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10 May, 2022 - 21:29 By Tony Quested

‘Creating a scientific superpower’ conference piles pressure on Government

The Government’s decision not to invest in the Oxford2Cambridge Arc is put under further scrutiny next month with a well timed conference hosted by Bidwells and Estates Gazette at the QEII Conference Centre.

‘Creating a Scientific Superpower’ – being held on June 20 – features representatives of world-class companies and key influencers from property and other spheres.

They will spell out the opportunity of the Arc to become the UK’s Silicon Valley and double its economy to £235 billion inside eight years.

The event will argue that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has already shown what is possible if the UK’s innovation ecosystem is fully supported – and that’s just the start.

It says that with its globally renowned universities, rapidly growing spin-out businesses and multinational enterprises, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc has the potential to lead the UK to unprecedented economic success.

Levelling up Minister Michael Gove in February ditched plans for a centrally driven push that would have created a million new homes within the Arc. But the decision is facing prolonged and close scrutiny and this conference is central to the fight.

Speakers include representatives of Cambridge-based Big Biotech AstraZeneca, UKRI, Oxford Properties, Harwell Campus, bit.bio, Cranfield University and many more.

The conference brings together leading scientists, government ministers, scientific enterprises and investors with more than 400 delegates to discuss how the UK can become a scientific superpower.

Dr Andy Williams, vice-president, Cambridge strategy for AstraZeneca is among the speakers along with property specialists Doug Cuff of IQHQ, David Marks of Brockton Everlast and David Lockyer of British Land.

Cambridge companies and investors involved include Abcam (Dr John Baker), Dr Mark Kotter (bit.bio), Michael Anstey (Cambridge Innovation Capital) and Mike Derbyshire (Bidwells).

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