Westminster Higher Education Forum

The future of UK science and innovation - Brexit, the Industrial Strategy and the Knowledge Exchange Framework

Morning, Tuesday, 30th January 2018

Central London


Following the publication of the Industrial Strategy White Paper and as the Higher Education sector prepares for the formation of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), amid ongoing uncertainty concerning access to EU science and innovation initiatives, this seminar will examine the future priorities for UK science and innovation.

Delegates on the day will discuss the priorities for researchers in the changed regulatory environment, and how the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund can best be utilised to maintain and grow the sector capabilities in the international market post-Brexit, following the Department for Exiting the European Union’s policy paper on the future of EU partnerships in science and research. Further sessions will elaborate on how increased funding can facilitate growth in UK research, particularly in the six ‘challenges’ previously outlined by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP.

Additional discussion will take place on the current state of knowledge exchange, including HEFCE’s recent report, and what it tells us about the prevailing state of commercialisation at UK universities, where best practice can be identified and what specifically can be done to improve it. Discussion will also take place on the introduction of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), and delivering further improvements in knowledge exchange, such as the future of the catapult programme, priorities for managing intellectual property and the way ahead for university-business collaborations.

We expect delegates attending on the day to include members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials involved in this area of public policy, together with university Vice-Chancellors and Pro-Vice-Chancellors for research and enterprise, intellectual property academic specialists and lawyers, university research, enterprise and technology transfer offices, research-intensive businesses and catapult centres.

Guests of Honour

Dr Ruth McKernan

Chief Executive, Innovate UK

Alice Frost

Head of Knowledge Exchange Policy, HEFCE

Guests of Honour

Alice Frost

Head of Knowledge Exchange Policy, HEFCE

Dr Ruth McKernan

Chief Executive, Innovate UK


Catherine West MP

Member, House of Commons International Trade Committee

Liz Saville Roberts MP

Shadow Plaid Cymru Spokesperson, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy


Morag Macdonald

Partner and Joint Head, International Intellectual Property Group, Bird & Bird

Dr Tony Raven

Chief Executive, Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge

Alan Carlton

Managing Director and Vice-President, Europe, InterDigital

Dr Sarah Main

Executive Director, Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE)

Professor Diana Huffaker

Director, Institute for Compound Semiconductors, Cardiff University and Chair, Advanced Engineering and Materials, Ser Cymru

Brian MacAuley

Lead Economist, Digital Catapult

Belinda Phipps

Chief Executive, Science Council

Dr David Docherty

Chief Executive, National Centre for Universities and Business