The arrival of leading experts in artificial intelligence is set to boost technical training and career opportunities in Salford – particularly for women and workers from disadvantaged groups.

Innovation Exchange (IX) will operate from a state-of-the-art TV studio in Media City, where it joins a growing community of innovators in data science, cyber, and immersive technologies working to share know-how and develop tech skills in the region’s workforce.

Collaborative platform IX will deliver bootcamp academies, expert masterclasses, technology showtime and advanced technology content digitally from its new headquarters at the Home of Skills & Technology (Host).

Innovation Exchange will support Host’s Skills City project aimed at providing fairer access to digital and technology careers across Salford and beyond

Mr Sherin Mathew, CEO of Innovation Exchange says: “Innovation Exchange brings expert speakers, leaders to share our latest technology trend across our portfolio of events and categories so we’re trying to bring expertise for technology such as AI, smart technology and even space technology.

“There is the unique proposition about what we do which is it’s an inspiring content which is purely because of the arts studio based at HOST where users can come in and really emphasise their message use the multiple camera angles to create something entertaining for them to sort of add value and share the message and a success story and to inspire the audience on a global level.”

Throughout these challenging times we thought that events would no longer be running anymore so we decided to take this as an opportunity and redesign the whole events business so Innovation Exchange is the digital way of running an event for us we have been running events for the last 3+ years for us it’s a journey or evolution.

Mr. David Young Vice CEO of Innovation Exchange said: “We’ve created a events online digitally which are covid free during lockdown situations again we’ve still got a scenario where we can get our voices out there and people can come physically into the studio or virtually into the studio.”

The Skills City project aims to fast-track 450 people into careers in digital technology every year by breaking the barriers faced by those from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Young said: “One of the main purposes of our community is to support large companies who are engaging in tech projects and at the same time there’s a load of individuals and ambassadors that are looking to get involved in that type of work build those skills and get involved in those projects so ultimately yes it does create jobs because it’s about networking and talking.”

The move to MediaCityUK is vital for building up their business Young said: “We knew we needed to have a network which was connected to media in general so was also building connections with Manchester universities because we’re closely linked to academia who do presentations for AI tech north and it was just a whole combination of factors and  we were getting being pressured to either stay in the north or to expand our network so it’s trying to meet all the criteria and had discussions with Mo Isap and Media City is now their home.”

Ms Mathew, former Microsoft analytics and AI lead at IBM, said: “We want to democratise innovations and share knowledge. True knowledge is something that you cannot just Google. Hence, it’s important to bring innovation exchange to accelerate and empower sustainable futures with new technologies.

“We are super excited to have our own studio at Host, in the heart of the digital capital of the North and we would like to thank our partner Host for making this happen.”


Mo Isap, CEO of IN4.0 Group, operators of HOST

Mo Isap, CEO of IN4.0 Group, operators of Host, said: “We are excited to welcome Innovation Exchange to Host as its new headquarters, so we can work together in expanding the AI community in the North with an inclusive offering to Skills City’s learners and organisations across the public and private sector.

“We are on a mission to make technology widely available. AI’s benefits are huge, but we must increase access, share knowledge and improve understanding to enable both people and businesses to benefit. Ultimately, this will drive prosperity in the region and champion ethical solutions for innovations, particularly in AI technology.”

Digital events can be run from the IX studio and it also offers a one-day package covering all aspects of digital event production.

Innovation exchange started small and then had up to 10 students volunteering and now working full-time so jobs are being created every year for graduates who want to build and apply their management and digital skills.

You can apply here

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