The Innovation Showcase is to return to this year’s VentureFest North East to celebrate 15 regional companies, all of which are pushing the boundaries in their sectors to bring disruptive new products and services to market.

From solar technology to rapid viral-testing and climate change activism, the showcase celebrates a wide range of innovative approaches taken by North East firms in energy, digital, manufacturing, healthcare and social innovation.  

In the run-up to the event - taking place on 17 March – here is a closer look at the businesses representing each sector.   

Meet the Innovators 


Otaski Energy Solutions Ltd (OtaskiES) is an energy management company combining artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and smart infrastructure to reduce streetlight energy consumption, bills and emissions by 50%.  

They provide smart infrastructure and innovative software to solve the energy trilemma that has risen from the climate change challengeOtaskiES offers the INtuitIV Digital Lamppost (IDL)a smart and connected lamppost infrastructure asset, and INtuitIV technology, an energy management system integrated for the management of public infrastructure.  

The lampposts and public smart infrastructures are operated over secure MESH network to deliver innovative, efficient and responsive changes in service delivery, for example, responding to lighting requirements, EV charging, footfall management and public safety.


DLAW Contractors was formed to fill a gap in the market for high-quality engineered renewable packaged products. 

With talent incorporating experience from several different engineering sectors - including nuclear, oil and gas, civil engineering, mining and power Generation - DLAW is committed to developing the renewable sector through a dedicated R&D programme delivered in collaboration with partners and clients.  

Designing, manufacturing and installing industrial stainless-steel geothermal and biomass systems out of its facility in the Port of Sunderland, DLAW’s mission is to provide the renewable manufacturing sector with high-quality renewable energy packages at sustainable operating costs. 


Axon is an IoT (Internet of Things) business specialising in the design and manufacture of ‘self-powering’ energy solutions. Their transformational devices harvest available energy within buildings to power ‘small’ IoT electronics designed to make a ‘big’ difference to the energy performance of connected systems within the space. Axon creates an IoT ‘nervous system’ within a building’s design so the supply of energy can be precisely matched to its demand 

Their designs are based on the idea that to solve climate change, the ‘Internet of things’ needs to drive the ‘Internet of Energy’. 

Taking place entirely online for the first time, VentureFest North East will focus on bringing businesses practical advice and opportunities for support against the backdrop of COVID-19, with a focus on using innovation to build resilient and sustainable business models. 

The Innovation Showcase is one of VentureFest’s most inspirational elementsIt is delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork in partnership with the North East BIC’s Innovation Programme 

This year delegates can vote for their favourite innovation, with the most popular announced as ‘Innovation of the Year at the North East Innovation Awards.  

In a change to previous years, the showcase will also make up the shortlist for North East Innovation Awards’ sector specific categories, with winners decided by an independent industry panel in advance. All winners will be announced at VentureFest.  

VentureFest North East takes place on Wednesday 17 March 2021. To register for your FREE place, visit: https://events.weareumi.co.uk/venturefest-north-east-2021/registration/Site/Register  

VentureFest North East is part of the wider Catalysing Innovation in North East Cluster Project delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork. The SuperNetwork is supported by the North East LEP, Northumbrian Water Group, North East BIC and P&G, with part-funding from the European Regional Development Fund.  

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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