IFB preview event at Thornton Science Park next week

Businesses are invited to learn more about getting the most from the International Festival for Business at a free breakfast briefing and networking event at the University of Chester's Thornton Science Park on Thursday 22 May.

What's in it for my Business? will take place from 8.30am to 9.30am and offers SMEs and companies throughout the region the opportunity to find out more about IFB, which takes place in Liverpool in June and July 2014. The breakfast event is being held jointly by the University, the Mersey Dee Alliance, Cheshire West & Chester Council and Cheshire East Council.

Delegates are also invited to view Thornton Science Park which was recently acquired by the University. The Ince site (CH2 4NU) was formerly the home of Shell UK's Thornton Research Centre. As well as research and innovation, the site will offer incubation and development space to start-ups and small businesses in related areas. A tour of the site will be available from 10am.

The IFB is the largest global concentration of business events during 2014. The 50-day festival runs across seven weeks in June and July and will attract business delegates and trade intermediaries from around the world. It is a key part of the government's target of rebalancing the economy and achieving its export and investment objectives.

IFB 2014 offers more than 150 business-focused events of all shapes and sizes, spanning seven broad themes: Maritime, Logistics and Energy; Higher/Further Education and Research; Cities, Enterprise and Urban Business; Manufacturing, Science and Technology; Financial and Professional Services; Low Carbon and Renewables; Knowledge, Creative and Digital Industries.

John Whaling, Commercial and Enterprise Engagement Manager from the IFB, will brief delegates about what is on offer at the Festival and how businesses in the region can make the most of the event. Paul Unger, Editor of the online business update Place North West, will also talk about the PlaceEXPO at the IFB.

As the preview event on 22 May is being hosted at the University's Thornton Science Park, Professor Nick Avis, Dean of Science and Engineering, will give a presentation on the vision for that site. With an IFB fringe event, The Future of Food Manufacturing, on July 8 at the University's new North West Food Research Development Centre (NoWFOOD) in Chester, Maud Duthie-van der Venne, Food Innovation Partnerships Manager, will outline what this session will cover, including food labelling and packaging, food waste and legislation.

Booking for the free breakfast event and tour of Thornton Science Park closes on Monday, May 19 http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ifb-2014-international-festival-for-business-breakfast-event-whats-in-it-for-my-business-tickets-11503740999 For more information, please email Stephen.lloyd@chester.ac.uk

Businesses can find out more details about the IFB by registering for the IFB Business Club at http://www.ifb2014.com/

The University's objectives for the Thornton site can be summarised as follows:

  • Establishing an internationally-renowned campus, aligning students directly with the energy, engineering and chemicals industries, with the creation of the University's eighth Faculty – Science and Engineering;
  • Accommodating pre-start and high growth small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the environment, engineering, advanced manufacturing and automotive sectors, by offering 40 'incubator' spaces on-site, to access specialist knowledge, expertise, facilities and equipment;
  • Further unlocking the region's economic potential, through attracting and retaining multi-national firms by providing attractive commercial options for partnerships with the University and other stakeholders at a dedicated science park within the Cheshire Science Corridor. This will include international-standard laboratory and testing facilities, including product testing and development, and communal laboratory and office space.

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