Robots Take Centre Stage at LEP Business Live

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Robots and automated machines were the stars of the show at LEP Business Live, which attracted over 400 business people – the highest number ever - to the Lincolnshire Showground on Friday (20th October).

Titan the Robot made an entertaining host and the event featured high-tech exhibits ranging from electric cars and robotic food pickers to virtual reality headsets and a robotic lawnmower.

The fifth annual conference and networking event staged by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership highlighted the growing high-tech sector in the area.

The number of high-tech businesses in Greater Lincolnshire increased by 20% to 1,500 between 2010 and 2015 and in the same period approximately 1,600 jobs were created, bringing the total number of high-tech jobs to around 10,000.

Mike Wilson, Sales and Marketing Manager for ABB Robotics and Chairman of the British Automation and Robot Association (BARA), called on businesses in Greater Lincolnshire to invest for long-term success and utilise the latest technology to improve competitiveness.

“Low productivity is still an issue in the UK,” he told delegates. “Our businesses need to work smarter, not harder, and they need to give their employees the tools to do their job more effectively.

“We need to sweat the assets, not the people – and that means investing in the latest equipment so we can better utilise our staff.”

Keynote speaker Ann Daniels gave an inspiring account of the challenges she faced when she decided to become a polar explorer, and how these lessons can be transferred into a business environment, while Anthony May, Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire County Council, gave his audience an update on the progress and opportunities of the Midlands Engine.

In her address the LEP’s Chair, Ursula Lidbetter MBE, announced four new initiatives:

•expansion of Team Lincolnshire to encourage business people from all sectors to champion Greater Lincolnshire

•a new £3 million growth investment fund targeted at accelerated job growth

•a new website www.marketinglincolnshire.com to help businesses showcase the best things about living, working, visiting and investing in Lincolnshire

•a new website www.theworldofwork.co.uk to raise awareness and share information on jobs, professions and skills in Greater Lincolnshire

LEP Business Live is an annual business conference and networking event organised by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP in partnership with Lincolnshire Media.