The city of Leeds will play host to the annual Business of Science Conference for the first time this year, celebrating its progression as a UK leader in science and innovation.
The event, which gathers businesses and individuals involved in the commercialisation of science, will take place on Thursday 16th May 2019 at Leeds Cloth Hall Court, welcoming keynote speakers such as chief executive of Leeds City Council, Tom Riordan, minister for Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry MP and Pip Clode, concept team leader at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains.
More than £1.4 million of investment was made into the city last year, including for the launch of the Bragg Centre, which will see the University of Leeds work closely with leading scientists to develop new and innovative solutions for real-world materials challenges. The university has also secured 150 fully-funded PhD research placements to train the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, will open the Business of Science Conference. Discussing what the event means to the city, he said: “Leeds has seen huge investment over the last few years, including welcoming Channel 4 and expanding our digital sector. Our strong innovation economy has proven key to the city’s success, so it’s the perfect time to host the Business of Science Conference and celebrate all that our city has to offer.
“Because innovation thrives with the sharing of ideas and knowledge, Leeds City Council is working with partners to bring some of the city’s most creative and innovative institutions and businesses together to form an Innovation District. As science, tech and innovation play increasingly important roles in our strong local economy it is vital to ensure that everyone across the city is given the chance to benefit. We are dedicated to ensuring that the Innovation District is also inclusive by ensuring that it has affordable, flexible spaces for new and SME creative businesses at its centre.”
Steve Bennett, founder and managing director of Business of Science Ltd, said: “Following three successful years in Manchester and Liverpool, the natural next step was to bring the 2019 conference to Leeds, and what a welcome we have had. The city is a true UK leader in science and innovation and is at the forefront of medical technologies.”
Delegates can expect a combination of panel discussions, breakout sessions and interactive sessions at this years’ conference. With the overarching theme of the commercialisation of science, speakers will cover topics such as the business of space, emerging technologies, Brexit and diversity in STEM.
“Last year nearly 200 people attended the event, continuing our year-on-year growth, and we’re expecting 2019 to be bigger and better than ever,” Steve added. “Organisations that are passionate about driving innovation forward are joining us, as well some of the world’s leading influencers in the industry, who’ll on hand to explore the real economic impact of science in the UK today.”
The Business of Science Conference has also launched a new award for 2019. The Innovation Award is open to individuals of all ages – from primary through secondary school and into later careers – giving the innovators of tomorrow the chance to submit their “science dreams”. The winning entries will be showcased in front of industry-leaders at the conference and will receive recognition through PR, marketing and social media exposure.
Elsewhere, the Business of Science Leadership and Special Recognition Awards will return for 2019, acknowledging individuals demonstrating outstanding business contributions in science and innovation. The awards will be presented at the pre-conference dinner at the Hilton Doubletree Hotel in Leeds city centre on Wednesday 15th May.
Conference sponsors and partners include BASF, Victrex, Domino, Rutherford Diagnostics, William Blythe, Eversheds Sutherland, PZ Cussons, Arup, Leeds Trinity University and N8 Research.
Other supporters include TransitionPlus, Road3, Active Profile, Rare Digital, Wakelet, LookOut, Forward Ladies, YABA, the British Coatings Federation and the Royal Institution.