Norfolk Innovation Awards 2015

The Norfolk Innovation Awards will celebrate the work of our young people, our students, our staff and our institutions and showcase the best of what Norfolk offers in these areas. The awards will take place on Thursday 19th March 2015 .

There are the following Awards in 2015:

  • Best Achiever – Years 8 and 9
  • Best GCSE Science Project
  • Best A Level Science Project
  • Most Inspiring Junior School Science Teacher
  • Most Inspiring Senior School Science Teacher
  • Most Dedicated School Science Technician
  • School which Achieves Most with Least
  • Best Innovation Idea
  • Best Idea for a Commercial Innovation
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – for Services to Science, Technology and Innovation in Norfolk

How to apply

Please do apply! Visit and click on the link   This is our opportunity to show just how innovative Norfolk really is!!

There are a range of prizes on offer:

  • Work experience opportunities for students
  • Cash prizes
  • Opportunities to meet potential investors
  • Visits to sponsoring companies
  • ……. and a whole lot more

Some Award winners will experience the use of state-of-the-art technologies through visits here in Norfolk and further afield; others will meet in “Dragon’s Den” style environments to present to possible “Angel” investors. Some of our student winners will get a placement at the sponsor’s work premises.

There truly is something for everyone in this exciting new initiative.
We are extremely grateful for all of our sponsors:

APR Telecom
Bernard Matthews
LJ Create
Kestral Liners
Anglia Farmers
Norwich Research Park
Hethel Engineering Centre
Ben Burgess
Institute of Food Research
Howes Percival

| Nomination Form

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Opening Rockland All Saints Post Office

The closing of rural Post Offices has been a sad reality in recent years.

That’s why I was delighted to be asked to open the Community Shop and Post Office in Rockland All Saints, between Attleborough and Watton.

Hundreds of residents rallied round to save the branch after the previous owners announced their retirement and an industrial provident society was set up to sell membership shares to take over the post office. Other grants enabled the village association to take over the post office and shop.

It was a real privilege to be part of such a vivid demonstration of rural enterpriseImage


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Tackling our region’s broadband problem

Many rural regions are held back by patchy broadband provision.

That’s why I recently called together over 70 representatives of small businesses, councils and unions to Newmarket to discuss how we can ensure that superfast broadband and mobile telephone signal can stretch to every corner of our region.

I wanted to make sure that the 10% of business and residents that would not be served by the roll our will not be left out as I believe this is not just a utility but has a human rights element and is about rural justice for the young and the elderly.

I laid out my three aims:

  • That providing East Anglia with faster connectivity can unlock an economic and rural renaissance
  • To launch a special voucher scheme to help rural locations to get connected with alternative providers
  • To access £150M of government funding to mobile telephone “notspots”

I plan to set up a steering group involving county and district councils to execute these aims.

World-class broadband provision in our region could help spark a renaissance of enterprise, helping people start businesses and work from home. The Broadband and Mobile Summit was an important step to solving this problem.

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Rural Norfolk Broadband Summit

Come and hear about New Solutions to Rural Broadband at the Rural Norfolk Broadband Summit!

Rural Broadband

Friday 6th December, 1900 to 2100, at Dereham Football Club, Norwich Road, Dereham, NR20 3PX, (Link)

“Rural Norfolk is being seriously held back by poor telecoms and broadband. Our area has hundreds of micro businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs working close to home, young people who need remote access to learning and job opportunities and families and pensioners who need to access to e-health and public services.”

George Freeman MP

The 90 minute Summit will include:

1. Refreshments on arrival

2. A progress report on the Norfolk County Council Broadband Programme in collaboration with BT: find out which areas are receiving fast broadband first

3. An update on the wide range of alternative broadband technologies available today from arrange of local providers: find the right solution available to you today

4. A Q&A Session: your chance to grill the leaders of the £60m Norfolk Rural Broadband Scheme

5. Networking: your chance to meet and discuss different solutions to your household, business, village or neighbourhood, with 50 business and providers from across the County

The aim of the summit is to provide you with an outline of the different providers and hopefully a particular solution and provider to suit your household, neighbourhood or business broadband needs.

To confirm your place, please send an email to:

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New event – October Enterprise Forum (12.10.12)

We all talk about young people and how prepared they are for work, but when did you last visit a school?

Here is your opportunity to see for yourself how education is changing. Meet some enterprising young people. Hear about the Norfolk Way’s innovative ‘Work Club’ that launches early in 2013. Join us in celebrating the success of our first three Norfolk Way Bursary Award Winners.

14:00 – Registration, networking, tea, coffee and canapés
14:30 – Welcome – Victoria Musgrave Principal, Wymondham High Academy
14:40 – Our Future Entrepreneurs – Justin Smith, Director of Enterprise, Wymondham High Academy
15:00 – Work Club – Neil Shillito, Board member, The Norfolk Way
15:10 – Celebrating success – Norfolk Way Bursary Award winners – George Freeman, MP
15:40 – Quiz a student! – Your opportunity to chat informally with students, staff and the Norfolk Way Board
16:30 – Close

The Norfolk Way exists to connect Norfolk entrepreneurs of all generations. We encourage the successful to inspire those still at school; it’s how tomorrow’s local entrepreneurs will be created. Our bursary scheme supports those with courage, determination, enthusiasm and that vital spark to achieve the extraordinary.

We would be delighted if you could join us to share our celebration of achievement, to meet with other business leaders and to chat with our bright stars of the future. Please contact me to register your attendance.

