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Science Summit: Strategy for Excellence

December 10, 2015 @ 8:30 am - 4:20 pm


Phone Telephone: (0161) 376 9007                                             Book now                                               Register your interest


Overview                View Programme

Science-Summit_SE-web-bannerScience Summit: Strategy for Excellence will support universities and research institutions in their strategies to achieve excellence in research and to deliver economic growth on an institutional, local and international level.

Excellence. Agility. Collaboration. Place. Openness.

These are the core themes set out in the Government’s ‘Our Plan for Growth: Science and Innovation’ paper, which sets out £5.9bn of capital to support scientific excellence. The review stresses the importance of research achieving excellence and the need to operate at a quickening pace and show agility to seize new opportunities. The importance of place is also recognised with continued investment in elite technology and innovation centres. The modern demand for openness and engagement is also key with HEFCE considering how to reward open data as part of the future REF assessments. The need to foster higher levels of collaboration between disciplines, sectors, institutions, people and countries is fundamental to boosting competiveness and productivity. The Dowling Review of Business-University Research Collaborations details further recommendations to support relationships between UK businesses and university researchers by reducing complexity. The UK has historically invested less in research and development than competitor nations so capitalising on its cutting edge research base is critical to our future prosperity and meeting societal challenges.

This conference will explore how to keep the UK’s research base at the cutting edge of world science outlining how to nurture scientific talent, support research excellence, forge strategic partnerships and catalyse innovation.

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More details                View Programme

The ‘Our Plan for Growth: Science and Innovation’ paper published in December 2014 rightly highlights the UK’s proud history in science and innovation. “The UK’s science base is extraordinary – our cutting edge research base is world leading, our universities are world-class, we develop and attract the world’s brightest minds and we are second in the world when ranked by Nobel prizes.” However it is well documented that the UK has historically invested less in research and development than competitor nations. Although ranked 7th in the world in terms of its overall level of R&D spending, 3% of the global total, analysis by Scienceogram in March 2015 discovered that UK investment in publicly funded research fell to less than 0.5% of GDP in 2012. This is less than any G8 country has invested in R&D in the last 20 years. To combat this the government have pledged to prioritise science and innovation spending committing some £5.9bn of capital to support excellence up to 2021.

The vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world for science and business. The Our Plan for Growth paper sets out the strategy to build on the UK’s strengths and to be open to emerging demands and new possibilities. The strategy is aligned around five key themes that will be explored in separate sessions during the event. The importance of research achieving excellence has been underpinned by the Research Excellence Framework and the new assessment of impact. With the pace of both discovery and application quickening it is vital that UK arrangements – funding, educational, institutional – are agile enough to seize new opportunities and to respond new challenges. The importance of place in fostering research excellence is recognised with policies for local growth increasingly encouraging greater collaboration with research and education institutions. The need to foster higher levels of collaboration between disciplines, sectors, institutions, people and countries is stressed as fundamental to boosting global competiveness and productivity. With traditional boundaries being eroded by modern demand for openness how can research and business take advantage of new opportunities? Also key is engagement with HEFCE considering how to reward open data as part of the future REF assessments.

In The Dowling Review of Business-University Collaborations, published in July 2015, the foreword stresses the importance of excellent research in tackling the productivity gap labelled ‘the foremost economic challenge facing the country’. The review makes clear that the UK is not reaping the full potential provided by the opportunities to connect the academic research base with innovative businesses. The over-arching recommendation was for the government to reduce complexity wherever possible making the interface and support as simple as possible. It is acknowledged that this is by no means the first review on these topic but with several important developments in recent years (including REF assessments, the introduction of LEPs, the network of Catapults) there are new drivers alongside the on-going challenge to ensure research and innovation play their full part in promoting well-being and economic growth. The key focus with this review is on how to promote strategic, longer-term research collaborations. How can the UK take best advantage of the opportunities to expand the numbers of strategic research partnerships between universities and businesses, across disciplines and across sectors?

