As Cambridge Wide Open Day buzzes in 2024, get set for Cambridge Wide Open Week in 2025!

The 2nd annual Cambridge Wide Open Day (CWOD) event had Cambridge buzzing last week with curious residents as well as people attending from as far afield as Birmingham and Nottingham, and even Switzerland and the US!

lots of people networking

Initial figures suggest that attendance figures were more than double those in 2023.

This year, 21 host venues took part, from Cambridge Science Park in the North to Melbourn and across to Haverhill, and much in between. Some 177 companies and speakers hosted a mix of talks, presentations, demonstrations, tours, masterclasses and booth stands – providing the broadest offering of cutting-edge Cambridge science, tech and innovation for the visitors.

The West Hub at the University of Cambridge showcased 16 of the Cambridge West companies including British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge Nucleomics, Maxwell Centre, Semarion, YPMH: The Foundation for Young People's Mental Health and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

West Hub

Allia also hosted 21 speakers/companies at their two main sites in Cambridge – at its Future Business Centre campus in Kings Hedges, home to a cluster of Cleantech and Tech for Good startups, and at the Cambridge Guildhall centre in the heart of the city. Young people attended a session with Form the Future CIC and, both Alia’s current cohort and alumni participated broadly across a range of sectors and areas of interest.

Susan Curtis, Marketing Communications Manager at Allia, said: “It was great to seeing so many people networking, and for visitors to gain insights into the innovative work that happens within the Allia community. We hope our visitors were able to pick up some useful tips and contacts from our expert speakers and tenants.”

Hauxton House, home to the o2h Group, ran 33 sessions throughout the day - and more than 400 attended the garden party there in the evening, all wearing signature bumble bee deely boppers!

Prashant Shah, creator of Cambridge Wide Open Day, is now planning something even buzzier for 2025.

He told us: “Cambridge Wide Open Day (CWOD) has been so popular for two years, next year we will be extending it to Cambridge Wide Open Week (CWOW).  We will be bringing community and influencers together in a week-long event of activities, which will include a life science awards event, a biotech bikers day as well as the regular Cambridge Wide Open Day on the Wednesday. We’ve already tested the idea, and it’s going to be very exciting. So, block out your diaries already for a whole week dedicated to life science and biotech on 9-14 June 2025.

One of this year’s CWOD visitors, Elvina Petrėnaitė-Kartanė, founder of SynergiSpace, is already excited by the prospect of a week-long event.

She told us: “It’s been incredible to have this opportunity to see what’s behind the normally closed doors of the Cambridge science parks, universities, businesses and other facilities. Wow, there are so many wonderful, hidden gems!  As with last year, I ran out of time to see everything, so I am looking forward to seeing more with the week-long event next year.”

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Image credit: o2h Group

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