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Innov8 -The eight critical capabilities you need right now

Date: 22nd September 2021
Location: Workplace, 4th Floor, Churchgate House, Manchester M1 6EU
Time: 8:30am - 2:30pm
Theme: Innovation

Sorry this event has already taken place - please see our forthcoming events list

New dates to follow - the 2022 schedule is being developed if you require  further information or support in this area please email


We are pleased to announce that our successful two-day Innov8 programme is moving to an ‘in person’ fully interactive format.  However, your safety is our priority, and we will continue to monitor government guidance – please find current guidelines below.

By working across two sessions – and exploring the eight critical capabilities – you will gain the tools, capacity, skills, and confidence to respond to the challenges of change.   This will help you adapt to the now, shape your future thinking and future proof your business.  

Workshop 1Thursday 9th September 08:30 – 14:30

Market research: transforming data into insight. In a world of data, how do you find the right information to make sense of things?  This session will help you grow in confidence in gathering information, developing insight, and using this to validate the new opportunities that can power your business.

Catching customers.  Customer behaviours are changing – in some cases a seismic change – and your business needs to respond and develop great ways of staying relevant.  This session provides the tools you need to help you explore and understand your specific customer needs, ensuring what they want is reflected in your products and services.

Generating killer ideas and solutions.  How do you generate fresh ideas when things need to change?  This session will help you uncover sources of inspiration, adapt and widen your thinking style, and give you the skills to generate and explore great ideas.

Leverage the power of others: who might help me.  You do not need to do it all alone.  From universities, knowledge centres, great suppliers, business partners, and business support organisations, there are many organisations with the expertise, technical capabilities or specialist skills needed to power your business. This session will help you build successful collaborative business relationships and introduce you to our great business support ecosystem.


Workshop 2: Wednesday 22nd September 08:30 – 14:30

Making it all pay: pragmatic planning and successful execution. Without an effective plan it becomes hard to see what needs to be done and to hold yourself to account.  This session will offer a rapid and pragmatic approach to business planning – giving you some of the practical methods you need to drive your idea, sales and the overall business.

Failing faster: quickly establishing what will work. Cut through the noise and learn faster. You need to be agile and able to test ideas quickly and efficiently before committing valuable business resources.  The session will show you how to undertake the rapid testing of new ideas and concepts with potential stakeholders, allowing you to prioritise winners. 

Communicating with impact.  You often only get one good chance to get your message across. You must be equipped to take it.  This session will give you the tools, techniques and confidence need to present your ideas clearly and succinctly.

Finding, understanding and securing funding.  Commercialising ideas costs money. How can you share the costs and de-risk your investment through external sources?  This session introduces the main options available and helps you better understand the overall process.


What will you learn / take away from the session?

  • Supercharge your projects – see faster results, outcomes and financial impacts
  • Understand the tools that can help respond and adapt to the 'new normal'
  • Help you stay relevant as customer behaviours change
  • Come up with new creative solutions to the problems you face
  • Speed up thinking and test ideas more quickly
  • Increase your flexibility, agility and adaptability
  • Help you stay competitive in a changing world
  • Find out who can help, support and fund your project


Download the Innov8 programme brochure


Bio of Deliverer

Rob Holdway is co-founder and Director of environmental management consultants Giraffe, working with companies on carbon management and foot printing, sustainable design, innovation management and EU environmental legislation. Rob was described by ‘The Manufacturer’ magazine as ‘Britain’s leading eco-design consultant’



Our Workshops are part-funded by European Regional Development Funds.

Our workshops are delivered free of charge to participants; however, as they are fully-funded, they are classed as state aid to participating businesses and are subject to state aid rules and the associated eligibility criteria:

Greater Manchester Clients Only

SME: Small or medium enterprise i.e. less than 250 (Full Time Equivalent) employees

Annual Turnover less than 50 Million Euro OR Balance Sheet less than 43 million Euro


COVID-19 statement

As these workshops are delivered face to face your safety is paramount.

  • All attendees will be required to undertake a lateral flow test (within 48 hours) prior to attending the workshops. The results of these tests need to be reported at and sight of your confirmatory email/text will be required to enter the event. Lateral flow tests are widely available from local test centres, pharmacies, your employer, or via the post. Please see to obtain further information.

Alternatively, individuals who have received both vaccine doses at least 14 days before the workshops, will be able to gain access by showing proof of full vaccination. To view and share proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status, download the NHS App:

Please note that we will not be recording any of your personal health information.

  • In addition, to protect each other and help to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading, event staff and delegates who are able to do so* are expected to wear face coverings whilst moving around the premises. These should only be removed when seated in the workshop room.

(*Please remember that some people are not able to or are less able to wear face coverings, and the reasons for this may not be visible to others. Please continue to be mindful and respectful of such circumstances.)

Please note this is subject to change as government guidance is updated.

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