Blog Type, IPT Blog | March 2017

February Event Blog

Throughout February the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) held a number of Breakfast Meetings and Dinner Discussions on the parliamentary estate featuring topics on food waste, cyber security, healthcare, flooding and energy.

Lifting the Lid on Food Waste

On Monday 6 February the IPT hosted a dinner discussion with parliamentarians and industry representatives on the topic ‘Lifting the Lid on Food Waste’. The dinner was chaired by Kerry McCarthy MP, Chair of the Food Waste All-Party Parliamentary Group, and the speaker was Tim Smith, Group Quality Director at Tesco.

The primary theme of the discussion was the importance of large suppliers working effectively with their supply chains in order to minimise waste at all stage of production. Moreover attendees discussed the positive role that forecasting and publicising long-term food waste estimates can play in creating a culture shift. While much discussion focused on industry strategies to limit food waste, it was also noted that roughly 70% of overall food waste comes from households. 

A special mention must go the House of Commons catering staff that kindly created the dessert course from surplus food to keep in the theme of the evening’s event.

 

Business and the Future of Cyber Security

On Tuesday 7 February the IPT, the University of Warwick and the City of London Corporation hosted a roundtable dinner discussion on ‘Business and the Future of Cyber Security’. The dinner was chaired by Flick Drummond MP, member of the Cyber Security All-Party Parliamentary Group. The event heard from three speakers: David Clark, Detective Chief Superintendent, City of London Police Economic Crime directorate, Richard Aldrich, Professor of International Security, University of Warwick and Charlie Netherton, UK Head, Risk Consulting Practice, Marsh Ltd.

The discussion focused on the speed at which the volume of data is expanding and the dangers that this poses to both consumers and businesses. With digital devices becoming more interconnected there is a need to assess the current security apparatus used to counter cyber-attacks to ensure they are not easily compromised. Other points of discussion included the ways to prevent cyber fraud, such as educating consumers and developing the skills of employees in the cyber security sector. 


Healthcare of the Future: Greater Efficiency Through Innovation

In the penultimate ‘Shaping the Future’ event, a partnership between the IPT and Innovate UK, a breakfast meeting on Tuesday 21 February focused on the topic ‘Healthcare of the Future: Greater Efficiency Through Innovation’. Maggie Throup MP, member on the Select Committee on Health, kindly chaired the event which featured two speakers, Ian Campbell, Director of Health and Life Sciences at Innovate UK, and Dr Luis Felipe Graterol, Medical Director at Bayer.

Attendees ruminated on the revolutionary impact that cell and gene therapies could have in shifting the focus of healthcare from long-term treatment to cure, the role that emerging medicines such as Novel anticoagulants can play in mitigating episodes of severe medical emergency and how innovative remote monitoring technologies could ease social care costs. A further main point of the discussion was the role that government and business can take in catalysing funding for innovative SMEs, especially relating to expensive research and development phases.

The final event in the ‘Shaping the Future’ series takes place on Wednesday 22 March at 19.00 and is titled ‘Securing Access to Finance for Innovation’. If you are interested in attending this event please RSVP to JamesHeyburn@ipt.org.uk.

 

UK Infrastructure Resilience: The Effects of Flooding on Modern Times

On Tuesday 28 February the IPT hosted a roundtable breakfast meeting, alongside Lancaster University, discussing ‘The UK’s Infrastructure Resilience: The Effects of Flooding on Modern Times’. The breakfast was chaired by Rachael Maskell MP, Vice-Chair, Flooding Prevention All-Party Parliamentary Group, and had two speakers, Adis Omeragic, Head of Special Projects, EE and Professor Roger Kemp MBE, Lancaster University.

The central theme of the discussion was to explore the threats posed by natural disasters and how the UK’s infrastructure can be better equipped to survive potential future floods. In December 2015, Storm Desmond took out the main sub-station in Lancaster resulting in a loss of electricity to the whole city for three days.

It was emphasised that a breakdown of communication networks and critical infrastructure leads to panic amongst residents. During Storm Desmond, the elderly and infirm that were reliant on urgent care were hardest hit because carers were unable to get to them and medical equipment, such as dialysis machines and oxygen concentrators, wouldn’t work.

The discussion also highlighted the need for the relocation of sub-stations and the use of emerging technologies, such as drones that enable access to WiFi, 3G/4G and Long Range Radio (LoRa). It was proposed that a new platform should be created that would collect data from information sources, such as water and energy utility companies, public bodies and the Flood Forecasting Centre, which would be collaborated and analysed to assist in future flood prevention.

A Roadmap of Energy Now and in the Future

On 28 February the IPT hosted a dinner discussion on the subject ‘A Roadmap of Energy Now and in the Future’. The discussion was chaired by Ian Liddell-Grainger MP, Chair of the Energy Studies All-Party Parliamentary Group, and featured a speech from Michael Borrell, Senior Vice-President for Europe and Central Asia, TOTAL.

The delegates recognised a desire to meet climate change goals by quickly phasing out the use of coal, making greater use of gas which generates half the emissions of coal, and discussing the effectiveness of a Carbon Capture Utilisation Strategy. Looking to the future, the event also touched on the need to ensure that there is a relevantly qualified workforce that can make best use of innovative technology and approaches and noted the importance of meeting energy needs as the world becomes more digitised, relying more on electrics.