The UK government has vowed to restore Britain’s standing as a global science and technology superpower.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has already shown what is possible if the UK’s innovation ecosystem is fully supported – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The UK is home to world-leading innovation in life sciences, space, energy and future transport, yet the question remains: how do we fully unlock the country’s innovation potential to catapult global Britain?

With its globally renowned universities, rapidly growing spin-out businesses and multinational enterprises, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc has the potential to lead this national mission by becoming the UK’s Silicon Valley and doubling its economy to £235bn by 2030.

This major conference, with speakers including AstraZeneca, UKRI, Oxford Properties, Harwell Campus, BitBio and many more, will bring together leading scientists, government ministers, scientific enterprises and investors with more than 400 delegates to discuss how the UK can become a scientific superpower.


Lord David Willetts, chair, UK Space Agency board

Lord Willetts brings a wealth of experience to the role, and will work with the recently appointed chief executive of the UK Space Agency. He has previously served as minister for universities and science and as the MP for Havant, and has held a range of chair and board positions across the space and science sector, including chair of the British Science Association, member of the space policy advisory board for EU External Action Service, the board of UKRI, and of the ESA expert group on the future of space in Europe.

Abigail Shapiro, senior vice president, head of office, retail and life sciences, Oxford Properties

Shapiro leads Oxford’s European office, retail and life sciences businesses, which have a current AUM of around $5bn. She is accountable for these businesses’ strategies, capital deployment/acquisitions, strategic asset management, platform set-up, strategic stakeholder relationships and total returns. Shapiro has 14 years of real estate experience across the US and Europe.

Dr Adam Stoten PHD RTTP, senior vice-president, academic partnerships, Evotec

Stoten is senior vice-president of academic partnerships at Evotec SE, a global multi-modality drug discovery and development company, where he is responsible for creating new international partnerships to accelerate the translation of academic science into new therapeutics. Prior to Evotec, Stoten was chief operating officer and board director at Oxford University Innovation. While at OUI he was a member of the team that negotiated the Oxford Covid vaccine partnership with AstraZeneca, was a founding director of Vaccitech and EvOx Therapeutics and was a co-architect of Evotec’s first BRIDGE; LAB282.

Dr Andy Williams, vice president, Cambridge strategy, AstraZeneca

Williams works closely with regional and national stakeholders to develop the local infrastructure, promoting the life sciences sector and inspiring the next generation of scientists through AstraZeneca’s extensive local community outreach activities. With the arrival of AstraZeneca’s strategic R&D Centre and global head office in Cambridge, he has been an active contributor to evolving Cambridge’s thinking in areas such as transport, skill development, community amenity, housing and digital.

Anna Strongman, chief executive, Oxford University Development

Strongman is chief executive of Oxford University Development, a joint venture between Oxford University and Legal & General to build innovation districts and subsidised accommodation for graduate students and the university workforce. Strongman was previously managing partner at Argent, where she spent 12 years on a range of asset, development and business planning projects.

Dr Barbara Ghinelli, director of clusters and Harwell campus business development, UKRI-STFC

Ghinelli is responsible for the development of the Harwell Science and Innovation campus at UKRI-STFC. She has worked alongside the joint venture partners to establish Harwell as an exemplar public-private partnership model that has driven economic growth, fostered national and international collaborations, attracted inward investment and advanced the frontiers of science.

Dr Bruce Tomlinson, chief executive, HR Wallingford

Tomlinson became chief executive of HR Wallingford in 2014. He joined HR Wallingford from UK-based Fugro EMU, a marine survey and consultancy firm, where he was managing director. With more than 25 years’ experience in the maritime industry, and having extensive contacts and project experience in the oil and gas industry, Tomlinson brought high-level strategic business experience to HR Wallingford as well as a wealth of technical expertise in the international marine, environmental and energy sectors. 

Daniela Petrovic, co-founder, Darwin Innovation Group

Darwin Innovation Group is a highly successful R&D company based in in the UK (Oxford and Glasgow) and in Spain (Malaga Technology Park, Andalusia), focused on the implementation of ubiquitous communication solutions to connected autonomous vehicles. Petrovic believes in an important triangle between government, industry and academia to shape the future of innovation. Her academic research is focused on creation of frameworks for making successful innovation ecosystems.

