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29th September – 3rd October 2014

A first full week back started with a full day meeting at the KTN to plan our roll out of the Horizons tool. We had a very constructive discussion with the core team champions and full KTN staff training is coming together. It is important that everyone can help companies consider environmental and social drivers for projects (and their business). Within Innovate UK we seem to be thinking more and more about the longer term societal drivers for innovation. I also took the time to discuss plans for roadmapping a UK bioeconomy with Rebecca Wood.

Tuesday I finally cracked on with clearing the inbox and sorting out project issues from my time away. I also had to catch up with plans for our major annual event Innovate 14 and the two sessions I am looking after and you don’t want to miss. The first is a main stage panel debate on how we place sustainability thinking at the heart of business strategy and features several experts who are doing just that. We have Jennifer Clark, Director of Environment, Skanska UK; Mike Barry, Director Plan A, Marks & Spencer; Dax Lovegrove, Director of Sustainability and Innovation, Kingfisher; and Cyndi Rhoades, CEO, Worn Again. The second is a hands on workshop where you get to ‘tear down’ everyday products to consider their design in the context of a circular economy. This is led by Mark Shayler and connects with The Great Recovery project we support. Don’t miss it, get your ticket now -

Wednesday was spent writing a presentation on our upcoming funding opportunities in sustainability for an event in Manchester next week and preliminary judging the Heroes’ place on our Clean and Cool Mission. The latter is a sponsored place on the entrepreneur mission for young cleantechs and we wanted to encourage a people’s choice that showed some hero spirit and painted a positive and compelling future with their business.

I took Thursday off but was back Friday drafting the last of the competitions I have to ready for this winter and finishing the day talking remanufacturing with Policy Connect.

Stat of the week: Flood damage to cities expected to cost $1tn by 2050

This week’s travel carbon footprint: 12 kg CO2

Mike Pitts