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Knowledge Transfer Network participates at the First Royal Society Creating Connections Conference in Newcastle

Posted on 25/09/2018

The first Royal Society “Creating Connections” conference showcase event and exhibition in the North East took place on Friday 7th September.

Held at the Centre for Life in Newcastle the event was a resounding success.  The main workshop of the day, “How can the North East benefit from the Government’s commitment to increase investment in research and innovation?” was filled to capacity and crowd-pleasing.

The conference looked at addressing the important issues connected to science and industry in the North East. Through a series of workshops and round-table discussions it brought together leading scientists and experts from industry, academia, and local government who shared their perspectives on supporting R&D in the North East and the region’s role in driving UK innovation and prosperity.

As part of the high-profile day the conference also included a key note speech by Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central and the current Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science and Innovation.

Left: Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central and the current Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science and Innovation during her keynote speech.

Right: Dr Julie Maxton CBE, Executive Director of the Royal Society and Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central and the current Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science & Innovation.

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) supported the showcase with a joint InnovateUK / KTN stand on the day.  The KTNs local Knowledge Transfer Advisers (KTAs) John Clayton and Ian Blakemore were involved in intensive pre – event Royal Society innovation scoping meetings which they facilitated.

Ian and John were joined on the stand throughout the day by representatives of the region’s five Universities, (Newcastle, Northumbria, Durham, Teesside and Sunderland), each having previously hosted a local innovation and research focus round-table with the Royal Society earlier in the year.

Centre of Life Creating Connections The Royal Society

John Clayton, Knowledge Transfer Adviser, KTN, networking with conference delegates.

KTNs networking capabilities and the success of the showcase have convinced the Royal Society to engage in a series of follow up regional “Creating Connections” forums, in the North East, in 2019 as part of a joint InnovateUK / KTN Place initiative.  These forums will be providing a focal point for growing and fostering innovation to the locality.

Dr Katy Gearing, Royal Society’s Head of Industry Engagement thanked the KTN for supporting the Royal Society’s regional engagement programme.

“We held a series of very successful meetings in the North East. Both John and Ian were instrumental in the success of the conference and we also had great support from the rest of the team who came and contributed to the meetings.”

“Many of the people they connected us to over the course of the year participated on the day and the team’s input, time and enthusiasm were much appreciated”.

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