Westminster Higher Education Forum

Next steps for regional innovation policy - developing clusters, strengthening university-business collaboration and priorities for the Knowledge Exchange Framework

Morning, Thursday, 10th May 2018

Sixty One Whitehall, London SW1A 2ET


This timely seminar assesses the next steps for universities in regional research and innovation, and priorities for delivering regional specialisation.

Delegates will also consider the potential impact of key measures from the Government’s Industrial Strategy white paper - including commitments to develop Local Industrial Strategies and to introduce a new Strength in Places Fund, designed to help local areas build on strengths identified in the Science and Innovation Audits.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • Universities and regional innovation - the state of play in a new regulatory environment;
  • Utilising the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to deliver regional specialisms in innovation;
  • The next steps for delivering intellectual property commercialisation in every region;
  • Developing innovation clusters - identifying regional strengths, attracting investment and policy priorities for smart specialisation;
  • Universities as drivers of regional growth - tackling barriers to university-business collaboration, increasing the number of spin-outs and introducing the Knowledge Exchange Framework; and
  • The Leading Places Programme - next steps for universities in their local economies.

Guest of Honour

Paul Mason

Director, Emerging and Enabling Technologies, Innovate UK

Guest of Honour

Paul Mason

Director, Emerging and Enabling Technologies, Innovate UK

Keynote Speakers

Guy Robinson

Deputy Director, Innovation Directorate, Intellectual Property Office

Helen Cross

UK Research and Innovation


Lord Storey

House of Lords Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Education and Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Students

Ann Coffey MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Runaway and Missing Children and Adults


Jo Willett

Managing Director, Oxford Innovation

Senior speaker confirmed from Oxford Innovation

Tom Frostick

Policy and Programmes Manager (Research, Innovation and International), University Alliance

Dr Chris Brammall

Economic Development Project Officer, Economy and Environment, Isle of Wight Council and Project Co-ordinator, Solent Offshore Renewable Energy Consortium

Laura Woods

Director of Academic Enterprise, Teesside University

Andrew Basu-McGowan

Policy Manager, Smart Specialisation Hub, National Centre for Universities and Business

Kate Pym

Managing Director, Pym’s Consultancy and Member, Innovation Council, Great Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership

Dr Brijesh Roy

Investment Manager, Mercia Technologies

Beata Szoboszlai

Head of Academic Engagement, Transport Systems Catapult

Professor John Fisher

Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds

Dr Matt Hicks

Chief Technology Officer, Linear Diagnostics