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Labs to riches



18:00 - 20:30


The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


The annual Labs to Riches dinner celebrates the Royal Society's support for innovation in science and technology.

Sir Paul Nurse PRS launches the Royal Society’s industry strategy at Labs to Riches with a call for more public and industry investment in R&D

Download 'Labs to riches' (PDF)

Labs to Riches saw over 150 representatives from industry, academia, finance and government attend an evening dinner at the Royal Society’s which celebrated our support for industry and innovation and the launch of our new Science, Industry and Translation strategy.

This five-year strategy will reintegrate science and industry across the Society’s work and promote the value and importance of science by connecting academia, industry and government. The initiative is led by the Society’s Science, Industry and Translation Committee whose membership includes leading industrial scientists, academics and entrepreneurs.

With the general election quickly approaching in May, Labs to Riches provided an excellent opportunity to highlight the importance of science, innovation and industry to the UK economy and to help inform the research priorities for the new government.

The dinner was opened by Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, who stressed the importance of research to the UK economy, as outlined in the 'Building a stronger future' election statement, launched jointly by the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences earlier that week.

Sir Paul also praised the strength of UK science but warned that we could not rest on our laurels and that both government and industry must commit to raising investment in research and development. To translate research into application required the breaking down of barriers between communities of scientists and professionals in other disciplines, he added. He finished by noting the unique position the Royal Society holds in being able bring together individuals and organisations to start bringing down the barriers and silos that inhibit free transfer of people and ideas.

The keynote address was given by the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, who described the importance of scientific research and highlighted key messages from the Government’s recent science and innovation strategy. We are grateful to HRH the Duke of York, who spoke about the importance in recognising and supporting entrepreneurial researchers trying to start-up their own businesses.

Labs to Riches also saw:

  • The presentation, by HRH the Duke of York, of the Brian Mercer Awards for Innovation to Dr Jade Alglave (University College London) and Professors Mohamed Missous (University of Manchester) and Michael Kelly (University of Cambridge), and the Brian Mercer Feasibility Awards.
  • The publication of ten Success Stories, showcasing world-leading examples of commercialisation from across the science base.
    See Professor Shankar Balasubramanian FMedSci FRS, Professor David Klenerman FRS, Professor Paul O’Brien FRS and Sophie Wilson FREng FRS discuss their own success stories:

Alongside the formal proceedings, Labs to Riches provided an excellent opportunity for those attending to network and create new contacts with other guests.

If you would like to find out more, please contact us at

Labs to riches The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK