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Have you ever thought about what you might achieve from being in a room full of people with varying skills and exciting ideas? We spoke to our festival-loving Engagement Manager, Alexa Torlo, who leads the way in building partnerships for STEAMlabs, in advance of the upcoming challenge:


Q: Hey Alexa, thanks for joining us. The first one’s an easy one: What are STEAMlabs?

A:  STEAMlabs are meeting points where people from a range of backgrounds can come together to find
to help spark new ideas, progress a product concept, or find new people and organisations to partner with.

Alexa Torlo

Q: Sounds like a melting pot of creative minds and practical skills. So how did this melting pot get cooking?

A:  This particular STEAMlab began when we got talking to Ash Vora, a health professional interested in working with us to frame an innovation challenge.  There are numerous health care challenges we face in society, and we were interested in seeing how society can respond to these challenges.  Working with our creative and digital community we hope to find answers to questions, ask new questions, and ideally tease out any potential solutions and spin outs.


Q: This isn’t the first STEAMlab is it, what other challenges have been tackled previously?

A:  We’ve run a couple of labs over the last year focusing on creative approaches to manufacturing challenges, and more practical hands-on experience with VR technology working with local company, Holosphere VR.


Q: Lots of activity already then! Do you have any aspirations/ hopes for what STEAMlabs might achieve?

A:  We expect the labs to help local businesses, sole traders, and creative practitioners to form new ideas, partnerships, and products. Bringing people together from diverse backgrounds will help us get there.  This collaborative approach is increasingly important for businesses to extend access to talent and find time and space for essential research and development.


Q: What sort of people usually attend STEAMlabs/ Who are STEAMlabs for?

A:  STEAMlabs are for all.  Each lab has a focus so will undoubtedly have more from specific sectors.  However, we envisage, and encourage interest to come from a wide-ranging set of sectors and disciplines.  Investing time in yourself to find the people that can help you, and each other grow can be incredibly energising and rewarding.  So, if you have an inquisitive and open mind and generosity of spirit, I’m sure this lab will be up your street!


Q: What can attendees/ participants expect from the STEAMlabs Health Hack?

A:  Attendees can expect to meet people from unexpected quarters, find opportunities to grow

new ideas or refine a product idea.  We also have a number of small grants for participants with great product ideas, and access to support and advice.


The STEAMlabs Health Hack is now in the past, however, if you’re feeling ready to meet fellow innovators and share & develop exciting ideas then keep your eyes out the STEAMhouse events page and register for the next one.


In the meantime, follow STEAMhouse on:

Twitter @STEAMhouseUK,

Instagram steamhouse_uk,

Facebook @STEAMhouseUK

LinkedIn @STEAMhouse


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