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MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, is pleased to announce passes are now on sale for Manimation as it returns for its annual one-day event on 17 November.

Designed to inform companies and freelancers about key factors for business success in working in animation, visual FX, commercials, corporate, interactive, games, apps and virtual reality, Manimation is being organised by The Children’s Media Conference, the UK’s premier organisation for the children’s content industries. The event is funded by Creative Skillset’s Skills Investment Fund.

Now firmly established in Manchester’s creative calendar, the conference brings together sector professionals for a day of keynote speeches, panel sessions and one-to-one appointments and by tradition, will be brought to a close with networking drinks.

Kathy Loizou, Director, The Children’s Media Conference, said: Manimation is a great way to unite the international creative community right here in Manchester. The focus of Manimation is the business of animation and the event will give participants a purpose-built training day on all the aspects that are needed to build success. This is the fourth consecutive year that Manimation is taking place and there will be a sense of freshness as the event moves to a new location in the heart of the city centre.”

“As places are limited, we recommend delegates register quickly to avoid feeling left out in the November cold.”

Tim Newns, chief executive officer, MIDAS, said: “With the likes of MediaCityUK and The Sharp Project on our doorstep, Manchester is Europe’s first purpose-built business hub for creative and tech industries and is a key base for the UK’s broadcast and media industry.

“For the last 40 years Manchester has been producing high-quality animated content from Cosgrove Hall to Danger Mouse and some of the city’s top animated talent work for companies such as MacKinnon and Saunders and Brown Bag Films. We look forward to bringing Manimation to the masses once again and taking it to the next level.”

Manimation will be held at The Autotrader Building, 1 Tony Wilson Place opposite HOME, a state-of-the-art creative centre.

Manimation passes cost £70 + VAT. To register visit http://www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/events/manimation-2016/

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Notes to Editor

About Manimation

Manimation is Manchester’s annual day-long business event for the animation sector and has been running since 2013. The Festival has become a great way to bring together professionals from the sector from Manchester, the North, the UK and beyond.


Health Innovation Manchester, a delegation of healthcare researchers, academia and industry will showcase Manchester’s MedTech capabilities at AdvaMed 2016, North America’s largest MedTech conference taking place in Minneapolis and will continue to Boston and Chicago as part of a health innovation roadshow.

This is the first time Health Innovation Manchester is travelling to the US to highlight the city’s strengths in MedTech and Manchester’s excellence in research and health informatics, which includes the world’s first large-scale, real time randomised clinical trial, the Salford Lung Study, making the region a top location for global MedTech and BioTech companies. The roadshow also provides the opportunity to connect with a number of industry, academic and clinical institutions along with investors and potential customers and will also be a catalyst to forge relationships with the United States and drive the next wave of innovation.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Greater Manchester is recognised as one of the UK’s top three life science clusters with almost 11,500 people working in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology businesses.

“Our world-class strengths include a strong research-led university base, six major teaching hospitals, a successful record of clinical trials, a rich history of innovation and a wide industrial base. It also has the only accredited Academic Health Science Centre in the UK outside the South East, which is a powerful platform to widen Greater Manchester’s business base and growth.”

A competitive business destination for US companies to expand their MedTech operations across the Atlantic, Manchester is already home to American life sciences companies including Waters Corporation and Hologic. In addition to this, Medtronic has forged a partnership with one of the region’s hospital trusts that is worth over £50m.

Rowena Burns, chair of Health Innovation Manchester, said: “Our vision is to transform the health and well-being of the people of Greater Manchester by accelerating the discovery, development and delivery of new treatments and processes.

“To help us achieve this it’s important that Greater Manchester showcases its world-class assets in healthcare, clinical research, innovation and academia to a global audience, so our presence at AdvaMed is a great opportunity to not only understand the latest sector trends and thinking but to build new contacts and networks.

“We hope this will lead to fresh collaboration and bring inward investment to the city region with the ultimate goal of providing better healthcare outcomes for the people of Greater Manchester and beyond.”

The aim of the visit is to seek international innovation partners to address the specific unmet healthcare needs of the 2.7 million people in Greater Manchester, and beyond. This affords unique opportunities to test and adopt new innovation directly into the National Health Service through local commissioning.

Tim Newns, chief executive officer, MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said: “As Manchester is the only city in the UK to take control of its £6bn health and social care budget, businesses will soon find it easier than ever before to engage with Manchester’s world-class health sector and will benefit from being able to move much more quickly from the lab to having an impact on people in the UK, and ultimately around the world.

“Over 200 biomedical companies are located in Greater Manchester, contributing £4bn to the local economy and it is the most invested in city in the UK outside London. The US is Manchester’s number one country for foreign direct investment and we are always seeking opportunities to forge R&D collaborations and welcome companies looking to get a foothold in the UK.

“Following the EU Referendum, this roadshow is the perfect platform for Health Innovation Manchester to connect with a number of industry, academic and clinical institutions along with investors and potential customers outside Europe. Manchester has a positive outlook post-Brexit and we look forward to engaging with potential international innovation partners.

