Newcastle’s first Scientia conference success

Over 170 of Newcastle’s leading scientists attended the inaugural Scientia08 science conference held at St James Park Newcastle upon Tyne.

Organised by Newcastle Science City, the aim of the conference was to create a unique ‘technology map’ of the city’s science to promote it around the world to help attract investment and enable scientists to develop beneficial local networks.

Peter Arnold, chief executive, Newcastle Science City said: “As well as hearing inspiring speakers, we held really productive workshops to collect data detailed catalogue of all the science and innovation here and identify what is planned in the future. This will let major companies see at a glance what is ‘for sale’ here and what it will do for society so they can also see potential markets.”

The audience included pre-eminent members of Newcastle’s research institutes and scientific businesses, many of whom produce ground-breaking findings and leading products. They represented work from Northumbria University, Newcastle College, the NHS Health Trust, Newcastle University and One NorthEast, Newcastle Council as well as the private sector who discusses scientific issues from coal gasification to healthcare devices to diagnose life threatening diseases.

They heard from inspiring speakers including one of the world’s most prolific inventors Anne Miller from the Creativity Partnership, who has 39 patents to her name.

Peter Arnold, chief executive, Newcastle Science City said: “This conference was a fantastic opportunity for us to all to map out Newcastle’s science and see for the first time how innovative and pioneering our scientists are right on our doorstep. What this conference achieved was that it helped us to explore how we can build on this great base and encourage everyone to become even more successful through collaboration and the opportunity to attract new investment.”

As well as Anne Miller, the key speakers included entrepreneur Matt Kingdon, co-founder of ?What If! Innovation Company, which uses innovation energy to gain a competitive edge and Professor Paul Younger, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Engagement) Newcastle University.

Questions which were also addressed by the conference participants included how competitive is Newcastle on a global scale, how best to grow the city’s science base and what are the long term science needs which scientists and entrepreneurs can tap in to and exploit.