North East Business Futures- The Future of Assistive Technology

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A virtual event, discussing the innovative uses of technology to improve the quality of life and healthcare for older people.

About this Event

'The Future of Assistive Technology'

3.00pm – 4.00pm on Thursday 4th March 2021

Online event

North East Futures UTC, North East Business Futures and Accenture have partnered once again to deliver this online event, which is designed to provide an opportunity for the industry sector, UTC students and members of the public to hear from, and engage with, leading experts in the field of the digital technologies and how they are being implemented to transform the health and social care and digital sectors. We will be showcasing the innovative uses of technology designed to improve the quality of life and healthcare for our older generation.

Never before has the need for digital technologies been so great as in the confrontation of a wide range of issues being faced by the healthcare sector. The Covid-19 pandemic is driving the need for digital innovations to support the management and treatment of health and social care for the population, and this trend will change the shape of future healthcare as we know it.

Mark Larsen, Managing Director at Accenture will be leading on this event and you can expect facilitated discussions, industry speakers, Q&A’s plus some exciting demos and videos of new innovations.


1. Laetitia Cailleteau - Managing Director | DATA & AI European Lead |Conversational AI global Lead, Accenture

Laetitia is leading Accenture’s DATA & AI business in Europe and the conversational AI domain globally – driving innovation, sales and delivery across the globe for multiple industries and clients . She has more than 20 years’ experience in the consulting industry, authored several academic publications and hold patents in the AI domain. She is a reserve member of the Artificial Intelligence High Level Group at the European commission, and a board member of the OASIS Open foundation in Europe. She is also a member of the strategic advisory board for the all-party group for Longevity in the UK. She was recently acknowledged by Analytics Insight as part of the Top10 most influential women in Technology globally.

2. Professor Nic Palmarini

Director of UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing

This event is funded by a grant from The Northstar Foundation.

You can view last year’s event via our YouTube channel


Alongside this event, we are offering students (from any school, 6th Form or College up to the age of 19 years) the opportunity to take part in a competition led by North East Futures UTC, a 14-19 Digital Technology and Healthcare Science School in central Newcastle with support from our partners at Accenture and Dynamo.

This is an opportunity to develop your ‘work-ready skills’ such as innovative thinking, problem solving and presentation skills. Also the best submissions will receive free coaching from volunteers at Accenture and there are great prizes to be won.

Round 1

The Topic is the ‘Future of Assistive Technology’. Students need to ‘pitch’ their idea for a new assistive technology to help improve healthcare or the quality of life for older people in the UK.

To get you thinking – click here to find out about a Smart Medicine Cabinet. This idea is a medicine cabinet that can remind people to take their medications at the correct time, notify family members automatically when medication is not taken or even automatically order a new prescription when needed.

Your pitch should detail your idea, explain how it meets the brief and how it would be a feasible

Your ‘pitch’ can be a single A4 side of text, a 1 minute video or podcast. Submissions should be sent to with the subject ‘Assistive Technology Competition’ by the 3rd March 2021. Parents/carers of younger students are welcome to submit their child’s entry on their behalf.

The judges are looking for innovation (fresh ideas – please check no one has already invented it!), feasibility (this could really work and be successful), real problem solving (something that would be really helpful to people) and a well presented pitch (clear writing or a well explained professional(ish) video or podcast).

The best submissions will be shortlisted and students will then be supported by Accenture volunteers to develop these ideas into a mini Business Plan ready for the second round of the competition.

Round 2

This part of the competition will be a ‘Dragon’s Den’ or ‘Shark Tank’ format.

After your Round 1 Pitch has been shortlisted you will then work (with support from your Accenture Coach) for 2 weeks to develop your 1 A4 pitch into a mini business plan.

You will add more detail about your idea including designs, financial plans, market research, branding and target audience.

You will present your business panel in a live online session on the 19th March to a panel of expert judges from the fields of technology, healthcare and education. They will read your business plan and you will have an opportunity to ’sell’ your idea to the experts and answer any questions they have.

This will further develop your confidence, your presentation skills and your understanding of business. It will also be a great experience to put on your CV.

The winner will receive the latest Amazon Echo and Fitbit device for your own assistive technology as well as UTC goody bags kindly donated by Accenture and NE Futures UTC.

To apply for the competition/submit your ideas, submit by email to with the subject ‘Assistive Technology Competition’ by the 3rd March 2021.

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