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University experts join global thought leaders at virtual innovation summit

07 Jun 2020

A team of experts from the University join global thought leaders Tony Blair and John Kerry at virtual innovation summit

A team from The University of Manchester will be joining an international array of thought leaders and influencers – including former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair; former US Secretary of State John Kerry; Nobel laureate and economist Sir Christopher Pissarides; and UK health secretary Matt Hancock – to share ideas on groundbreaking innovations.

Graphene@Manchester and Manchester’s Department of Computer Science will be represented at the global CogX Summit and Festival of AI and Breakthrough Tech which is usually hosted in London but this year will be pioneering an all virtual experience.  

Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister and Executive Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, will be speaking on the leadership stage at this year’s CogX - and the session will focus on the role of technology in the Covid-19 era. 

The programme also includes James Baker, CEO of Graphene@Manchester, Dr Vivek Koncherry, who has set up graphene spin-out SpaceBlue, and James Tallentire, from the University’s advanced materials beacon, who will be highlighting Manchester’s leadership in the application and commercialisation of 2D materials.

Steve Furber, ICL Professor of Computer Engineering at the University of Manchester, will be sharing his expertise on a panel predicting the next computing revolution. Professor Steve Furber - whose team has been ‘building a human brain’ using one million processor chips - will join international experts to debate neuromorphic computing, a field which looks at the mimicking of neuro-biological architectures that can be found in the nervous system.

A CogX spokesperson said: “This year’s virtual CogX will be the biggest, most inclusive and forward-thinking online gathering of leaders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, scientists, artists and activists in the world –  all trying to answer the question: ‘how do we get the next 10 years right?’ ”

James Baker and James Tallentire will join a session with Juergen Maier, an honorary professor at The University of Manchester and chair of the board of the UK’s Digital Catapult, and Lisa Dale-Clough, Head of Industrial Strategy at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. They will discuss how the combination of graphene and the digitalisation of industry currently being pioneered in the North West will help reinvent Greater Manchester’s manufacturing base (June 8, 2.00pm to 2.45pm).

James Baker will also join Dr Vivek Koncherry to be part of a discussion about how we safeguard supply chains against any future pandemics (June 9. 3.00pm to 3.45pm).

Full CogX programme can be found here: