30 March 2017


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Invitation to SCI’s Free Public Evening Lecture

Lord David Willetts: Securing the UK’s future industrial success

Tuesday 23 May 2017

  • Since Britain voted to leave the EU, the government has highlighted the importance of an Industrial Strategy as a means of driving growth for the UK.
  • The Industrial Strategy will need to be underpinned by science and innovation to be successful.
  • Can government usefully bring together business, researchers, regulators, and investors in a key business sector or technology? How? How can the needs of each region be met and the strengths improved?

As Chair of the British Science Association and former Minister for Science and Universities, Lord David Willetts is uniquely well-placed to consider the recently announced UK Industrial Strategy and its implications for science and business. On Tuesday 23 May 2017, at SCI’s Public Evening Lecture, he will compare the different approaches, focusing on industrial sectors, clusters, regions, and technologies that will form the framework. He will also highlight new technologies where Britain has a comparative advantage and where there is a global business opportunity – the logic of the Eight Great Technologies.

The Eight Great Technologies, which Lord Willetts increased funding for when in office to promote future UK growth, are: big data, satellites, robots, modern genetics, regenerative medicine, agricultural technologies, advanced materials, and energy storage.

SCI was established in 1881 to work at the interface between science and industry, conducting a range of activities that focus on supporting innovation and the commercialisation of science. SCI is delighted to promote this lecture at a critical time for the UK as it seeks to establish a new Industrial Strategy post-Brexit.

About the Speaker
The Rt Hon the Lord David Willetts is the former Minister for Universities and Science (2010-2014) and current Chair of the British Science Association (BSA) with a mandate to promote science as a fundamental part of the UK’s culture and society. On his appointment to Chair of the BSA, he was described by his predecessor as having been ‘proactive on everything from open access, science engagement, space, and science diplomacy. He’s a perfect example of how you can be passionate about science without a formal training, having become a regular at science festivals and conferences.’

Date for your diary:     Tuesday 23 May 2017

Venue:                          SCI HQ, 15 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PS
Reception opens at 18.00 and the lecture starts at 18.30. This is a free event.
There will be a drinks and networking reception with the opportunity to meet the speaker after the lecture. Please contact scimarketing@soci.org to book a place on the event. More information about each lecture in the series is available at www.soci.org/public-lectures.


Notes to editors:

About SCI: where science meets business

SCI is a unique global multidisciplinary network connecting scientists, business people, students and other key players involved in science-based innovation. SCI promotes innovation via its international network to advance the commercial application of science into industry for the benefit of society.

SCI works across crucial sectors as diverse as food and bio-renewables, water, environment, energy, materials and manufacturing, and health and wellbeing.


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