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Vince Cable visits disability entrepreneurs

08 July 2014

Dr Vince Cable to examine disability entrepreneurship in visit to leading university laboratory with Disability Rights UK

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Dr Vince Cable is to visit University College London’s “Pamela” laboratory as a guest of Disability Rights UK, the national charity for and led by disabled people, on Thursday June 26th 2014 (12.30 pm to 13.45) to examine disability entrepreneurship and its value to the UK economy.

The laboratory showcases cutting edge technology in enabling disabled people to stand without wheelchairs, redesigning streets to support disabled pedestrians and the use of 3D printers to produce aids and adaptations that assist disabled people to work. Dr Cable will watch the operation of mock streets, buses and tube carriages and witness innovation in wearable assistive materials.

Dr Cable will also meet the winners of the “Blind Bit of Difference” competition, Jun Woo Kim and Jihun Kim former MBA finance students at London Business School. The competition required students to develop business plans that would create businesses that would preferentially offer jobs to blind and partially sighted people or design tools that would enable blind and partially sighted people to earn an income.

Disabled people are major contributors to the UK economy. They contributed some £16 billion as individual tax payers in 2010. Their spending power was estimated by the Government ten years ago to be some £80 billion.  The industries that supply to their needs e.g. medical technology are also significant contributors to the UK tax base and major drivers of export sales.

“Disabled people are highly resourceful people and often as a result of having to find new ways of doing things that others take for granted are creative and inventive thinkers and doers. These qualities are valuable in an economy needing resilience and constant innovation. This visit will allow Dr Cable to consider what more can be done by the Government to support disabled people to turn these attributes into further entrepreneurial activity,” said Philip Connolly, the Policy and Communications Manager for Disability Rights UK and organizer of the visit.

Notes

  1. For further information on the visit please contact Philip J Connolly at Disability Rights UK on 0207 250 8192 or 07706 643667
  2. PAMELA (Pedestrian Accessibility and Movement Environment Laboratory), University College London, Address: Unit 1, Bush Industrial Estate, Station Road, Tufnell Park, London, N19 5UN. Tel: 020 7281 2976

 

Vince Cable visits disability entrepreneurs
Vince Cable with Disability Rights UK's Liz Sayce and Philip Connolly
Vince Cable inside a Pamela tube mock up