Essex 2020 launches

Essex 2020 launches

THE scientific and creative innovation which gives the county of Essex its DNA will take centre stage during 2020 with the ambition to create a lasting impact for future generations in science, technology, engineering arts and mathematics (STEAM).

Officially activated on Monday 20 January, ‘Essex 2020 – A Year of Science and Creativity’ brings together over 360 inspiring events – at least one for each day of the year – for all ages across all corners of the county to celebrate Essex’s pioneering past and present-day innovators.

From the county that delivered the first entertainment broadcast to global airwaves; created the Queen’s favourite jam and helped bring Big Beat to the world courtesy of resident Liam Howlett of the Prodigy, Essex has a surprising and inspiring history of breaking new ground.

Essex also has a rich history of entrepreneurship, counting innovators including Lord Alan Sugar and digital colour photography inventor Michael Francis Tompsett, alongside a myriad of successful businesses which are helping to revolutionise the world we live in. Some 190 patent applications were filed in Essex in 2018².

The ambition of Essex 2020 ‘A Year of Science and Creativity’ is to:

  • create opportunities for every child to participate in a STEAM related event in 2020;
  • inspire some 500,000 residents (34% of the population) to get involved;
  • generate renewed confidence and pride in Essex as a place to live, work and visit;
  • elevate aspirations of young people and adult learners for their future careers; and
  • drive innovation and prosperity through new and lasting partnerships between business, industry, the arts, education and grass roots organisations.

Speaking at the launch event, Essex County Council Chief Executive Gavin Jones said: “As well as boasting a proud history of technology and innovation, Essex is a hugely creative county. That’s why we are putting the ‘Arts’ into STEM.

“By experiencing our pioneering STEM industries and rich diversity of arts and culture first-hand, Essex 2020 will help residents of all ages feel proud of the county’s past achievements and believe in our exciting future. A new decade of opportunity for our county has begun and Essex 2020 is our window to the world.”

The launch event, hosted by world leading developer of cutting-edge technologies, Teledyne e2v in Chelmsford, brought together for the first time a flavour of the trail-blazing innovation and rich diversity of arts which together are helping to drive Essex forward.

Ground-breaking innovations showcased at the event included a space exploration satellite and image sensors destined for NASA and the European Space Agency; a cold atom chamber demonstration; science and engineering projects from students at Anglia Ruskin University including a Raspberry Pi navigation aid for the visually impaired; and exhibits from internationally acclaimed Essex based space artist, Jackie Burns.

Also bringing Essex 2020 to life were guest speakers Professor Trevor Cross, Group Chief Technology Officer, Teledyne e2v; Cllr Dick Madden, Cabinet Member for Essex 2020, Essex County Council; Professor Yvonne Barnett, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation, Anglia Ruskin University; Rosie Millard OBE, Chair of Firstsite Colchester and Adam Wood, Vice President of Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society.

A Year of Science and Creativity was the vision of Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society who supported Anglia Ruskin University’s successful bid to host the British Science Festival in Essex for the first time in its 189-year history this September. Essex 2020 also marks several important milestones for Essex, from the 100th anniversary of Marconi’s pioneering telecommunications; 200 years since Darwin departed Essex shores for the New World and 400 years since The Mayflower left Harwich.

Essex 2020 has been created by Essex Partners, comprising public, private, charity and education organisations dedicated to improving the county of Essex.

To explore the Essex 2020 programme and find out more visit or follow #Essex2020 on social media channels.