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National science associations choose Leicester and Leicestershire to host major events

National science associations choose Leicester and Leicestershire to host major events

City and county to host UK Science Park Association conference and British Science Association festival in September 2022

Leicester and Leicestershire’s growing credentials in the life sciences sector have been rewarded with two national science associations choosing to host their events in the city and county in September 2022.

Charnwood Campus Science, Innovation and Technology Park in Loughborough will host the major UK Science Park Association (UKSPA) autumn conference from 15-16 September 2022. Around 150 UKSPA members will attend the two-day conference where leading speakers from the UKSPA network and key partners will discuss in depth challenges, opportunities, and innovative ways that the science park sector continues to further engage, inspire and grow.

James Chaffer, UKSPA’s Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted to hold our latest in-person event at the Charnwood Campus. It’s an exciting time to be visiting, with its world-class facilities, Charnwood Campus is experiencing considerable growth in attracting world leaders in cutting-edge research.

“This, in addition to the many other initiatives such as the Charnwood Campus Life Sciences Talent and Skills Institute, which is playing a central role in addressing the skills gap, highlight the vital part the Campus plays both regionally and nationally in knowledge sharing, networking and collaboration. These are inspiring times for both Charnwood Campus and the region at the forefront of UK’s drive to become a scientific superpower.”

Gosia Khrais, Commercial Director at Charnwood Campus commented:

“We are honoured to be hosting the UKSPA Autumn Conference at Charnwood Campus. It is a great opportunity for us to meet our colleagues from other science parks across the country and it also allows us to put a spotlight on the life sciences assets available here including laboratories, GMP facilities and other, the wider life sciences cluster in the region, and the economic importance that our sector brings to the local and national economy.

“It is not a coincidence that the annual UKSPA event and British Science Week are both hosted in this region this year. It sends a strong message that Leicestershire is ready to embrace and build on the mature life sciences ecosystem it is proud of.”

One of the keynote speakers at the UKSPA conference is Charnwood Molecular. Charnwood Molecular was founded in 1998 as a chemistry spin-out from Loughborough University. The contract research organisation has a three-story, state-of-the-art laboratory and manufacturing facility at Charnwood Campus, housing more than 120 scientists.

Lee Patterson CEO of Charnwood Molecular, said:

“The truly world-class facilities at Charnwood Campus provide us with a key piece in our strategic plan to become the provider of choice for integrated drug discovery and development services within the global life sciences sector.”

The British Science Association and De Montfort University are also hosting the British Science Festival, Europe’s longest standing science Festival, in Leicester from 13-17 September 2022. The British Science Festival aims to connect people with scientists, engineers, technologists and social scientists with events being held on the University’s campus, as well as at venues across the city, offering over 100 free activities for residents and visitors.

Antonio Benitez, Director of the British Science Festival, said:

“I am delighted that the British Science Festival will be heading to De Montfort University in 2022. The university has built a fantastic reputation for its research and scientific excellence over recent years, and it’s incredibly exciting to know that we will be working with the world-class researchers and academics based there to produce the programme.

“I am thrilled that we will be able to bring the British Science Festival back to the region after such a long time away – Leicester and the East Midlands region have made some amazing contributions to science and innovation – and it is so exciting that we will be able to showcase some of this cutting-edge work to the people and communities living in the area.”

Leicester and Leicestershire are home to 1,000 companies in the life sciences sector, employing over 14,000 people. Charnwood Campus was the first Life Sciences Opportunity Zone with world-class research specialist facilities and innovation spaces. The talent from the local universities – Loughborough University, De Montfort University, and the University of Leicester – makes the life sciences sector an attractive prospect for potential businesses with specialisms in chronic disease prevention, sport and exercise science and rehabilitation.

Mike Denby, Director of Inward Investment and Place Marketing at Leicester City Council commented:

“We are proud to have institutions like Charnwood Campus and De Montfort University leading the way in life sciences and are fortunate to have world-class facilities to host the events and the talent that will support life sciences in the years to come. International events like these reaffirm the message that Leicester and Leicestershire is a place where world leading businesses will thrive.”

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