This event will explore how to nurture scientific talent through improved programmes of study for science and funding to provide support for teaching, such as through the National Science Learning Network. The £5.9 billion investment into the UK’s scientific infrastructure and large capital projects to support scientific grand challenges are sure to be a key talking point. The event will offer the opportunity to learn more about Growth Deals, the University Enterprise Zone pilots and how local investment and priorities can be a catalyst for innovation. Finally delegates will have the chance to debate how the UK can become the partner of choice in research collaboration and remain a leader in global science and innovation.

Science Summit: Strategy for Excellence will support universities and research institutions in their strategies to achieve excellence in research and to deliver economic growth on an institutional, local and international level.

Benefits of Attending                  View Programme

  • How to bridge gaps in the innovation pipeline and avoid delays commercialising ideas.
  • Develop a roadmap for horizon scanning, future challenges and opportunities.
  • A greater understanding of why projects fail and what would have made innovation and transition happen.
  • The impact and actions from the latest government reviews and how research institutions can drive growth on a local, national and international scale.
  • Discover how new models of research, funding and collaboration can support excellence.
  • How research institutions can increase collaboration, across international borders, disciplines and sectors, to drive growth.
  • Learn more about the Government’s response to the Witty and Dowling Reviews by making a long-term commitment to supporting universities and innovation.
  • How to forge strong business and academic partnerships.
  • Learn what is being done to strengthen the links between Local Enterprise Partnerships and research institutions to drive innovation.
  • Updated progress on major capital projects and further discussion on concepts that can help to drive broader economic impact.
  • Practical advice that help to generate cutting edge research and secure the potential of future technologies.
  • Benefit from the opportunity to question, discuss and debate the very latest policies, projects and emerging frameworks to support growth.
  • Take advantage of excellent networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities.
  • Share you own stories and experiences with the conference and contribute to wider thinking about UK research and innovation.
  • Gain CPD credits.

Please see Terms and Conditions.

Details coming soon…

Naomi Weir, Acting Director, Campaign for Science & Engineering

Naomi WeirSince January 2015 Naomi has taken on the role of Acting Director and oversees all aspects of CaSE’s work. Naomi joined CaSE as Assistant Director in November 2013, leading on CaSE’s policy work across investment, education and skills, and science and engineering in government.

Naomi joined CaSE from the policy team at University Alliance where she was Senior Policy Analyst and led on Employment and Enterprise policy. Naomi has a background in science having studied Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, specialising in Pharmacology. Naomi also has experience working within financial services.




Dr Catriona Manville, Senior Analyst, RAND Europe

manville_catrionaDr Catriona Manville is a Senior Analyst at RAND Europe. She has been extensively involved in the evaluation of the impact element of REF2104, looking at the submission and assessment process. She has a particular interest in understanding and articulating the impact of research outside of academia and exploring how impact can be measured. In 2013, Catriona was part of the RAND Europe team evaluating the Australian Impact Trial (EIA). Catriona is currently seconded part time to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) working on business intelligence. Whilst at RAND, Catriona has also undertaken research, policy analysis and evaluation studies for clients in a variety of sectors including the European Commission and Parliament, higher education institutions, pharmaceutical industry, public private partnerships, and public health.


Paul Mason, Deputy Director Research and Chief Scientific Advisor, Innovate UK

Paul MasonPaul is Deputy Director Research and Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA) at Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board), the UK’s innovation agency. Paul has overarching responsibility for the joint thematic work between Innovate UK and the Research Councils, working together to identify and accelerate the impact of high potential research, and with the wider Government CSA network.

He leads the team responsible for identifying and evaluating significant new technology-related business opportunities for the UK and, where appropriate, turning them into robustly argued and coherent programmes. This produced the first 10 Innovate UK sector strategies (in high value manufacturing, creative industries, biosciences, ICT, electronics photonics and electrical systems, advanced materials, energy generation and supply, financial services, medicines & healthcare, and emerging technologies and industries) and the development of new Innovation Platforms in the Detection & Identification of Infectious Agents (DIIA), Sustainable Agriculture and Food (SAF IP) and Stratified Medicine (SMIP). Implementation of these programmes represents a public sector investment of over £500m.

