Digital Innovation Summit

22nd October 2019, Weston-super-Mare

31st July - Events Policy

Please note that all WEAF events are non-refundable & member rates are only available if your membership is valid on the date of the event. Additional charges may apply.


Digital Innovation Summit 

WEAF is hosting a Digital Innovation Summit at the Winter Gardens in Weston-Super-Mare. 

The day will include 5 expert industry speakers who will provide delegates with knowledge of digital innovation within the industry and supply chain. 

The event will also provide delegates with the opportunity to become inspired to improve their businesses through digital systems, concluding with a networking lunch.

Bookings can be made online and are open to both WEAF members and non-members. 

What you'll Learn from our speakers:

Paul Perera 

(VP of Technology at GKN Aerospace) 

  • Share the GKN Aerospace digital technology strategy
  • How the primes are preparing and implementing new digital technologies
  • How this will affect supply chains and what SME’s need to do
  • Additive manufacturing 
  • VR & Tablet enabled design review
  • Sustainability, eco-system partnerships
  • The GKN Global Technology Centre

Mark Wright

(Director of Climb Online & Winner of The Apprentice!)

  • How to grow and scale a business through digital marketing
  • The latest trends in digital marketing
  • Tools in digital marketing which can help you increase sales
  • Success tips to help you achieve more in business
  • Why it’s important to invest in digital marketing
  • How to create an effective social media strategy
  • Social Media advertising Vs Organic reach
  • The power of Video
  • Chatbots & Lead Generation

Philip Curnock

(Business Development Manager at Valuechain)

  • Learn how WEAF are using digital technologies to develop an enhanced members capability service.
  • Understanding of the partnership between WEAF & Valuechain in producing the iQluster software tool.
  • Learn from Valuechain about productivity improvements that can be gained by using digital to aid business and quality systems.
  • Learn about WEAF's plans to develop digital readiness assessments for SME's which will support a structured approach to SME digital roll-out. 

Simon Ellis

(Director & Lead Consultant of Ellis James Creative)

  • Examine the relevance of purpose, how it can affect your culture and change the way you view your own business, and how it can inform the myriad strategic decisions you will need to make if you are to exploit all that Business 4.0 has to offer.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of brand, branding and how it affects perception and expectation of customers and staff alike.
  • Learn how to leverage that perception to deliver a unique proposition and steal a march on the competition.
  • Understand how having a clear articulation of your purpose can drive everything from higher value perception to better customer service and more effective recruitment.
  • Be confident with your brand and start to leverage it fully in your engagements with customers and staff.
  • Re-establish your connection to your own mission.  

Harriet Wollerton

(NATEP Programme Director at ADS Group Ltd)

  • What NATEP is (how to get involved?)
  • What came out of the NATEP program
  • NATEP 3

Weston Winter Gardens, Royal Parade, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1AJ


Please note that the agenda is subject to change at any time.

  • 09:30

    Arrival Refreshments & Networking

  • 09:50

    Welcome from WEAF CEO

  • 10:00

    Philip Curnock, Valuechain

  • 10:30

    Harriet Wollerton, NATEP

  • 11:00

    Simon Ellis, Founder EllisJames Creative

  • 11:30

    Networking Refreshments

  • 11:50

    Paul Perera, VP Technology at GKN Aerospace

  • 12:30

    Networking lunch

  • 13:30

    Mark Wright, Director of Climb Online and winner of The Apprentice

  • 15:00

    Event finish


More speaker details will follow as they become available, so watch this space!

Photo of Paul Perera

Paul Perera - VP Technology

GKN Aerospace's collaborative efforts for Industry 4,0 and digital innovation

Paul Perera is the Vice President of Technology in GKN Aerospace, a leading Aerospace company concentrating on the development of technology for the next 10-15 years and ensuring exploitation of the significant investment in Additive Manufacturing through 4 global technical collaboration centres.

He has an Aeronautical background with some of the Original Equipment Manufacturers including Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls Royce and has worked in the Engineering Services Supply Chain securing innovation programmes and awards with Airbus.

Paul has been a large supporter of Made Smarter and the industrial strategy with new investment being committed to generate the UK Technology Centre for collaborative proving of advanced manufacturing processes, a focus on bringing Industry 4.0 benefits into the wider supply chain and growing talent.

