Note: Our events have been on hold because of COVID-19. Below is a selection of previous engagements. We hope to recommence events later this year.


02 July 2018

Event Summary

All major corporations are struggling with the need to innovate within their supply chains, both in response to heat of international competition and the growth in regulation driven by government (and consumer) interest in reducing waste and related environmental impact.

This event will look at supply chain innovation, with a focus on waste reduction, and take the view that it is only when technological innovation is married to supply chain innovation that significant progress becomes possible.

Event Description

2nd July 2018
Conference: 9:30am–4pm
Drinks reception: 4pm–6pm

Delegates at our last event

All major corporations are struggling with the need to innovate within their supply chains, both in response to heat of international competition and the growth in regulation driven by government (and consumer) interest in reducing waste and related environmental impact.

This event will look at supply chain innovation, with a focus on waste reduction, and take the view that it is only when technological innovation is married to supply chain innovation that significant progress becomes possible.

We shall look at waste in general as well as focus on bio-waste as a means to explore the sorts of approaches to supply chain innovation that can drive companies forward over the next decade. Bio-waste is a useful test case, as it is both an unnecessary costly problem and a missed opportunity. It uses resources in its disposal and represents unrealised value, with expert opinion believing that in 90% of cases, bio-waste could be upgraded in some sort of industrial process and is not only useful as a fertilizer.

To explore this we have planned a full day of thought-provoking material presented at the headquarters of our event partner, Oracle.

Why attend?

  • Hear about best in class projects already in place in major corporations
  • Discuss your own challenges with like-minded peers from other companies
  • Network with major corporations such as PepsiCo, Unilever, Cargill, Mondelez, Merck, major supermarket chains, and others up and down the FMCG and food value chains
  • Meet interesting smaller businesses and leading academics from across the UK and beyond
  • Past events attended by the likes of Virgin Media, Coty Inc, Network Rail, Nielsen, National Grid, Flex, Cadence, Addecco, Mondelēz International, Magna and more

Who should attend?

  • Those responsible for innovation in efficiency and production technologies
  • Academics and innovators creating new techniques and processes for handling waste
  • Those with relevant services to offer

Recent previous feedback on our events

  • "Really informative and thought provoking / great attendees." - R&D Innovation Accelerator Leader, Coty Inc
  • "Fantastic intros to people I wouldn’t normally meet in my business." - CERDEC Global Science Advisor, RDECOM-Atlantic
  • "Excellent event." - Senior Programme Manager, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
  • "Good quality attendees." - Managing Director, Strategic Allies
  • "Lots of expertise in the room" - Project Manager, Adecco Group
  • "Very interesting content and high quality of attendees; good for networking." - Technology and Innovation Lead, PA Consulting Group
  • "A new way of thinking and interesting networking." - Group Technical Director, Cadence Design Systems
  • "Informative, challenging assumptions, good networking." - R&D Principal Innovation Engineer, PepsiCo

