TVCC’s policy work programme includes a series of facilitated market and sector-focused business roundtables aimed at identifying the issues and opportunities affecting our membership and the region, and developing informed policy and action-oriented priorities.
The Chamber’s flagship, invitation-only event, held in the historic setting of Vicars’ Hall, Windsor Castle, is attended by industry leaders from our top tier of membership and helps to shape and frame the strategic policy direction and wider programme activity of the Chamber. Find out more here.
Life Sciences Business Roundtables
The Thames Valley region is at the heart of the wider ‘Golden Triangle’ which links Oxford with London and Cambridge – one of the densest clusters in Europe, comparable to international super-clusters such as the one in Massachusetts.
The primary purpose of the life sciences business roundtables is to work towards ensuring that the region continues to be a great place for life sciences companies to do business.
These events are chaired by Simon Greenstreet, of Bayer and attended by senior representatives from: life sciences companies across the region, including corporates, SMEs, new and established inward investors; Government; Local Enterprise Partnerships, academia; and the NHS. Topics covered have included: skills; links between education and business, and; improving connectivity between corporates and start-up companies.
Following a Life Sciences Roundtable discussion in 2018, the Thames Valley Life Sciences Partnership was established at the invitation of Government, to contribute proposals to the Life Sciences Sector Deal, part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. The Partnership is coordinated by TVCC and chaired by Simon Greenstreet. The roundtable series supports and contributes to the work of the Partnership, whose members are drawn from roundtable participants.
The strength of the Thames Valley Life Sciences sector, including the work of the Partnership, was highlighted in the UK Government’s Life Sciences Sector Deal 2.
Technology Business Roundtables
The Digital Technology sector is one of the Thames Valley’s high-growth, high value-add sectors, whose strength measurably contributes to making the region an economic success story. Frequently referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’, the purpose of our technology roundtable is to establish opportunities to sustain and grow the ‘turbo-economy’ status that this region holds.
Hosted at PwC Reading, the roundtable brings together senior leaders from a selected number of the region’s established and most recent investors, high-growth SMEs, spin-out and start-up organisations in the technology sector.
Chaired by former Chief Executive and Chairman of Cisco UK and Ireland, Phil Smith, the roundtable events are centred on the premise of ‘how do we ensure that the Thames Valley remains and continues to grow and develop as a great place for technology companies to do business?’
The roundtable establishes opportunities for businesses across multiple sectors, where technology is an influence, to work collectively and create strategies in order to overcome the challenges that the industry faces, ultimately ensuring that this sector remains as one of strong growth and connectedness in the future.
The last Technology Roundtable was held on the 3rd October 2019 and concentrated on the key challenges the region currently faced including, managing Brexit, the future of trade, smarter national infrastructure and tech talent, whilst reviewing and considering the possible preventative actions that could be implemented in order to futureproof the Thames Valley’s technology industry. Read more here.
Political Working Lunches (PWLs)
These events, which have for many years been hosted by Microsoft at their headquarters in Reading, with sitting MPs and, historically, MEPs as keynote speakers, regularly attract a wide cross-section of delegates. Through attendance, businesses gain an understanding of the structure and workings of the Westminster political world, learning how the political landscape can help with business issues. A Q&A session forms part of the event, allowing for informal feedback.
Since launching a new, webinar-style format for the PWLs, TVCC has welcomed a number of in-region MPs to speak at these events. Central to each webinar has been a conversation between the invited MP and a panel of business representatives from within his/her constituency. These discussions have focussed on the COVID-19 pandemic, with an overarching theme of “Restart, Rebuild & Renew”.
At the first virtual event, participants were pleased to hear our guest speaker, James Sunderland, MP for Bracknell highlight the wealth of sectors, including services, media, law and technology in the region and the need, as we move into the ‘new normal’, to receive the right infrastructure to support our growth. Since then, we have also welcomed Steve Baker, MP for Wycombe, Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East and The Right Hon Robert Buckland QC, MP for South Swindon to these online events, during which the conversation with delegates has ranged from local and industry-specific concerns to wider national challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
For information on forthcoming Political Working Lunches, please see TVCC’s central Events page.