In his global roles, Paul has advised on acquisition of technology, strategy and building strong collaborative teams.

Photo of Harriet Wollerton

Harriet Wollerton - Programme Director for the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP)


Harriet Wollerton is the Programme Director for the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP). NATEP Supports the UK aerospace supply chain to develop and exploit the new technologies which will enable them to grow their businesses with UK and export customers.

The programme enables collaborative projects through expert mentoring, networking, customer guidance and grant funding.

She began her career as a technical non-production purchaser at Lucas Aerospace Systems (now Collins Aerospace) and has more than 20 years’ experience of supply chain, supplier management, strategic sourcing, marketing and business development in the Aerospace industry.

Harriet joined ADS at the beginning of January 2016 as Aerospace Operations & Business Development Manager, coordinating and leading ADS aerospace industry business development activity, as well as supporting sector specific aerospace special interest groups.

Photo of Mark Wright

Mark Wright - Director

Mark Wright is an award-winning, influential entrepreneur and self-taught digital marketing specialist, renowned for his success in winning BBC’s The Apprentice.

In securing the winners title, Mark went on to find and develop one of the UK’s fastest growing digital marketing agencies, Climb Online, in partnership with Lord Sugar.

As the most successful business to have been founded by an Apprentice winner to date, Climb Online is renowned for its disruptive approach to digital marketing, working with household brands to generate profit and scale growth.

Mark’s experience in building and creating a multi-million-pound turnover digital empire has led him to source and invest in additional businesses within the property investment, web development and public relations sectors, where he has dedicated his time to implementing strategies that have successfully scaled growth.

Aged just 29, Mark’s proven success in business has earnt him credentials as an ambitious influencer on lead generation, profitability and growth, where his journey to success has inspired Entrepreneurs globally, who regularly attend his public speaking engagements and motivational talks both across the UK and overseas.

In January 2017, Mark secured a prime spot on the Forbes 30 under 30 list [Europe], for his continuous impact on and dedication to the business sector and has since won a host of business accolades including Entrepreneur’s Team of the Year at the 2018 Great British Entrepreneur Awards and Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2018 UK Business Awards.

In June 2019 Wright welcomed hundreds of Business Owners and aspiring Entrepreneurs to CLIMBCON, his first UK business conference dedicated to helping Entrepreneurs accelerate business growth, with headline speakers including Lord Sugar and Piers Morgan.

For more details, visit:

Photo of Simon Ellis

Simon Ellis - Director & Lead Consultant

Did you ever see the programme: “Breaking the Magician’s Code”? Well, Si has the same idea, but with the creative process. For too long businesses have regarded ‘design’ as an expensive black art, reserved as a treat for special projects and marketeers. And designers have been happy to keep it that way. But Si is on a mission to demonstrate that design is relevant – and incredibly powerful – for everyone throughout an organisation, to improve clarity of vision, engagement, differentiation and communication in general.

Si founded EllisJames Creative in 2002, supporting myriad businesses with notable concentrations in the food & dairy and aerospace & defence sectors. What he has learned over the years is that it doesn’t matter how large, complex or modern the business is, ‘design’ as a methodology seldom makes it to where it’s needed most – where brand is actually delivered. Death by Powerpoint is a clear symptom you might be familiar with.

Both of Si’s parents were in the Royal Navy – his dad finishing his naval career as Chief Petty Officer on the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle – and both had subsequent careers with BAe and Airbus. So it’s really no surprise that Si became a massive aviation geek and microlight pilot. This underlying foundation of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for all things that fly has served him well as EllisJames continues to support major aerospace and defence primes and their supply chains with creative support services.

Photo of Phil Curnock

Phil Curnock - Business Development Manager

Phil’s experience spans over 30 years, delivering value in senior strategic and operational roles within the Aerospace and Defence sector.

Through his career to-date, Phil has had senior management roles in Bae Systems, Airbus, Rolls Royce and SME businesses in the areas of Operations , Procurement ,Supply chain ,quality ,change management and Business Development programmes. Phil previously managed the UK Aerospace and Defence Industry Supply chain programme SC21 from its development stages through to the successful programme it is today with over 700 companies on the programme.

Through his extensive industry experience Phil now supports a wide range of international innovative businesses in helping them in strategic growth and business development.

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