VISITORS to an innovation show will be able to immerse themselves in the business world of the future.

This year’s Business Innovation South Expo will include the Tomorrow’s Business World Zone.

The new attraction, sponsored by Vostron and TUV SUD, will feature the universities of Southampton, Surrey, Winchester, Solent, Portsmouth and Reading.

Lara Bull, the businesswoman behind the expo, said: “We want to offer a glimpse of the tech of tomorrow and show businesses how they can work with universities.

“My vision for the expo is that it becomes a catalyst for collaboration far beyond the actual day of the event.

“I hope this new zone excites and inspires exhibitors and visitors before they even enter the expo hall. Technology advances at such a great pace and our universities are working with businesses of all sizes and sectors to drive those developments.

“I also wanted give universities the opportunity to showcase the many ways in which they can work with businesses through knowledge transfer partnerships/research, support and collaboration as I believe this invaluable asset is not always known.

“Vostron and TUV SUD both exhibited at the inaugural expo in 2019 so could instantly see the benefit of this new zone and I am grateful to them for their sponsorship enabling me to “gift” stands to all the universities involved.”

The BIS Expo 2021 will take place on Wednesday, September 15, at the Hilton Hotel at the Ageas Bowl and will showcase established businesses in the science, technology, engineering and innovation sectors as well as aligned service providers.

A dedicated expo app has been sponsored and designed by Netshell Limited to help all exhibitors and visitors to register, manage their time, book meetings, manage connections and leads, connect, request information and advertise safely.

The University of Southampton is offering business leaders the opportunity to take advantage of its research, specialist enterprise units and students.

Business engagement manager Kerrie Graham said: “One option could be a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) which connects innovative businesses with academic expertise and a suitably qualified graduate to deliver a project of strategic importance, create transformational change and transfer and embed the knowledge within the business. Benefits could include improving productivity, realising a new capability, delivering new product development or facilitating entry to new markets.

“KTPs come with the added benefit of being up to 67 per cent funded by a grant from Innovate UK. The graduate works for the business full time and is often recruited by the company at the end of the project.

“The University of Southampton has a diverse portfolio of successful KTPs from projects looking at semiconductors, ship engineering and efficient coach travel to project management software.”