Speaker profiles

Reading Economic Forum 2019

Reading UK’s 2019 business forum will be tackling the issue of whether Reading can be a city that embodies green technology throughout its own development? 

Jo Stevens, Managing Director of Oxford Innovation

Why Reading needs more Innovation and Incubation Spaces? And how do we make that happen?

Jo Stevens has over 20 years’ experience of providing business development and incubation support to innovative, high growth companies. In November 2000 Jo joined Oxford Innovation to establish and developed the Culham Innovation Centre, Harwell Innovation Centre and Crowthorne Enterprise Centre in Bracknell. Prior to this Jo worked on a Reading Borough Council project in East Reading, providing incubation and business support to social enterprises in a space on Suttons Business Park. Appointed Managing Director in 2017, Jo is now responsible for Oxford Innovation’s network of 26 Innovation Spaces across the UK, supporting over 1,000 growing SMEs.  

Jo has undertaken numerous feasibility studies for new innovation centres, undertaking site assessments, brand development, operating models and business plans for funding and also led a 2014 Research Project looking at impact, business survival and growth across 15 centres over a 10-year period.

Professor Lorraine Farrelly and Professor Flora Samuel from the School of Architecture at the University of Reading

An Urban Room for Reading - a mediator between town, University and the Thames Valley Science Park

Lorraine Farrelly is an Architect and Head of Architecture and Foundation Professor in Architecture at the University of Reading where she has set up the new School of Architecture. This is a School which has developed a teaching approach with an agenda informed by contemporary research in Urban Living, Regeneration of urban environments and quality of placemaking . She is a qualified architect and has worked regionally and in London on a range of architecture and master-planning projects.

Flora Samuel is Professor of Architecture in the Built Environment at the new University of Reading School of Architecture and former Head of the University of Sheffield School of Architecture. She has received over £500K of research funding to study the ways in which Architects evidence and communicate the value of what they do. She has now turned her attention to raising the profile of research in the Royal Institute of British Architects where she is an elected national councillor and Chair of the Research and Innovation Group.

Q & A panel

  • Lorraine Farrelly
  • Jo Stevens
  • Simon Jeffrey – Policy Officer, Centre for Cities
  • Fiona Hornsby, Director, PwC
  • Chair – Nigel Horton Baker, Executive Director, Reading UK 

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