“Greater Manchester is incredibly well connected, flying to over 200 international destinations. We already fly direct to 11 cities in the US including Chicago, Boston, Washington and New York, making it the perfect location for American companies to set up operations.”

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Notes to editors

Health Innovation Manchester has been established by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care to drive innovation into this system. Our role is to act as a system coordinator, partnering with academia, industry and healthcare providers, helping to connect emerging research with industry innovators, accelerating the development and adoption of innovations and aligning them with the region’s most pressing health and social care challenges.

Our partnership, with a single focus on Greater Manchester’s citizens, will work primarily through existing organisations, creating a ‘one team’ approach, collectively agreeing key priorities and ways of working. Operating in conjunction with the wider work of Greater Manchester devolution, we are working across the entire Greater Manchester Health and Social Care system, aligning priorities, skills and assets.

The United States delegation includes: Thomas Renn, Managing Director and Anne Doran, Head of Innovation & Partnerships, Manchester Science Partnerships; Professor Jackie Oldham, Director, Corridor Manchester; ; Mike Burrows, Managing Director, Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network; Professor Carol Haigh, Professor in Nursing, Manchester Metropolitan University; Suzie Ali-Hassan, Business Development Manager, Northern Health Science Alliance; Zoher Kapacee, Business Research Manager, University of Manchester, Dr Leanne Burgin, Team Leader, Development & Partnering, University of Manchester Intellectual Property; Professor Martin Gibson, Chief Executive, NorthWest EHealth; and Tim Newns, Chief Executive Office, MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency.

Swinton Group chooses Embankment for new city centre HQ

Swinton - 101 Embankment 10.10.16Swinton Group has today announced major plans to move its Manchester headquarters and customer contact centre to a prestigious new city centre location.

Swinton, the UK’s largest high street insurance broker, has signed a lease agreement for the whole of 101 Embankment, a state of the art development across ten floors, currently being built on the site of the historic Manchester Exchange station.

Swinton is one of Greater Manchester’s largest private sector employers, and the investment in new premises enables Swinton to bring its Manchester-based head office and customer-facing teams into the same location for the first time.

As part of the move more than 1,000 employees will relocate to Embankment from existing city centre sites on Whitworth Street and Great Marlborough Street.

Situated in Salford and overlooking Manchester Cathedral, the development offers 360 degree views of the city centre and surrounding areas.

Swinton, which was founded almost 60 years ago in Salford, serves 1.6m customers and offers insurance cover for personal lines and commercial needs. The move to a new head office is part of a wider investment strategy, which includes modernising its high street branch network and introducing new IT and telephony platforms.

Gilles Normand, Chief Executive of Swinton Group, said: “The new location is a symbol of our commitment to the North West and demonstrates our intention to remain close to our roots and invest in our local community as we approach our 60th anniversary in 2017.

“Bringing all of our Manchester-based support teams and contact centre colleagues together under one roof will allow for much greater flexibility to deliver great customer service. The move to a new site is a milestone in our drive towards a bold and modern Swinton by re-shaping the way that we work.

“It’s about building a sustainable, multi-channel business model that makes things easier for our customers and delivers excellent service, whether they choose to interact with us face to face in branches, over the phone or online.”

The prestigious site is being developed as a joint venture comprising local Manchester developer, Ask Real Estate, Carillion plc and Tristan Capital Partners in partnership with Salford City Council and Network Rail.

MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, and WHR Property Consultants have worked closely with all parties to support the relocation.

On behalf of the joint venture, John Hughes, managing director at Ask Real Estate, said: “This is a great coup both for Embankment and for the cities of Salford and Manchester and we are delighted that Swinton has chosen Embankment as its future base in this location of the city.”

Elected City Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett said: “Swinton’s move to Embankment is a major step forward in the regeneration of the Greengate area and brings an important employer into the heart of Salford. It’s great to see Swinton coming back to the city where the company was founded almost 60 years ago, and investing in our booming city to create new opportunities for local people.”

Tim Newns, chief executive of MIDAS, said: “The development of the new headquarters and contact centre demonstrates a commitment from Swinton Group to Greater Manchester by investing in its place of origin. MIDAS has been delighted to support Swinton throughout this process and will continue to provide assistance.

“The investment is a great way to confirm Swinton’s position as the UK’s largest high street insurance broker and we wish them every success.”


Press enquiries:

Mark Lester, Citypress - Mark.lester@citypress.co.uk / 0161 235 0302

Jess Shepherd, Citypress - Jess.shepherd@citypress.co.uk / 0161 235 0343

Corporation Pop launches ground-breaking 3D virtual reality experience for Future plc

Future_techfloorVirtual reality (VR) experience, ‘Step Into the Future’ has been developed by Corporation Pop to help leverage Future’s expertise as an innovative media organisation.

Corporation Pop uses Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phones and the latest Gear VR headsets to lead users through an immersive journey into the world of Future.

As the user progresses through the experience, they are transported into the Future worlds of technology, gaming, film, music photography and design. From being on stage at a rock concert to a strange encounter with a video game monster, this immersive journey takes the audience closer than ever to Future’s mission of making people’s lives better through sharing passion and expertise.