The team runs the Emerging Technologies & Industries programme, a national programme designed to identify and accelerate to market high potential early stage technologies. Current investment areas include synthetic biology, energy harvesting, energy efficient computing, emerging imaging technologies, graphene, non-animal technologies, quantum technologies and biofilms. He also has responsibility for Innovate UK’s work in design, and for technology and market data analysis.

Before joining Technology Strategy Board he worked for 25 years in the chemical industry, and in 2007 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Paul read Chemistry at Balliol College, Oxford and in 1984 joined Courtaulds Research where he led a number of research projects, mainly fibre-related. From 1989-90 he was Group Manager for Performance Films research within the Courtaulds Films and Packaging business. He then transferred to the Strategic Research Group responsible for coordinating Courtaulds’ technology activities in Japan, and for technico-economic appraisal. This led to a two-year appointment working as a Market Analyst in the USA, helping to shape the industrial products portfolio of the Performance Films business. From 1998-2003 he led a multi-site change management programme for Acordis Acetate Products, and also assumed responsibility for European cellulose triacetate polymer sales, selling mainly to customers in the photographic and LCD polariser film markets. From sales, he moved into manufacturing, and after a brief period as Technical Manager, in 2003 became Manufacturing Manager for Acordis’ acetate plant in Coventry. He joined Technology Strategy Board in 2007.

Dr Faye Taylor, Policy & Projects Manager, University Alliance

Faye TaylorFaye joined University Alliance in 2014 where she leads on research, innovation and university-business policy and collaborative activities. Previously, she led benchmarking projects on knowledge exchange and postgraduate careers at the University of Nottingham. As a post-doctoral Fellow at the educational charity Cumberland Lodge she managed a series of programmes bridging university research with public and third sector policy, and was responsible for the annual ‘Life Beyond the PhD’ intensive retreat focused on developing postgraduate careers. She has worked on community outreach, widening participation and researcher development throughout her career and volunteers for a charity promoting aspiration and capacity building for underprivileged school girls in London. Faye has a PhD in History from the University of Nottingham and has taught and convened modules in medieval history there and at King’s College London.

Twitter handles – we are @unialliance and I am @fayectaylor


Professor Susan Smith, Head of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory

Susan SmithProfessor Susan Smith is Head of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, she was appointed as head in 2012. She works closely with the JV partners in the SciTech Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus to accelerate the growth of the Campus. Susan led the team responsible for developing a strategy to secure their far reaching vision: to develop the campus as a national centre for large-scale science, innovation and entrepreneurship deliver growth and high quality jobs, regionally in North West England and nationally across the UK.

A graduate of Glasgow University, Susan started as a physicist in 1985 at Daresbury Laboratory on the development of the SRS and then the design of the Oxford Compact Source. From ~1995 till 2007, she led the lattice design for the UK’s Diamond Light Source and then progressed to the leadership of accelerator studies. She is currently Director of STFC’s Accelerator Science and Technology Centre, a partner constituent of the Cockcroft Accelerator Institute together with Manchester, Liverpool and Lancaster Universities.


Dr Catherine Mulligan, Head of Digital Strategy and Economics, Future Cities Catapult

Catherine MulliganDr Catherine Mulligan is Head of Digital Strategy and Economics at the Future Cities Catapult. She has broad-ranging experience of technology and strategy development in industry and academia. She is leads Standardisation activities within the Catapult, as well as technology strategy development for SMEs and cities. In addition, Catherine also leads the Economic Analysis activities within the Catapult, creating and applying groundbreaking frameworks and methods for analysing the use of digital technologies in the urban age.

She also holds a position as a Research Fellow at Imperial College London, where she has researched the impact of digital technologies on a variety of industries. Catherine has regularly advised companies, cities and government organizations on the role of digital technologies in creating economic growth and its impact on jobs. She is Associate Director of the Centre for Crytpocurrency Research and Engineering.

