MSP's Meet Your Neighbours

9th March 2016

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Manchester Science Partnerships is home to a huge community of interesting and innovative people from across the science and technology sector, so it is always exciting when companies from around campus get together. This month’s ‘Meet your Neighbours’ event saw talks from three MSP customers; Congenica, FutureEverything and Initforthe ltd who each took the floor to share the latest from their businesses. So what are some of MSP’s customers around the campus working on?

First to present was Congenica, a company that is driving advancements in Genome based medicine and genetic disease diagnosis. As creators of the pioneering genome analysis platform called ‘Sapientia’, Congenica are providing cutting edge technology for genetic medicine that enables a fast and effective diagnosis in a matter of days, rather than earlier forms of diagnosis that could leave people waiting on results for months or even years.

Today there are thousands of rare genetic diseases, affecting a huge three and half million people in the UK alone. Fortunately, DNA sequencing technology has come a long way and scientists can now accurately analyze many genes to identify any changes by comparing them to the original reference genome in a single experiment. Congenica then takes this data and puts it into the hands of doctors in clinics and hospitals to provide fast, accurate and relevant information that can be found in one secure place.

Congenica started as a small spin out company for research into rare genetic diseases and grew with the help of funding. Sapientia is now used in over half genetic NHS testing labs, various research projects in academia and pharmaceutical sectors across the UK.

The second MSP customer to present was FutureEverything – a company that was born out of the digital arts and culture scene 21 years ago and has been exploring the meeting point of technology, society and culture ever since.

FutureEverything are the pioneers behind a variety of innovative events and projects, their main one being the FutureEverything festival in Manchester that brings together some of the world’s leading thinkers to take part in a city-wide ‘festival as laboratory,’  ranked as one of the top ten idea festivals in the world.

The theme of this year’s FutureEverything festival is ‘less and more,’ which looks at the rethinking of our planet’s resources as well as the pervasive nature of algorithms in our society, climate systems and our everyday lives. Through a number of different acts, projects, talks and workshops you will have the chance to see scientific ideas as tangible and physical expressions.

One of the projects FutureEverything are currently running is ‘Smoke Signals.’ Smoke signals takes data beyond the confines of the screen in a way that allows us to visualise digital interactions. This is done through live installations and audio interpretations between emails being sent between organisations. This is only one of the many creative projects that FutureEverything are leading, all of which allow ideas in science and technology to become accessible to all audiences, older and younger, through artistic and creative expressions. (MSP customers can now receive a 25% discount when they purchase their ticket, please email pressoffice@mspl.co.uk for more information).

Last but certainly not least, we heard from Initforthe ltd about their bespoke software that makes life easier for businesses across all sectors. Described as a software consultancy with a bit of a difference, Initforthe helps companies to grow by freeing up time that is often spent tied up in administrative processes and trying figure out the best ways to use certain technologies.

After years of looking into what businesses need to succeed, how they behave and how they interact with their customers, Initforthe were able to identify the pain points that most businesses come across. Founder of the company, Tom Simnett, explained that humans are great thinkers and this should be used to our business advantage, which is why Initforthe deliver bespoke tools on mobile and the web to help businesses work more efficiently in a way that is relevant to their customers, rather than accepting the ‘one size fits all’ approach.

As a southerner Tom told us why he chose to move to Manchester and in particular, to Manchester Science Partnerships, explaining that the campus is home to a host of people from all over the country  who work in a variety of different sectors. It is such variety that drives Initforthe in the development of their software that can be specifically tailored to different business needs.

If you are an MSP customer and would like to attend or present at a future ‘Meet your Neighbours’ event, you can email pressoffice@mspl.co.uk for more information. The next event will be held on Thursday the 28th April.