1 November 2016


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Paul Dreschler, Chairman of CBI and host of SCI's panel debate.
  • On 23 June 2016, Britain voted to leave the EU. The Government is keen to promote an industrial strategy as part of the future, with science and innovation playing a key role.
  • 7 December 2016 is the 90th anniversary of the foundation of ICI plc, the company that, by focusing on science and innovation, launched major industries in pharmaceuticals, agrisciences, and materials and grew into the bellwether of British industry.

On 7 December 2016, SCI will host a panel debate inspired by the contribution of ICI and chaired by Paul Drechsler, President of CBI, to consider how science and innovation have previously contributed to the industrial success of the UK, and how they could again in the future.

An industrial powerhouse
The birthplace of the industrial revolution, the UK has a distinguished history of scientific and industrial progress, as even a brief study of ICI demonstrates. Maintaining the long-term competitiveness of the UK will require an industrial strategy that draws on and replicates this history, bringing together the UK’s outstanding academic and industrial resources to cement its place at the forefront of innovation.

  • How do we remain a competitive place to establish, invest in, and grow science-based businesses, both start-ups and established companies?
  • How do we overcome the future challenges of energy provision, efficient infrastructure, financial incentives, and access to the best talent and skills to ensure the necessary environment to support science-based business?
  • How do we ensure the best platform for science and innovation to meet future global challenges such as food production, the internet of things, sustainable energy supply, and global health and wellbeing?

This panel debate will consider how science and innovation can contribute to a successful industrial strategy, what the opportunities will be, and how the UK’s history as an industrial powerhouse provides lessons that are applicable to the current challenge.
After the debate there will be drinks and canapes, an exhibition showcasing 90 years of innovation in ICI, and the opportunity to discuss these important issues further while mixing with ICI alumni.

About the host
Mr Drechsler, President of CBI, is currently Chairman of Bibby Line and has been recognised for his outstanding leadership by KPMG, PwC, and JP Morgan. In February 2015, Mr Dreschler was honoured by Her Majesty, the Queen, with a CBE for services to the construction industry.

Date: Wednesday 7 December 2016
Venue: SCI HQ, 15 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PS
Time: The reception will open at 18.00 and the lecture starts at 18.30. There will be an opportunity to meet the speaker after the lecture at a drinks and networking reception. 
Contact: conferences@soci.org

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About SCI: where science meets business

SCI is a unique global multidisciplinary network connecting scientists, business people, students and other key players involved in science-based innovation. SCI promotes innovation via its international network to advance the commercial application of science into industry for the benefit of society.

SCI works across crucial sectors as diverse as food and bio-renewables, water, environment, energy, materials and manufacturing, and health and wellbeing.


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