David Lockyer, head of campuses, British Land

As head of campuses, Lockyer leads British Land’s strategy for assets at Broadgate, Paddington Central and Regent’s Place. He was previously head of Broadgate and head of property management. He joined British Land in 2010 and joined the executive committee in 2019. He has more than 25 years’ experience of leading real estate teams and projects. Prior to British Land he worked at Morgan Stanley, GE Capital and The London Development Agency.

David Marks, co-managing partner, Brockton Everlast

Marks co-founded Brockton Capital in 2005; the firm has raised £2bn of equity which has invested into a £7bn UK portfolio of more than 20m sq ft. In 2018, Marks co-founded Brockton Everlast as a new, permanent capital entity which owns office and life sciences assets in London, Cambridge and Oxford. Previously, he worked at The Blackstone Group and JLL, studied at MIT, Boston, was a member of the Bank of England’s Commercial Property Forum (2006-16), served as president of the British Property Federation (2013-14) and has been a trustee of the National Gallery and the Architecture Foundation since 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Douglass Cuff, vice president of U.K. real estate, IQHQ

Cuff has more than 20 years’ experience working in life science real estate sector. Prior to IQHQ, he had various roles at BioMed Realty during his 14-year tenure. Initially, he was responsible for overseeing the 1m sq ft life sciences real estate portfolio in Cambridge, MA. He then moved on to overseeing the completion and operation of The Center for Life Science in Boston, an 18-storey, first-class research facility which houses the various research groups of Children’s Hospital Boston, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. 

Dr Emma Stanton, vice president clinical, Oxford Nanopore

Stanton joined Oxford Nanopore in 2020 as clinical vice president. She is also head of Oxford Nanopore Diagnostics. In this role, she supports Oxford Nanopore’s ambitions for growth in healthcare applications. Stanton is excited about the opportunity to grow a diagnostics business that applies technology to health care in a targeted way. Over time, this will make a huge difference to patients and their families.

Professor Greg Clark, Global Expert on Innovation Economies, and Chair of Connected Places Catapult

Clark is an experienced conference host and speaker with global expertise in cities & urban development, innovation economies, real estate & fixed asset investment, Infrastructure and net zero strategies. His wider roles include group adviser, future cities & new industries at HSBC, chair of the Connected Places Catapult, the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport and place-leadership, and chair of the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission. He is a board member of Transport for London and the London LEP. He is author of 10 books and 100 reports on cities, investment, and place-leadership.

Dr John Baker, senior vice president, Abcam

Baker is senior vice president at Abcam. He leads a global team with accountability for Abcam’s market-leading product and service offering of life science tools and reagents. Following a spell in commercial animal practice, Baker moved to Oxford to complete a DPhil in clinical medicine, publishing on the molecular biology of the innate immune response.

James Sheppard, managing director for the UK & Ireland, Kadans Science Partner

Sheppard is managing director for the UK & Ireland at Kadans Science Partner where he is responsible for growing the UK platform. He joined Kadans from Cushman & Wakefield, where he was head of life sciences. Sheppard brings significant life science experience to Kadans, having worked on some of Europe’s largest and most advanced centres for scientific innovation such as The Francis Crick Institute and Imperial College’s White City Campus.

Prof Karen Holford CBE FREng, chief executive and vice chancellor, Cranfield University

Holford is chief executive and vice-chancellor at Cranfield University. She was previously deputy vice-chancellor at Cardiff University. In 2018, Holford received a CBE for services to engineering and the advancement of women in engineering, and in 2019 received the Suffrage Science award in Physical Sciences and Engineering.

Mark Kotter, chief executive,

Kotter is a stem cell biologist and neurosurgeon at the University of Cambridge. By combining synthetic and stem cell biology, his team has developed a benchmark technology for the efficient and consistent production of human cells for use in research, drug development, and cell therapy. He is the founder of and co-founder of the cultured meat start-up Meatable.

