New Anglia LEP iExpo event showcases cutting-edge technology at BT’s Adastral Park

The iExpo innovation exhibition at Adastral Park.

The iExpo innovation exhibition at Adastral Park. - Credit: Archant

Cutting-edge technology from across the eastern region was showcased today at an innovation exhibition hosted by communications giant BT at its Adastral Park research centre in Suffolk.

Mark Pendington of New Anglia LEP and Tim Whitley of BT at the iExpo event at Adastral Park.

Mark Pendington of New Anglia LEP and Tim Whitley of BT at the iExpo event at Adastral Park. - Credit: Archant

The event, iExpo, was organised by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and attracted more than 50 businesses and support organisations and more than 500 visitors.

Besides BT, the exhibitors included a number of companies based with the Innovation Martlesham incubator unit at Adastral Park, at Martlesham Heath, near Ipswich.

They included Oxems, which has developed a system for locating and managing underground utility assets, including plastic pipes not detectable using more conventional technologies, and Silicon Safe, which is developing a hardware-based solution to prevent the bulk theft of passwords from databases.

Other Suffolk businesses at the event included Sudbury-based agri-tech company Aponic, which produces systems using fish waste to grow crops requiring minimal space and water, and Painting Pixels, a video, animation, website and mobile application companies from Ipswich.

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Among the exhibitors from Norfolk were University of East Anglia Consulting, Planscriber from Norwich, and Enlight Syrinix, both based at the Hethel Engineering Centre, while ambridge was also represented, in the form of Polysolar and Awedience.

Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP, said the iExpo event was conceived as a part of the goal set out in the partnership’s Strategic Business Plan to make the region “the California of Europe”.

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“This is cutting-edge technology on show today, and it is all happening here in the East. We are bringing centres of excellence together so that, instead of each remaiing within our own silos, we are coming out of our silos and sharing our ideas.”

Tim Whitley, managing director of research and innovation at BT, said that, with Innovation Martlesham now consisting of 64 companies with more than 700 employees, alongside the BT’s 3,100 staff on the site, Adastral Park was becoming a genuine cluster of science and technology-based firms.

More than 50,000 non-BT people now visited Adastral Park each year, and BT was delighted to use this “convening power” to build links within the technology community across the wider eastern region, he added.

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