Date: Friday 12th October 2012.
Time: 2-4.30pm
Location: Wymondham High Academy, Folly Road, Wymondham, Norfolk, NR18 0QT

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Thanks from General The Lord Dannatt and Help for Heroes

In the past The Norfolk Way have made bucket collections at our Forums and Bursary events with donations going to Help for Heroes. We were pleased to be able to make a donation of nearly £200 from generous supporters of both The Norfolk Way and Help for Heroes. You can read the letters of thanks we received below.

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An update from Jack – one of our bursary winners

I am pleased to inform you that on Sunday 11th March I successfully completed the final section of the CYQ Level 2 Gym Instructor Course and am now qualified. Daniel is emailing confirmation of this for my portfolio, as certificates take a while to come through.

It is now my intention to proceed with CYQ Level 3 Personal Trainer and I am very pleased that the Bursary Committee have again agreed to continue their sponsorship on me.

On the Work Experience front I am now at the FIT CLUB in Wymondham, working 4 shifts of 4 hours on different days and at different times. This is giving me a greater insight of the working of the gym, which I’m finding very beneficial overall. The owners of the gym are very forward thinking and have given me great encouragement.

My mentor Mark continues to give me every support when and where I need it. For which I am very grateful.

 Jack Wellstead

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Enterprise Forum

What succeeds in Norfolk can be surprising. Despite outwardly appearing an isolated rural backwater, it’s also a place where achieving what looks impossible can be easier to do than you might think.

Who’d have imagined that a chef from the prestigious Taj Hotel in Mumbai, would succeed in setting up an acclaimed Indian Cookery School in mid Norfolk – but this is exactly what Madhu Choudray did.

Who’d have expected a professional, international fundraiser to create an award winning Farmers’ Market at North Creake – but this is what Diana Brocklebank Scott did, despite being told many times it was simply not going to work.

On Weds 28th September between 1800 and 2030 at Fakenham Racecourse we heard Diana and Madhu tell their stories. How they found being in Norfolk an advantage and how local organisation ‘The Norfolk Way’ is encouraging Norfolk youngsters to set high goals for their lives, then go out and achieve them.

Kathryn, Sasha, Jack, Meg, Ali web

Bursary winners (from left); Kathryn, Sasha, Jack, and Meg; with mentor, Ali Clabburn


Bursary Holders, mentors, RA & GF web

Bursary winners with Robert Ashton (left), George Freeman (right), and mentor Ali Clabburn (second from right)

Media coverage: “Forum to promote Norfolk’s rural entrepreneurs” [EDP]

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March 2012 Enterprise Forum

We saw a crowd of 60 Norfolk entrepreneurs gather at the stunningly converted Houghton Barn, in South Pickenham for our latest Forum. Thanks to all the speakers and attendees who came and showed their support for The Norfolk Way.

Thursday 22 March, 1800 for 1830, Houghton on the Hill, PE37 8DP

Let’s face it; Norfolk has a history of doing different. It’s a place with a centuries old tradition of pioneering and innovation. From Lord Townshend’s four course rotation to Bernard Matthews turkey with everything.

Today’s Norfolk’s entrepreneurs are not always easy to spot. They often excel in niche global markets, yet are not well known here on their own doorstep. That can make it harder for our next generation of local entrepreneurs to see what’s possible here.

The Norfolk Way exists to connect Norfolk entrepreneurs of all generations. Encouraging the successful to inspire and support those still at school. Our bursary scheme picks students with that vital spark. They’re often maverick and usually eager to become more entrepreneurial.

Our vision is that people will be doing different here successfully for generations to come.

Mid-way between Swaffham and Watton, Houghton Barns are a stunning example of how 18th Century farm buildings can meet 21st century needs. The place even has its own postcode so is very satnav friendly. This barnstormer of an evening will have a thought provoking programme.


1800:   Registration

1830:   Introduction – Robert Ashton, Chairman, The Norfolk Way

 1835:   Any place can be the right place – John Cushing, Thursford Christmas Spectacular

1855:   Questions

1905:   Just doing it – Stewart Bell, Bell’s Confectionery Emporium, Swaffham 

1915:   Questions

1920:   Discussion – Panel = Emma Finn from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Richard Glinn from Foundation East, Jeremy Philippi from Anglia Farmers and George Freeman MP  2000:   Get involved – George Freeman MP, Founder The Norfolk Way

2010:   Food & networking

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Support for The Norfolk Way in Parliament!

First published February 6 2012

On Friday 3rd Feb George Freeman MP welcomed the beginning of National Apprenticeship Week (6-10 Feb 2012) during Business Questions in the House, congratulating businesses across the country who are joining the campaign to deliver 100,000 more apprentices by 2014.

There was also an opportunity to highlight the work of The Norfolk Way, our project that George founded in 2007.

Great to get some support for The Norfolk Way in London and a big well done to all the team!

George Freeman (Mid Norfolk) (Con): May I, on the eve of national apprenticeship week, congratulate the Minister and the Government on the steps they are taking to increase the number of apprenticeships? I invite him to support the Norfolk Way project, which is giving youngsters work experience and entrepreneurial mentoring. I also invite him to agree with the wonderful words of Galileo Galilei, “We cannot teach people things; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”

Mr Hayes: John Clare, who is greatly admired by my hon. Friend, said:

“The best way to avoid doing a bad action is by doing a good one”.

Of course, he ended his life near Norfolk. My hon. Friend understated his own involvement in the project that he mentioned; he launched it, but he was too modest to say so. It says here that the project is “determined to nurture the ambition of enterprising young people and to encourage a can-do attitude.” I cannot do better than that.

| Hansard

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