The technology tackles the ever­ changing advertising market head ­on, helping Future deliver pitches that are visually informative, consistent and actively engaged.

‘Step into the Future’ will be showcased through pop-­up booths at UK media industry events, and presented to clients through a series of roadshows.

Dom Raban, Managing Director at Corporation Pop, commented: “We’ve delivered the Future brand in a 3D virtual reality experience. Use of mobile VR was crucial to our solution as it enables the sales team to take the project to their clients. We used the Gear VR platform so there’s no need for desktops or clunky devices to enjoy the experience. The biggest challenge was creating a solution that was rich in content, visual and audio effects whilst still being performant on a mobile device.

“We think this project breaks new ground by providing an immersive experience with which to tell an engaging brand story. As VR technology matures we expect to see brands exploring this medium more and more.”

Nada Khalil, Interim Commercial Marketing Director at Future, commented: “By being one of the pioneers to use VR as a marketing tool, we are also demonstrating our ability to creatively tell our clients’ stories. Our unique proposition spans content marketing programs, e­commerce solutions and live event experiences that work together to deepen audience engagement and deliver measurable results. ”

Future’s portfolio spans world­leading technology, gaming and entertainment brands including TechRadar, T3, PC Gamer, GamesRadar+ and Creative Bloq.

For more information visit www.corporationpop.co.uk

For media enquiries contact Clare Tregaskis, Claret PR –  e.clare@claretpr.com or 07792 429227.

Major award for graphene and 2D materials in biomedicine

NGI £5m award The University of Manchester has been awarded more than £5m for research into using nanomaterials including graphene in the human body.

The £5.2m grant was provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for the project titled: ‘2D Materials for Next Generation Healthcare Technologies’ (2D-Health) that aims to further explore how two-dimensional materials can improve major health challenges, such as cancer, diabetes and dementia.

The announcement was made today by Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, as part of £17.7m for new healthcare technologies research to address the health issues of an aging UK population.

The University of Manchester is home to the Nanomedicine Lab, which brings together bioengineering, pharmacology and nanotechnology and their translation to advanced, clinically-relevant therapeutics and diagnostics.

Potential areas of benefit using graphene and other 2D materials could include targeted drug delivery systems to attack cancer cells while leaving other cells unharmed, remote electrical stimulation of nerves affected by neurodegenerative and other diseases, such as diabetes or smart dressings for burns and wounds to allow faster healing and minimise damage to tissue.

Key to taking fundamental research forward to benefit patients is industrial engagement and four major healthcare partners are also part of the project. Two specialist SME graphene companies, Versarien and Graphenea, will also collaborate with materials and industrial upscale expertise.

Graphene, the world’s first two-dimensional material, was first isolated in 2004 at The University of Manchester, and has the potential to revolutionise a large number of applications, including those in medicine – from providing clean drinking water for third-world communities to anti-cancer treatments, from the aircraft of the future to flexible, bendable mobile phones and tablets.

The Nanomedicine Lab at The University of Manchester is led by Professor Kostas Kostarelos, a world-leading researcher in using nanomaterials for biomedical applications.

The 2D-Health project involves various laboratories from across The University of Manchester, spanning physics, chemistry, pharmacy and medicine, in a truly cross-cutting faculty effort.

It aims to extend the use of 2D materials such as graphene in developing therapies and technologies for wound care and management (relevant to diabetes); neural rehabilitation by electrical stimulation (relevant to dementia); cell therapeutics (relevant to ophthalmological and cardiovascular disease); and immunotherapeutics (relevant to cancer).

Professor Kostarelos said: “We are delighted both with the decision by the EPSRC to fund our ambitious research programme and the pharmaceutical industry support that has enthusiastically embraced 2D material technologies as particularly promising.

“We are all looking forward to developing a thorough and systematic understanding of the true capabilities graphene and 2D materials offer in solving current clinical challenges, and maintain Manchester and the UK at the forefront of this dynamic and highly competitive field.’’

Universities and Science Minister, Jo Johnson said: “The UK is a world leader in medical breakthroughs and home to innovative healthcare companies that know how to turn our expertise into good business. This investment will help diagnose cardiovascular diseases, treat debilitating illnesses, and ultimately improve the lives of millions of patients and their families.”

Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of EPSRC, said:  “More of us are living longer than before. It is vital for us to continue to invest in science and engineering research so we can ensure we have active, healthy and high quality later years.

“The EPSRC is striving to make the UK a healthy nation and one where research, discovery and innovation flourishes. These programmes will help deliver both of these objectives.”

The other research programmes will be led by Imperial College London, the University of Leeds, and University of Glasgow.

For media enquiries please contact:

Daniel Cochlin
Graphene Communications and Marketing Manager
The University of Manchester
0161 275 8382 / 07917 506158
Twitter: @UoMGraphene

EPSRC Press Office, Tel: 01793 444 404, e-mail: pressoffice@epsrc.ac.uk

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