Event Programme

Time Programme Speaker
9:30 - 10:00 Registration and refreshments on arrival  
10:00 - 10:15 Opening and welcome from Innovation DB & Oracle Gerald Law, Chief Executive at Innovation DB & Aniruddha Katkar, Strategic Account Director at Oracle
10:15 - 10:55 Sustainability — an opportunity for growth
Sustainability offers a huge growth area for business. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a statement of future need, and where there is a need there is opportunity. Achieving the Global Goals opens up an economic prize of at least US$12 trillion by 2030 for the private sector and potentially 2-3 times more. Half of this in emerging economies, half in developed economies. This presentation will explore the opportunity, the disruptive technologies and business models that underpin it and talk through real life case studies of organisations doing well from doing good.
David Rakowski, Managing Consultant & David Hickie, Partner at PA Consulting
10:55 - 11:10 Coffee break  
11:10 - 11:40 Biorefining at the Biorenewables Development Centre
The Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC) is an open-access R&D centre working at the interface between academia and industry to develop, scale-up and help commercialise bio-based products and processes. The BDC brings technological innovation into the ‘real world’, delivering a wide range of client projects within the bioeconomy sector. Many of these projects focus on converting bio-based wastes into profitable biorenewable products through the development of novel sustainable processes or enhancing the sustainability of existing processes. Alexander will outline the capabilities of the BDC, how their work is developing the UK and global bioeconomies and how their facilities and expertise may be accessed through a variety of funding/support opportunities. The presentation will also explore a selection of BDC case studies, particularly around technological innovation in the food and drink sector through ‘valorisation’ of bio-based wastes.
Mr. Alexander Setchfield, Technologist, Bioscience Innovation Team, at Biorenewables Development Centre
11:40 - 12:20 Blockchain revolution in the retail industry
The retail industry is a globally connected network of suppliers, brands, retailers and customers – interacting in both physical stores and with digital online channels. This makes the retail industry an ideal beneficiary for the blockchain revolution. Join us to explore the ways in which retailers can benefit from blockchain now and over the next few years.
Antony Welfare, Innovation Strategy Director at Oracle
12:20 - 13:20 Lunch and networking  
13:20 - 14:00 Optimisation of Packaging Design for End of Life
A talk on how the design of packaging effects how it is treated at end of life. The discussion will cover “conventional plastics” and bioplastics and what design considerations should be made to ensure that packaging has been optimised for end of life.
Richard McKinlay, Head of Circular Economy at Axion
14:00 - 14:30 Valorisation of Waste - Technologies around the World
Gerald will present a range of novel approaches and technologies to tackle waste valorisation, drawn from universities and SMEs from around the world. He will also give an indication, based on the data from InnovationDB, as to the sort of approaches that are proving popular, the underlying science they depend on, and locations where this is a particularly hot area for research.
Gerald Law, Chief Executive at Innovation DB
14:30 - 14:45 Coffee break  
14:45 - 15:15 NewTrition- ReNEWable, sustainable nuTRITION
This project provides approaches for re-use of commercial side streams to create a market first "late stage customisation" ingredient, reducing oil and salt in the diet, increasing productivity and reducing environmental impact. The project requires the development of an innovative process compatible with existing production and control systems to enable an increase in dietary fibre in the final product . This will not only deliver major waste reductions but will also dramatically reduce CO2 emissions from transport and enhance the shelf life of a product ‘made to consume’, thereby reducing waste in the supply chain. The system will be engineered by combining innovative process engineering know how (PepsiCo and Siddharth), informed by food science research and development (UoN and IIFPT), with a ready market and supply chain to exploit the innovation. Outputs from this research will benefit India’s economy through increased efficiencies and reduced need for raw material importation, and socio-economic development through environmental and human sustainability benefits.
Zainudin Umar (Dino), Scientist, Global Food Structure and Ingredient Science at Pepsico
15:15 - 15:45 Where there is muck there could well be brass
Andrew will explore energy storage, possible other innovative technology tracks and how we might also deliver environmentally beneficial outcomes.
Andrew Atkins, Global Technical Lead at Ricardo Innovations
15:45 - 16:00 Closing from Innovation DB Gerald Law, Chief Executive at Innovation DB
16:00 - 18:00 Drinks Reception at Kitty Hawk, 11,13,14 South Place, London EC2M 7EB  


David Rakowski

Managing Consultant
PA Consulting

David is co-lead for PA’s Circular Economy proposition. As a Systems Engineer and programme manager within PA’s Technology Innovation service he has worked across multiple sectors from Consumer Products to Manufacturing.

Having previously led sponsor-funded international development work in Borneo his focus is now on driving forward PA’s Circular Economy work, with a particular interest on where Business Models and Technology meet to create solutions that unlock new sources of value, and achieve sustainability goals. Recently, he has led projects ranging from delivering revolutionary new kelp based packaging systems and first to world consumer beverage appliances, through to advising the UN on disruptive technologies that enable the sustainable development goals.

Based: Cambridge, UK
Technology Innovation

David Hickie

PA Consulting

David is a creative and enterprising R&D executive. His expertise lies in helping companies in the consumer goods arena grow through innovation and technology. He is passionate about resolving the inherent contradiction of achieving sustainable growth. Amongst David's achievements, he has led a number of initiatives to help large companies valorise waste streams.

A former board member of EUROPEN (The European Organisation for Packaging and the Environment), David has 20 years’ experience in research and development at senior levels in PepsiCo and Unilever, spanning multiple geographies, technologies and product categories. He was influential in steering PepsiCo's environmental sustainability efforts across the supply chain, including the introduction of precision farming technology in the UK.

