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England showcases science and innovation at IMEX 2013

In 2012, England proved to the world its expertise in hosting major international events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. But outside its royal heritage and sport, England’s science and innovation competes on a global scale too. 

Head of Business Visits and Events at VisitEngland Simon Gidman says; “England is a country with an unrivalled reputation for science and innovation. Whether it’s ground breaking historical moments such as building the world’s first railway tunnels in Liverpool in the 1920s or the more recent discovery of the world’s thinnest material in Manchester, England is leading the way and that’s why we’ve decided to showcase our science and innovation offering at IMEX”. 

Manchester is rich in science and innovation and, having spawned a whole host of leading scientists, from the father of atomic theory John Dalton to the father of modern computing Alan Turing, the city is a constant source of new ideas. The University of Manchester boasts a collection of contemporary and historical conferencing venues and the Museum of Science and Industry, site of the world’s first passenger railway station, offers a city centre location with award-winning galleries and stunning conferencing facilities for up to 400 delegates.   Just last month, Manchester Central, The North West’s leading conference, events and exhibitions venue, became one of the first major venues in the country to install electric vehicle charging points.

Railways, transatlantic steamships, municipal trams and electric trains were all pioneered in Liverpool, making this North West destination a must see for science and innovation enthusiasts. The city housed the world’s first railway tunnels in the early 1920s and the first ever British Nobel Prize was awarded to Ronald Ross in 1902 - professor at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. ACC Liverpool is home to the BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, located on the city’s world-famous waterfront. These award-winning venues have played host to a string of international events, including MTV Europe Music Awards and BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and are set to host major medical conferences this year including The European Society of Gynaecological Oncology and the European Congress on Obesity. Ambitious plans are in the pipeline too, ACC Liverpool plans to build a state of the art exhibition and events complex which is due for completion in 2014.The new Exhibition Centre will link directly to the existing facility and will consist of 8,100 sq. metres of space.

Ever since Jesse Boot formed his pharmaceutical company in Nottingham over a hundred years ago, the city has become known as an international centre of excellence for life science and medical research, and is a designated Science City. Home to three major Biomedical Research Units (BSU), Nottingham also hosts one of Europe’s largest bioscience business incubators, BioCity, on the very site where Ibuprofen was discovered. BioCity offers a varied selection of meeting and conference rooms, from a 180 seat conference hall to smaller meeting and conference rooms for two to 70 people. Nottingham University also has a conference centre offering theatres, galleries and banqueting suites – perfect for association conferences.  Neighbouring Loughborough University, ranked first for Sports and Science, also offers meeting and conference venues catering for up to 2,000 delegates.

Just 90 minutes from London by train, Bristol is another designated Science City, which hosts world class scientific research and development conducted in its universities and business sectors. The city benefits from a range of memorable venues including Brunel’s ss Great Britain and At-Bristol Science Centre. Launched in 1843 as the world’s first luxury ocean liner, Brunel’s ss Great Britain now sits proudly in Bristol’s harbourside and offers a Promenade Deck with waterfront views, a first class dining saloon and a state-of-the-art theatre. At-Bristol Science Centre offers a range of dynamic and versatile event spaces within an imaginative and exciting hands-on science centre - ideal for conferences, meetings, awards ceremonies and dinners. Within a 30 minute drive from Bristol is Bath, a city rich in heritage and best-known for its Roman and Georgian history. The city is a hotspot for corporate incentives and meetings bookers - stressed-out high performers can spend hours relaxing in the Thermae Bath Spa, Britain’s only natural Spa where delegates can bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters that the Celts and Romans enjoyed over 2,000 years ago. And dating back to a similar age are the Roman Baths – the torch-lit, steaming Great Bath provides an unforgettable setting for a unique drinks reception.

The world famous Mini car was produced in Birmingham and was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century which influenced a generation of car makers. The city is home to the National Institute for Health Research and the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, and it hosts one of the largest clinical trial clusters in the country at the University of Birmingham. The city has a range of venues for corporates to choose from including The NEC, the UK’s largest exhibitions centre and one of Europe's busiest, hosting over 160 exhibitions each year. With capacity to host up to 8,000 delegates, the ICC is also a popular choice for conference bookers – the venue is hosting a number of international conferences this year including the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons 21st Annual Congress and the British-American Business Council.

Warwick too has science credentials to boast about – it’s home to one of Europe’s premier Science Parks - The University of Warwick Science Park. The city is also home to Professor Colin Blakemore, a world renowned Neurobiologist and one of the most powerful scientists in the world. The University makes an excellent venue choice for meetings with three tier lecture theatres, break-out rooms and a 1,200 seat hall.

Mobiles, computer screens and 3D television all exist thanks to the University of Hull. Today, the university provides the ideal environment for conferences with its well-appointed training and meeting rooms. Pioneering projects include the world’s first facility to produce energy from food waste, construction of some of the UK’s largest offshore wind farms and the first marine renewable device to supply power to the national grid on UK mainland.

The Neptune Proteus will harvest tidal energy in the Humber Estuary and convert it into power to help run The Deep, Hull’s iconic visitor attraction which is home to over 3,500 fish. The Deep is also ideal for large events as it is a blank canvas venue, allowing event organisers to use their imagination on how to fill the space amongst the sharks, or high above the ocean waves in the stunning glass observatory.

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