Birmingham’s reputation as a conference destination will receive a welcome boost next month when delegates from around the world descend on the city for an international science park summit.
Organisers of the United Kingdom Science Park Association (UKSPA) 30th Anniversary Summit have said the gathering will be the biggest event in the association’s history.
The event is part of Birmingham Year of Science 2014, a Birmingham City Council initiative aimed at showcasing the city’s successes in science, technology and learning.
It takes place at the ICC from July 10-11 and is expected to attract more than 800 delegates from as far afield as New Zealand, Qatar and China.
The two-day summit includes an international conference, an exhibition and an awards dinner.
The dinner will be hosted by Dr Michael Mosley – writer and presenter of BB2’s ‘The Story of Science’ and the face of science and medicine on BBC1’s ‘The One Show’.
“This event will be the biggest gathering of the professionals responsible for running the UK’s network of science parks and innovation centres, greatly exceeding the scale of our 25th anniversary celebration in Manchester in 2009,” said Paul Wright, CEO of UKSPA.
Welcoming the event to Birmingham, the leader of the city council, Sir Albert Bore, added: “For Birmingham to be hosting such a prestigious and landmark event is testament to not only the reputation of the organisers of the event, Innovation Birmingham, but the city’s proud scientific heritage and future.”
More than 100 science, technology parks and innovation centres form the membership of UKSPA.
Between them they accommodate some of Europe’s most visionary businesses and support start-ups and growing technology businesses.
Several high-profile speakers have been lined up for the event, including Josep Pique, managing director of the technology quarter 22@ Barcelona, David Willetts, Minister for Universities & Science, and Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK & Ireland and Chair of the Technology Strategy Board.
Other speakers include Liam Byrne, shadow minister for universities, science and skills and John Mathers, the Design Council’s chief executive.
An exhibition at the event will feature 50 stands and for the first time will be open to the public.
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