Wednesday 27th November



CBSO Centre, Berkley Street, Birmingham B1 2LF

27th November 2019


8am Wednesday 27 November


CBSO Centre, Berkley Street, Birmingham B1 2LF


-371 DAYS

Fully Booked


‘Delivering our Potential’

This year’s conference, intended for local businesses as well as public and education sector partners, will focus on ‘delivering our potential’. How can we build on our heritage, expertise and creativity to deliver long-term economic success that benefits everyone who lives and works in the region?

The last twelve months has seen notable achievements, including strong delivery of our Growth Programme and the launch of the trail-blazing Local Industrial Strategy for the West Midlands, in which LEPs will play a key role in supporting the growth of our key sectors.

Against this backdrop of a growing economy, a strong strategy and detailed evidence, there are significant opportunities that Greater Birmingham, and the wider West Midlands, is ideally placed to capitalise on.

The conference will feature expert speakers and panel discussions, providing invaluable insight into how we can work together to continue to grow Greater Birmingham as a globally connected, pioneering city-region despite an uncertain political and economic climate.

This well attended event will also feature:

• An exhibition showcasing GBSLEP funded projects, innovative businesses and technologies
• Sector specific workshops for industry

Full agenda, speakers and workshop details will be released soon.


The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) is a partnership of business, public sector and further and higher education leaders. Our geography spans nine local authority boundaries: Birmingham, Solihull, East Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth, Redditch, Bromsgrove and Wyre Forest.

As a collaborative partnership, we work for the benefit of everyone who lives and works in the LEP area. GBSLEP’s mission is to drive sustainable economic growth of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area, creating jobs and increasing the quality of life for all our residents.


from 8:00am
8:00am - 9:00am
9:00am - 10:45am
Breakout sessions
11:00am - 12:00pm
Exhibition and networking
10:45am - 12:00pm


Tim Pile

Chair, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership

Tim, Chair of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, holds a number of non-executive responsibilities, following on from his executive career in retail, banking, professional services and marketing.

In addition to his role as Chair of GBSLEP, Tim is a Non-Executive Director of Marshalls Plc and Deputy Chairman of The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital. He also serves on the Board (and is a past president) of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce.

Robert Flavell

Head of Major Projects, St Modwen Properties Plc

Robert Flavell joined St. Modwen in 2018 to lead the major projects business across the Mid-lands and North region. Rob’s remit includes the regeneration of Longbridge, a £1bn project that is transforming 468 acres of former MG Rover land in south Birmingham.

Previously a director of global consultancy, Turner & Townsend, Rob led the Birmingham office, building a successful award-winning business. He has been involved in a number of major regeneration schemes across the region, including the £1bn Birmingham New Street & Grand Central development, £700m Paradise Circus development, Birmingham Airport Runway Extension and most recently the £500m Axis Square development.


Rob’s focus is to realise St. Modwen’s core purpose, to change places and create better futures.

Alison Grade

CEO, Mission Accomplished

Alison describes her key skill as transforming creative concepts into a business reality. She accomplishes this with the films she produces, the creative entrepreneurs she mentors, SMEs she advises and in her soon-to-be-published book ‘The Freelance Bible’. Currently Alison owns Mission Accomplished, a consultancy offering training, mentoring and strategic advice to start-ups and established SMEs in the Creative Industries.

Alison is also the CEO of Screen Central, the representative body for the West Midlands’ thriving community of film, TV, animation, games and digital media producers.

David Horsfall

Property Director, Webster and Horsfall Group and Director of Tyseley Energy Park

David Horsfall is a Chartered Surveyor with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. Having worked within the development industry for 10 years, David joined Webster & Horsfall in 2008 to lead the delivery of Tyseley Energy Park (TEP).

David is responsible for the site development strategy for TEP, which aims to tackle the key societal challenges such as energy poverty and poor air quality through the delivery of clean energy and transport fuel. Through collaborative partnerships with experts from academia, government and industry, TEP will shape the way the City develops infrastructure for renewable heat and power, energy storage, clean transport fuels and advanced waste processing.


David also works with the management of Webster and Horsfall to support the consolidation of the company’s 300-year old manufacturing operation.

Katie Trout

Director, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership

Katie Trout is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and the delivery of its ambitions, working directly to the LEP Board. She leads the LEP Executive and oversees the day-to-day operations of the LEP.

Katie has played an integral role in GBSLEP since it was formed in 2010. Prior to this, she held a number of posts at Birmingham City Council including Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive and Cabinet Support Officer.


Katie led on the development of the LEP’s City Deal and its £430m Growth Deal with the Government and is now tasked with overseeing their delivery. She also played a key role in the development of the West Midlands Combined Authority and negotiation of the first Devolution Deal.