Dr Michael Anstey, partner, Cambridge Innovation Capital

Anstey is a partner specialising in life sciences investments. Before joining CIC he was a principal in the healthcare practice area at The Boston Consulting Group’s Toronto office. He has experience in advising multinational businesses across North America, Europe, India, and Japan. Anstey was also co-founder of an early stage biotechnology company focused on developing small molecule drugs that target protein-protein interactions implicated in disease. Prior to BCG, he was an investment analyst at Oxford Capital Partners. He earned his DPhil in Zoology in the field of neurobiology from the University of Oxford.

Mike Derbyshire, head of planning, Bidwells

Derbyshire leads Bidwells’ planning practice and advocates for thoughtful, well-designed development across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. He is actively advising on plans for 6.5m sq ft of R&D/life science space across the Cambridge region, approaching challenges with a blend of strategic and political instinct and forensic knowledge of planning.

Nicole Jadeja, life sciences partner, Pinsent Masons

Jadeja is a life sciences lawyer who advises a wide-range of companies across the life sciences sector, including innovative biotech companies developing cutting edge technologies. She enjoys resolving IP disputes and providing strategic IP advice, as well as working at the interface between IP, commercial and regulatory law. Jadeja is passionate both about science and the life sciences sector.

Rebecca Todd, investment director, Longwall Venture Partners

Todd invests in early-stage life science and medical technology companies for Longwall Ventures. She for began venture investing in 2006 while at Oxford Capital, where she took responsibility for the Oxford Gateway Funds’ investments into healthcare and life science companies. She went on to become Director, Healthcare Ventures at Imperial Innovations (now part of IP Group). Her earlier career was as a marketing consultant to pharmaceutical and life science technology companies.

Samantha McClary, editor, EG

McClary has almost 20 years experience in real estate and business journalism, covering a wide range of topics. Alongside making sure EG delivers the best, most helpful, most accurate and, of course, most interesting content to EG’s readership across all platforms – print, online and audio – she also plays a leading role in enabling and delivering a more diverse environment for the real estate community through EG’s REWIRE and tech initiatives.

Stuart Grant, chief executive, Harwell and Arlington

Grant is co-founder of CoreLife Investors, adviser to Brookfield’s Real Estate Group, CEO of Harwell Campus and Arlington and has more than 25 years of real estate experience. Grant began his career in Asia-Pacific as an international executive with Jardine Matheson before starting his real estate investment career at Blackstone in London and Hong Kong. 

Tim Burke, deputy editor, EG

Burke joined EG as deputy editor in July 2019, before which he was property editor at Financial News, a Dow Jones publication. Earlier in his career he wrote for and edited magazines covering capital markets and businesses across developed and emerging economies, including titles at The Economist Group and Thomson Reuters.

Dr Tim Moonen, co-founder and managing director, The Business of Cities

Moonen is co-founder and managing director of The Business of Cities, an urban intelligence firm that advises cities, districts and companies worldwide. He has provided analysis and guidance to innovation districts and ecosystems for more than a decade, working closely with place leaders, senior decision-makers and investors on effective governance, narrative, development and inclusion.

Agenda at a glance:

08:00 Registration and networking breakfast

09:00 Welcome by the conference chair

09:05 Opening keynote

09:30 Panel debate: Unleashing the UK’s innovation potential

How can we maximise the transformative potential of the UK’s “innovation engine” for the benefit for all?

10:15 Panel debate: Life sciences 2030

The government has set out a 10-year vision to make the UK a world-leader in life sciences. But how do we make it happen?  

11:00 Refreshments

11:20 Panel debate: What does the S&T sector need to grow within the Arc?

The success of the Arc’s S&T sector depends on building our world-class skills base. Is enough being done?

12:05 Pioneering projects

Three 10-minute presentations factor that highlight scientific advancement and opportunity.

12:40 Lunch

13:30 Creating places for innovation

How are local leaders, planners and developers harnessing S&T’s potential to turbocharge regional economies?

14:15 Investing in UK S&T

How do those providing the all-important capital for this innovative sector see the investment outlook for the next 10 years?

14:55 Refreshments break

15:15 Keynote: Can Britain be a science superpower – on Earth and in Space?

15:40 Presentation: Lessons from global clusters

15:55 Presentation: Development of Clusters Across the UK

16:10 Keynote

16:30 Creating a Scientific Superpower

How do those providing the all-important capital for this innovative sector see the investment outlook for the next ten years?

17:10 Final comments by the chair and close

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