Professor Gerry McKenna MRIA, former Vice Chancellor and President, University of Ulster; President Emeritus and Hon. Executive Secretary of the Heads of University Centres of Biomedical Sciences

Gerry McKennaProfessor Gerry McKenna MRIA is a former Dean of Science, Pro Vice Chancellor (Research), and Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Ulster. He was the key architect in the transformation of the University from a largely teaching-only institution in the 1980s into one with a strong reputation for research and knowledge transfer. He internationalised the University through collaborative research and teaching linkages with leading universities in the United States, Hong Kong, China, India, Malaysia and Australia.

McKenna has been centrally involved in developing many national and international initiatives including the establishment of Universities Ireland (as founding chair), and being co-founder of the Heads of University Centres of Biomedical Sciences (HUCBMS), the US-Ireland R&D Partnership and the Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA).
Locally, he has been a pioneer of knowledge transfer. He was co-founder of the Northern Ireland Science Park and developed incubator facilities for start-up companies across each of the University of Ulster’s campuses. He chaired the Northern Ireland Foresight: Life and Health Technologies Report.

He is currently President Emeritus and Hon. Executive Secretary of HUCBMS.

Dr Noam Shemtov, Senior Lecturer IP and Technology Law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), Queen Mary University of London

Noam ShemtovDr Noam Shemtov is a Senior Lecturer in IP and Technology Law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) at Queen Mary University of London and the Director for Graduate Studies at CCLS. His interest areas include IP and the creative industries and the intersection between IP and technology. Noam has led various research projects and is a regular speaker in both academic and professional events in the above-mentioned areas.

In addition to his role in QM, he is a visiting lecturer in Spain, France and The Netherlands. Noam is a qualified solicitor both in the UK and in Israel.




Nicola Blackwood MP, Chair of the Science & Technology Select Committee

Nicola BlackmoreNicola Blackwood was first elected to Parliament in 2010 and re-elected in 2015, she is the Member for Oxford West & Abingdon.
Before the General Election, she was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Matthew Hancock MP, Minister for Energy and Enterprise (2013- 2015) and a key member of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee (2010- 2015). She was also previously Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2010-2013.

In June 2015, Nicola was elected by MPs from all parties to Chair the Science & Technology Select Committee, and is currently overseeing its inquiries into the Science Budget, Big Data, the lessons learnt from the Ebola outbreak last year. The Committee sits at the interface between politicians, the public and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) community and will be a key committee in the 2015- 2020 Parliament.

Case study details coming soon…

Professionals from across the public, private and third sectors. Job titles include:

Business Development Managers
Chief Scientists
Clinical Sciences Directors
Commercial Liaison Officers
Director of Research and Development
Executive Directors and Chief Executive Officers
Heads/Deans of Science Faculties
Heads of Research and Development
Heads of Research Networks
Heads of Funding
Heads of Policy
Heads of Technology Transfer
Heads of Knowledge Transfer
Information and Research Officers
Knowledge Transfer Managers
Managing Directors
Medical Directors
Research Directors and Associates
Project and Programme Managers
Pro-Vice Chancellors
Scientific Advisors
Senior Scientists and Engineers
Senior Lecturers and Academics
Social Scientists
Technology Advisors and Analysts
Venture Capitalists
Vice Chancellors

America Square Conference Centre
No. 1 America Square

Hotel 1:
Novotel London Tower Bridge: Rooms from £196 http://www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-3107-novotel-london-tower-bridge/index.shtml

Hotel 2:
Grange City Hotel: Rooms from £194 http://www.grangehotels.com/booking/?property=G14

Hotel 3:
The Chamberlain Hotel: Rooms from £119 http://www.thechamberlainhotel.co.uk/

View the Programme.

Sponsorship Opportunities.

Benefits of Attending.


Phone Telephone: (0161) 376 9007      email Email: [email protected]         Book now


December 10, 2015
8:30 am - 4:20 pm
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Open Forum Events Ltd
(0161) 376 9007
[email protected]


America Square Conference Centre
No.1, America Square, 17 Crosswall
London,EC3N 2LB
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0207 706 7700