Among many other events, Cambridge Network Special Interest Groups attracted members old and new during 2010.
At these events, which typically run for two to three hours at lunchtime or in the early evening, members have talked about a huge range of subjects. SIG events included:
• Brand authentication, Personalised products, ‘Vitality and health for consumers’ - thanks to Consumer Products SIG champions Procter & Gamble and Cambridge Consultants. A joint event with the Cleantech SIG is planned for February 15th.
• Healthcare covered: Real-time diagnostics, Home healthcare and long term conditions, Personalised medicine – the $500 genome, Working with the approvals process from NICE, Health records, privacy and social networks - thanks to champions TTP, Philips Research, and NHS East. Next event (on antibodies) is February 3rd.
• Cleantech subjects included: The road to zero emissions, Solar power in 2020, Smart grids and home energy monitoring - thanks to champions Johnson Matthey, TTP and Envirotech. A joint event with the Consumer Products SIG is planned for February 15th.
• The Sales group talked about SAS vs Oracle, Social media and sales, Great leads – great revenue, Managing relationships with your customers. Thank you to Red Gate Software for championing this series.
• The IT group has looked at issues such as Mobile computing, Business intelligence, and Cloud computing which was extremely popular. A very grateful thanks to Anglia Business Solutions for their support of this group in 2010.
• The Financial Directors SIG met regularly over dinner to hear about ‘foreign exchange’, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ and ‘Communications and Investor relations’. Thank you to Deloitte and Xaar for sponsoring this series of meetings.
• The most recent group, Defence & Security, championed by Cambridge Consultants and Marshall of Cambridge made its debut event in November with a successful day talking about IEDs and low-weight electronics. Some new events for 2011 will be announced soon.
Other events included:
• Dinners with talks (Financial Directors) and dinners to say ‘thank you’ (to Founder Members) and to introduce Founders to Corporate Gateway delegates
• Open Meetings, which typically attract more than 100 attendees and feature themes such as ‘Cambridge Ideas change the world’ which starts Cambridge Corporate Gateway, the matchmaking event for technology companies. These talks are online (thank you Stream Projects - click on the links below to see the videos). This year Cambridge academics spoke on subjects as diverse as wellbeing, nanotechnology, energy efficiency, crop yields, superconductivity and plastic solar cells. The next Corporate Gateway Open Meeting takes place on April 6th.
• Open Meetings are also run as special requests from members who very kindly sponsor them: ‘Digital Media’ (thank you to Taylor Vinters), Practical help for entrepreneurs (thank you to RAND Europe), 'Space & Satellites’ (thank you EADS Astrium), Growth Capital (thanks to PEM and Kleinwort Benson PB), and Bio-engineering Bugs (thank you InCrops).
• Ad hoc events that respond quickly to a situation where business input is needed: ‘Cross party debate on entrepreneurship’ just prior to the General Election, the LEP discussions in July and August on hearing the proposed new structure for public funding. Most recently the discussions have focused on the ‘Fraunhofers in the UK’ debate, called ‘Technology Innovation Centres’.
• Café Networking typically takes the form of a mini recruitment fair, bringing together some of the region’s top employers with those who might be looking for new challenges. Sign up now for a further event like this, which will take place on February 4th.
• ‘Make the Most of Membership’ sessions, aimed at helping new and existing members to understand how they can optimise their membership of the organisation. The next session takes place on February 18th.
Which was the best attended event in 2010? It’s not a competition but the Open Meetings usually attract well in excess of 100 people. However, some of this year’s Special Interest Groups have been catching them up; ‘Smart grids and home energy monitoring’, ‘Vitality and health for consumers and ‘Social media and sales’ could all compete, as could the Café Networking jobs fair event held in September.
Image: Typical SIG panel discussion. Photograph courtesy of Howard Guest.