Finance, Accounting, Business and Communication.

13 June Urbanisation and Cities
  • Host: Michael Parkinson CBE, University of Liverpool
  • Top speakers: Juergen Maier, CEO, Siemens UK; Andrew Carter, CEO, Centre for Cities
  • Example topics: Building a Modern Metropolis, Innovation & Competitiveness in the 21st Century

UoL at IBF:

The Heseltine Institute is the University’s city facing public policy institute. It brings together academic expertise with policy-makers and practitioners to support the development of successful, sustainable cities and city regions with a focus on former industrial cities in the throes of regeneration such as the Liverpool City Region.

Events at the University Campus:

Centre for Enterprise breakout event: 250 businesses from the UoL LEAD or Growth Catalyst Programmes will attend a session on “Brexit and the Impact on the Liverpool City Region Economy.”


UoL Campus:

Materials Innovation Factory Tours 14:00 – 15:00. Register here.

14 June Sustainable Energy
  • Host: Mark Shayler, founder Ape consultancy, Design Council  
  • Top speakers: Jacqui Murray, Faraday Challenge; Matthew Wright, MD, Ørsted
  • Example topics: Bright Future from Old Batteries, Disrupt for a Cleaner, Greener World

UoL at IBF:

The University of Liverpool has leading expertise in Energy Research. Two projects will be showcased:

Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory (LCEI) offering businesses an opportunity to access resource, facilities and expertise to research new or improved low carbon goods and services.

The Adaptation and Resilience of Coastal Energy Supply (ARCoES) project. A decision-support tool examining the likely risk to businesses from flooding due to storms and sea-level rise, and what can be done to minimize this risk locally.

Featuring the University of Liverpool in London Continuing Professional Development programmes including a new PG Award in Science and Technology Leadership.


Breakout session:

‘Skills and the digital economy in the Liverpool City Region’ 10.00-12.00. The Exhibition Centre Liverpool, Level 2 Lounge.

Jointly led by the Combined Authority and the University of Liverpool’s Heseltine Institute.

Register here.

19 June Future Transport
  • Host: Spencer Kelly, BBC Click
  • Top speakers: John Miles, Project Autodrive, University of Cambridge; Alex Cruz, CEO, British Airways Example topics: 2030: A Space Industry, Is Hyperloop for Real?

UoL at IBF:

The University’s Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC) will be ‘virtually demonstrating’ collaborative projects developed for the transport industry, including Bentley, Hitachi and Jaguar Land Rover. By using virtual reality and other Industry 4.0 technologies VEC can support businesses with product design, development and even marketing tools.  

20 June Manufacturing
  • Host: Simon Jack, BBC Business Editor
  • Top speakers: Dick Elsy, CEO, High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Lord Bilimoria, chairman, Cobra Beer
  • Example topics: The Future of Making Things, Manufacturing Policy Worldwide

UoL at IBF:

The University’s Materials Innovation Factory, Virtual Engineering Centre and partnership with LCR4.0 draw together world leading, multidisciplinary research expertise with unparalleled technical facilities. The Business Development team will showcase the cutting-edge work carried out at the University and demonstrate how business can engage to accelerate impact, supported by the EPSRC IAA


Breakout sessions at IBF:

Session 1: The Agility Centre: ‘Developing strategies and solutions for successful supply chain management’.

09:30 – 10:15. The Exhibition Centre Liverpool, the Terrace. Presenters: Prof Andy Lyons (Professor in Operations and Supply Chain Management, University of Liverpool) and Dr Jorge Hernandez (Senior Lecturer in Operations & Supply Chain Management, University of Liverpool) Register here.

Session 2: ‘Supply chains, transparency and modern slavery: beyond compliance’

10:30 – 12:00. The Exhibition Centre Liverpool, the Terrace.

Presenters: Alex Balch (University of Liverpool Professor of Politics and Co-Director of Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS) Register here.


Events at the University Campus:

Materials Innovation Factory Tours 14:00 – 15:00. Register here

21 June Global Logistics and Shipping
  • Host: Chris Kutarna, author, Sauvé Fellow and Commonwealth Scholar
  • Top speakers: Julio Gil, Advanced Tech Group, UPS Corporate; Klaus M Brisch, Head of Technology, DWF
  • Example topics: The New Silk Roads, Breaking Down Brexit

UoL at IBF:

The Agility Centre is built around the strengths of the Operations and Supply Chain Management research group at the University of Liverpool Management School. The Centre supports small, high-tech businesses by providing world-leading research and knowledge exchange for both public and private-sector organisations in areas related to operations, supply chain, innovation and technology management.

The group will be showcasing their recent work with key sectors such as the Automotive Industry, HealthCare and Agriculture, and explain how they act as a key multidisciplinary interface between academia, industry and research, making use of techniques such as modelling, simulation and optimisation of processes. 

26 June Health and Life Sciences
  • Host: Prof Jim al-Khalili, presenter, The Life Scientific, BBC Radio 4
  • Top speakers: Lord O’Neill, ex-chairman, Goldman Sachs; Arancha González, International Trade Centre
  • Example topics: Moon Shots in Health, How to Keep Drugs Working in our Connected World

UoL at IBF:

The Centre for Global Vaccine Research is an interdisciplinary research initiative at the University of Liverpool with partners around the world. The aim of the centre is to optimise the global use of vaccines and reduce the global burden of vaccine-preventable infections.

The group will showcase their capabilities in key areas including, translational and pre-clinical expertise and the clinical evaluation of vaccines. The showcase will include the Centre of Excellence in Infectious Diseases Research CEIDR, and other Faculty of Health and Life Sciences capability.

Liverpool Health Partners is also presenting a series of executive round table discussions, discussing some of the most significant issues and developments in Health and Life Sciences in Liverpool and beyond.

27 June Creative Industries
  • Host: Wayne Hemingway, founder, Hemingway Design
  • Top speakers: Simon Segars, CEO, ARM Holdings; Lou Cordwell OBE, CEO, Magnetic North
  • Example topics: Microchips and the Power to Save People, Designing the Workplace of Tomorrow

UoL at IBF:

The University will be talking to businesses about their recent work with the Creative Industries sector in particular providing Research and Development expertise to SMEs. The Centre of Architecture and the Visual Arts (CAVA) will showcase key projects and successful PHD studentships with partner organisations to demonstrate the value of their expertise and its role in the development of a talent pipeline for business.

This will link with the Futures Stage, in particular the “All about the Talent” session where Katie Atkinson, University of Liverpool’s Chair and Head of Department of Computer Science, will be speaking.

Events at the University Campus:

Materials Innovation Factory Tours 14:00 – 15:00.

Register here.

28 June International Sport, Culture & Travel Day
  • Host: Jude Kelly CBE, former artistic director, Southbank Centre
  • Top speakers: Rosie Millard, chair, Hull City of Culture; Peter Moore, CEO, Liverpool FC
  • Example topics: VR, MR & AR in Culture and Sport, What Cultural and Sporting Events Can Do for your City

UoL at IBF:

The University will be showcasing recent work on the creation of new products, services and experiences within the arts, culture and tourism sector.

On stand presentations will include the immersive visitor experience which has been created by the Cava Research Centre for the St Georges Hall. This was achieved using HoloLens technology, visitors to the stand will be able to view this using the University’s HoloLens Headset. Other highlights will include work by the Agility Centre in Management School (supply chains), expertise in performance (Binary Music Festival which takes place in the VGM, organised by the Department of Music) and interpretation of Heritage including cultural and physical assets.