Six months after being declared a Science City, Birmingham will get the chance to discover what the award means.

Council leaders are to join representatives from five other English cities in York today for the first ever meeting of Science Cities.

In March this year, Chancellor Gordon Brown designated Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and York as Science Cities to encourage closer cooperation and working between business and the country's science base.

Minister for Science and Innovation, Lord Sainsbury, and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, John Healey, will address the meeting on the Government's £2.5 billion Science and Innovation Investment Framework.

Councillor Ken Hardeman (Con Brandwood), cabinet member for regeneration, said: "Birmingham and other local authorities in the West Midlands have been working closely with the universities of Aston, Birmingham, Coventry, UCE, Warwick and Wolverhampton to develop the high-quality research base to support business and underpin a knowledge- based economy.

"This is because we see very clearly that, in an increasingly competitive global economy, the future lies with high-tech high-skill industries, which will depend to a very large extent on developing links between the worlds of business and centres of research and academic innovation.

"Our Science City is a vital element to realise the potential of all our young people."