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Drive to thrive: 100+ H&F businesses leading the way in innovation and impact

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Image captionImage: Leader of H&F Cllr Stephen Cowan speaking at the recent Impact & Innovation 110 launch event. PICTURE: JO MIESZKOWSKI

Introducing Impact & Innovation 110 – the ultimate guide to Hammersmith & Fulham’s brightest thinkers and pioneering entrepreneurs in science, tech and media.

Hot off the press, the handbook highlights trailblazing local organisations who are tackling some of the world’s biggest problems, all while making a real difference in local communities.

Impact & Innovation 110

Read the full digital publication

The publication’s recent launch event served as an opportunity for local change makers to connect at Scale Space – a collaborative work space in the heart of the White City Innovation District.

Rewriting the economic rules

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Image caption: Image 2: PICTURE: JO MIESZKOWSKI

In his opening speech, H&F Leader Cllr Stephen Cowan paid tribute to the local innovators and their role in transforming H&F into a global, economic hotspot as set out in the council’s groundbreaking Industrial Strategy.

“We’re reforming the way our economy works right here in White City.

“We first approached Imperial College London with the idea to capture their cutting-edge brilliance and turn it into jobs, start-ups, scale-ups and anchor institutions. To create a new economic model that links into our schools, apprenticeship and training programmes.

“Five years in, there’s an energy you can feel in the air when you walk around this awesome town.

“Thank you very much for being part of this amazing adventure. Together, we’re rewriting the economic rules so that everyone can build the best possible life in the best possible society.”

Inclusive innovating

The line-up included speakers from some of the featured organisations, who shared their vision of a thriving local economy that benefits all.

Meet three of them now:

Professor Maggie Dallman, Vice-President and Associate Provost at Imperial College London said:

“I’m absolutely passionate about science and making science accessible to everybody.

“Science and innovation are necessary to move our society forward. But too many people are left behind.

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Image caption: Image 3: Professor Maggie Dallman, Vice-President and Associate Provost at Imperial College London. PICTURE: JO MIESZKOWSKI

“We have been on a really incredible journey with residents and partners, creating a whole range of different programmes responding to local priorities in the White City area.

“One of the most exciting programmes we run is the ‘maker challenge’ programme.

“Supported by our students and staff, young people can learn how to use all the equipment in our maker space, which includes everything from sewing machines, glitter glue through to 3D printers and laser cutters. They can come in and turn their ideas into a reality.

“It’s incredible to see the change these students undergo when they come into an environment where they can just do whatever they want to. Lots of them come from difficult, disadvantaged backgrounds, maybe don’t have a great learning experience in schools. And suddenly all of that disappears and they emerge as confident young people with incredible ideas.

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Image caption: Image 4: Dr Samin Saeed, Chief Scientific Officer and Medical Director of Novartis UK. PICTURE: JO MIESZKOWSKI

“Science is for everyone. Our vision for the future is to support more young people in the community, and to create a pathway of opportunity in science and technology from the early years right through to adulthood.

“We aim to make White City the world’s first truly inclusive innovation district.”

Dr Samin Saeed, Chief Scientific Officer and Medical Director of pharma giant Novartis UK, explained:

“Our mission is to make sure that our medicines reach the right people as quickly as possible.

“For us, collaboration is key. To tap into the local community to find partnerships, connect people and give them opportunities locally is something I’m really passionate about.

“Life sciences don’t particularly perform well when it comes to social mobility. I want to help change this, so we partnered with the Social Mobility Foundation and local schools to provide them with opportunities to share our knowledge and expertise locally.

“We want to help ensure that the UK is seen as a real life sciences superpower. Together, we can overcome some of our biggest health challenges.”

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Image caption: Image 5: Bethany McDonald Shepherd, Head of Social & Charitable Innovation at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA). PICTURE: JO MIESZKOWSKI

Bethany McDonald Shepherd, Head of Social & Charitable Innovation at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA), said:

“At LAMDA, the oldest drama school in the UK, we believe in the transformative power of performing arts, and their ability to be a catalyst for change.

“We provide our students with skills of communication, problem-solving, creativity, emotional intelligence and leadership – skills that will set them up for better results in the educational system, but also in their professional futures and their personal relationships.

“I want our actors to understand that through the work they do, they’re opening up opportunities for themselves in an incredibly wide range of sectors, including politics, financial management, sustainability, enterprise and anything else that may fall within or outside the creative industries.”

Cross-sector collaboration

Impact & Innovation 110 shines a light on H&F’s diverse economic landscape of start-ups, scale-ups and anchor institutions, all with a drive for innovation and local impact.

Created by Upstream –  the partnership between H&F Council and Imperial College London connecting local businesses – the guide serves as a tool to establish cross-industry links and help our borough thrive.

“We hope that the publication is going to be a useful platform to reach potential employees, supporters and collaborators”, said Prema Gurunathan, Managing Director of Upstream.

“It’s our goal to help build a strong network that benefits people, organisations and places in H&F and beyond.”

Read the full digital version here.

Or learn about other White City innovations that are revolutionising the health tech world.

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Image caption: Image 6: Pictured is Prema Gurunathan, Managing Director of Upstream. PICTURE: JO MIESZKOWSKI

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