Sandra Wallace

Partner, DLA Piper

Sandra Wallace has a market leading reputation in the UK - acting for stand out national and international clients on the full remit of employment law services. She offers strategic and commercial advice on business reorganisations and has built up a reputation acting on high level discrimination, whistleblowing and equality and diversity matters.

Sandra is global law firm DLA Piper’s Joint Managing Director for Europe, where she sits on the Executive Board for the international firm.  She oversees European jurisdictions, where DLA Piper operate, and is responsible for ensuring the strategic priorities for those integrated businesses, are met.  She also sits on the firm’s International Diversity and Inclusion Council and is the international Sponsor for Social Mobility within the firm.


Managing Director, Dignio Limited

Ewa G Truchanowicz, PhD FRSA is the Managing Director of Dignio Limited, the UK branch of Dignio AS, a Norwegian digital healthcare company offering patient-centric connected healthcare solution.

Prior to joining Dignio in January 2019, Ewa was the Life Sciences lead for the West Midlands Region at the West Midlands Growth Company. A scientist, solution-focused pragmatist and advocate for the patient’s voice since her work within clinical trials in reproductive health, Ewa remains a believer in cooperation across industry, academia and the NHS.


Birmingham Health Partners and their associated organisations are the embodiment of such cooperation in the GBSLEP area and Dignio Ltd is an active supporter of the local Life Sciences Ecosystem and its developments.

Jeremy Cieslik

COO, Mettis Aerospace

Jeremy is the Chief Operating Officer at Mettis Aerospace, the global designer and manufacturer of precision-forged, machined and sub-assembled products primarily for the aerospace and defence industries. He has been instrumental in the rapid growth of the company, doubling turnover in six years, through robust performance systems, innovation and advanced automation. He has overseen more than £25 million in capital investment and is proud of Mettis’ new, state-of-the-art UK factory which enters production in 2020.

Previously, Jeremy has been Vice-President of Industrial Operations for Airbus in the UK, held several senior roles at BMW and Land Rover and was Process and Collections Director at Royal Mail, helping to transform operations ahead of the company going public.


Chief Finance Officer, Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee

David Grady is Birmingham 2022’s Chief Finance Officer and part of the executive management team which is responsible for overseeing the key business areas of Birmingham 2022 and delivering a successful Games.

David is a chartered accountant who originally completed his training at PwC. Most recently David joined Birmingham 2022 from Central England Co-Op where he was Corporate Services Executive with responsibility for Finance, Property, IT, Risk and Business Intelligence.


David previously worked in finance and operations roles in the Telecoms, Property and Quarrying industries. David grew up in Birmingham and now lives in Derbyshire.


Ensuring our world-class assets in Life Sciences lead to growth for Greater Birmingham and Solihull - FULLY BOOKED

This roundtable will discuss Greater Birmingham and the West Midlands’ potential as a centre for data-driven health and life science innovation building on our regional strengths in medical technologies, clinical trials, health informatics, digital technologies and data. Regard will be had to how we maximise the potential of our region’s fast-growing asset and infrastructure base including our NHS Global Digital Exemplars, the Health Data Research UK (HDR-UK) Midlands Substantive Site, the West Midlands’ 5G testbed, and the plans Birmingham Life Sciences Park to be an accelerator site for data-enabled innovations in early diagnosis and precision-medicine.


The future of services: Building technology capability for the BPFS sector - FULLY BOOKED

What does a “modern services" sector look like in the West Midlands in 2030? How can the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area maintain and grow competitive advantage in this transition? And what role is there for support for professional services firms in realising this ambition? This session will explore the key themes in the Local Industrial Strategy that build on the current regional strengths in BPFS sector, the UK grand challenges - particularly AI - and asks how the West Midlands can grow capacity, build resilience and take a leading role as a globally relevant centre of excellence for modern services.


How can creative industries help other sectors to grow and thrive - FULLY BOOKED

This roundtable explores the actions needed to deliver on the major market opportunity ‘Creative Content, Techniques and Technologies’, part of West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy. Creative Businesses provide a wide range of services, from design thinking and communication to virtual reality tools, that are an enabler of growth for all businesses sectors. But how do we maximise the potential of creative thinking across our region’s businesses? Getting them to hire creative sta, engage specialist expertise or build cross cross-sectoral collaborations that unlock new markets and growth? This session will explore the issues and opportunities, and ideas for specific actions to affect change.


Ensuring low carbon businesses benefit from changes in mobility - FULLY BOOKED

In response to the escalating concern about climate change and the urgent need to decarbonise our economy, the Low Carbon & Environmental Technology (LCET) sector is a rapidly emerging part of the economy and is expected to grow by 11% per year between 2015-2030 across the UK. The Low Carbon and Environmental Technology sector can contribute to all major market opportunities identified in the Local Industrial Strategy for the West Midlands, including future mobility. This roundtable will explore the challenges and opportunities for the growth of the sector and discuss the actions and interventions that can boost demand for LCET services and support clean growth.