If you’ve been following our #DynamicEast updates on twitter, you’ll know we’ve had another fun week filming with Mustard TV. Since our last update, we’ve met local engineers, medtech innovators, renewable energy experts and #STEM ambassadors.
Here are some highlights:
Monday 12 September:
Everyone has heard of Lotus – but have you heard of Zenos Cars? If you love speed and style, then you’ll want to get behind the wheel of this beauty.
Zenos designs and builds these light-weight, high-performance cars in Norfolk. They get around 95% of the parts from companies in the UK. Those include specialist suppliers of recycled carbon-fibre, gears, coatings and interior fabrics based here in the #DynamicEast.
We were particularly pleased to hear how this small but growing company supports apprentices. Look out for our interview with their latest recruit Ellie, who is also studying engineering at City College Norwich.
Our next stop was the new £10m University Technical College Norfolk. The principal, Alex Hayes, showed us round the amazing facilities. He explained how UTCN is working with local employers to give students the skills they need to get high paying jobs around the world.
— UTCNorfolk (@UTCNorfolk) September 12, 2016
After that we visited Easton, one of the UK’s leading colleges for land-based skills. The college is in beautiful countryside, just 20 minutes from the heart of Norwich.
The college offers an incredible range of courses, from part-time and apprenticeships to full-time degrees in association with the UEA. We met the agricultural engineering team and discussed agri-tech drones and the transferability of mechanical engineering skills.
— Easton&OtleyCollege (@EastonOtley) September 17, 2016
Tuesday 13 September:
A chance to visit my home town of Great Yarmouth – a bustling port at the heart of the East of England Energy Zone. We were there to see SSCS – an engineering company known for its industrial lifting gear. It services companies across a number of sectors, including agriculture, broads boating and offshore energy.
However, SSCS also makes environmentally friendly ‘artificial seaweed’. This low tech yet ingenious invention prevents scouring around underwater structures, such as the base of oil rigs and wind-turbines. But it does much more than that. It actually helps the seabed regenerate.
The ‘Frond Mats’ slow the flow of water round a structure, much as natural seaweed does. This allows sediment to settle and real seaweed to become established. Which in turn creates a wonderful, safe habitat for sea life.
The Frond Mats are practically indestructible – so they don’t pollute the sea. Once anchored, they stay in place for years while the sand and silt slowly covers them. If the sea erodes the sandbanks, the ‘artificial seaweed’ just starts doing its job again until covered once more.
— SSCS Limited (@SSCSLimited) September 16, 2016
We finished the day by Nelson’s Monument – this picture doesn’t do it justice.
In further good news for the region, the Swedish energy company Vattenfall has submitted plans for a new offshore windfarm in the North Sea. It will be among the largest in the world. Fittingly, it is named after one of the ships that Nelson commanded.
Friday 16 September:
A final marathon day of filming – after an early start for a business networking breakfast at the Centrum. Our first interviews were with Struan McDougall and Hannah Smith from Anglia Capital Group, which represents local ‘Angel’ investors. We then spoke to Chris Starkie, MD of the New Anglia LEP, about grants for business and the new enterprise zones.
Our final stop was the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital to discuss its first med-tech spin-out, a cancer therapy company called Ablatus Therapeutics. We spoke to the founder, Dr David Brooks, about how the treatment was benefiting patients – and Professor Marcus Flather about the science behind it. We then heard from Dr Anne Blackwood about the role of Health Enterprise East in commercialising the idea for the NHS.
— Anne Blackwood (@BlackwoodAnne) September 16, 2016
This has been another incredible week. So many interesting people to see and so much to learn. And it’s all happening here in the #DynamicEast.
I can’t believe the filming for this series has gone by so fast. Now there will be a week of editing – I’m leaving that to the professionals at Mustard TV (although I might be required for some voice-over work). If all goes well, the first of six programmes should go out on the evening of Wednesday 28 September.
Watch this space for updates – and confirmation of the #DynamicEast’s broadcast times on Mustard TV.
UPDATE: Mustard TV will broadcast Episode 1 of #DynamicEast at 19:30 on 28 Sept (then weekly).
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Thank you for reading
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Huw and Wendy Sayer