Based: Cambridge, UK
Consumer Sector

Alexander Setchfield

Biorenewables Development Centre

Alexander is a Technologist within the Bioscience Innovation Team at the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC). He has worked on a variety of research and development projects in the bioeconomy sector for both companies and universities, particularly around adding value to unavoidable wastes arising from the food and drink sector through novel ‘valorisation’ technologies. Prior to joining the BDC, Alexander obtained a master’s degree with distinction in Industrial Biotechnology from the University of York, having previously graduated from the University of Hull with a first-class honours degree in Biology. During his master’s research project at the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (based within the University of York), he investigated a number of novel proteins associated with the deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass for the biorefinery production of second-generation bioethanol.

Richard McKinlay

Head of Circular Economy

Richard graduated from The University of Manchester with a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 2012 and is currently Head of Circular Economy at Axion. Richard has worked on a range of research, development and demonstration projects in the waste and resource sector with Axion covering post-consumer plastics, Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE), Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and End of Life Vehicles (ELV). Richard led the technical delivery of the REFLEX project, a complete supply chain approach to addressing the barriers facing flexible packaging recycling in the UK.

Gerald Law

Chief Executive
Innovation DB

Gerald has a background in Management Consultancy and academia. A London Business School alumnus, with a Doctorate from Oxford University, he has experience of several start-ups and their exits, with considerable experience in building company executive boards, which has led him to sit on VC investment committees, among other roles. He established the UK Innovation Forum six years ago, which morphed into Innovation DB over time, in response to feedback from members. Today the company’s four areas of activity cover its community, its reports, its events and the database itself – easily the biggest of its kind in the world.

Antony Welfare

Innovation Strategy Director

With a lifetime of experience in retail and ecommerce, Antony has an intimate knowledge of the sector from your local store to the heady heights of multinational retail management. Following 20 years of hands-on experience in such household giants as M&S, Sainsburys and Dixons, Antony is now pushing the boundaries of cutting edge, retail technology at Oracle. Antony is a leader in Blockchain for Retail, as the Retail Advisor to the APPG Blockchain government programme, and guest lecturer for Retail on the UCL Executive Blockchain programme. In addition to this, Antony is a serial entrepreneur and prolific writer, having authored several books including – The Retail Handbook: Master omnichannel best practice to attract, engage and retain customers in the digital age.

Zainudin Umar (Dino)


Zainudin is a Scientist in PepsiCo Global R&D and based in Beaumont Park, UK. He joined PepsiCo in 2016, received his MSc in Polymer Technology in 2013 and PhD in Materials Science from Loughborough University in 2017. During his 15 year career, he held R&D roles in Aerospace, Pharmaceutical, Automotive and Chemical industries focussing on the development of innovative materials and processes to unlock environmental, financial and human sustainability.

His main areas of interest are in fusing materials and food sciences to accelerate innovations of enhanced positive nutrition, targeted food structures and achieve favourable sensory experiences by collaborations with world class organisations to provide a competitive edge for PepsiCo.

Andrew Atkins

Global Technical Lead
Ricardo Innovations

Andrew is a business and technical innovator with expertise in identifying technology gaps in markets and then blending new and existing technology streams to provide novel solutions and then deliver the marketing strategy that turns these into successful business streams. His specialties include:

  • Engineering: thermodynamics, dynamics, cryogenics, vacuum, high voltage, magnetic design
  • Business: team building and leadership, network development, consensus building, marketing

Currently Andrew is a Global Technology Lead – SLT member of Ricardo Innovations. With responsibility to identify and deliver key partnerships and technologies that meet Ricardo Groups strategic aims on a 5,10,and 15 year horizon.

Some of Andrew's professional experiences include:

  • Hold 50 patents in disciplines such as cryogenics, magnetics, structures, etc.
  • Chief Engineer – KERS Flywheel system
  • Project Director for LCA development programme
  • Technical specialist – Tidal generator and Wind power drive line technologies
  • Technical specialist – Energy storage and grid management
  • Pre-Ricardo: PLM Process Manager – Siemens Magnet Technology & Manager of Technology Projects – Siemens Magnet Technology


Our events are popular, but space is limited and we aim to run events that will provide the maximum benefit to the maximum number of participant, so we cannot guarantee places for everyone who would like to come. To request to attend this event, please complete the form below. We will get back to you within 48 hours.

Registration for this event is now closed.

Event Partner

Oracle Proud to be a member of the Innovation DB community

Event Location

Oracle, One South Place, London EC2M 2RB