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Creating connections in Ireland

Discussion meeting

Location

Titanic Belfast, 1 Olympic Way, Queens Road, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, BT3 9EP

Overview

Image credit: dem10

The Royal Society is coming to Northern Ireland with Creating connections to discuss the country's role in driving UK innovation and prosperity. Scientific and technical opportunities and challenges in Northern Ireland will be addressed by leading experts from academia, industry and government.

The Society is working closely with the Royal Irish Academy - an all-island independent forum of peer-elected experts. The day will focus on Northern Irish research and innovation (R&I), its contribution to UK R&I, and relationship with R&I in the Republic of Ireland.

The day will feature workshops and round-table discussions on diverse topics in science and policy. The event will also feature an exhibition of Royal Society work where participants can discuss how we can provide support and share resources.

Attending this event

Schedule of talks

Discover the Royal Society: grants university visit

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Abstract

Hear from the Royal Society Grants team who will be visiting Ulster University (Wednesday 4 September) and Queen’s University Belfast (Thursday 5 September) to provide details of funding opportunities, as well as application advice for early and senior career researchers working in the UK and internationally. These will be interactive sessions with plenty of opportunities for questions and networking.

For researchers based in Ireland or who are unable to attend the sessions in Northern Ireland, members of the Grants team will be at the Titanic Belfast on Friday 6 September if you would like to discuss the different funding opportunities available to researchers based in Ireland and Northern Ireland in person.

Register for the event at Ulster University online.

Register for the event at Queen's University Belfast by sending an email including your name, job title, affiliation and reason for interest in attending. 

05 September

18:30-21:00

Industry leaders' dinner at Titanic Hotel Belfast

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Abstract

The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the UK and the Commonwealth, dedicated to promoting excellence in science. As part of our work we are engaging with industry to understand the skills gaps in different sectors, listen to experiences of university-business collaboration, and hear views on the UK government’s industrial strategy and 2.4% target for R&D investment.

The dinner will bring together business leaders and fellows of the Royal Society to discuss the scientific and industrial landscape in Northern Ireland. It will ask how the Society can support industry and discuss topics critical to the successful application of science for societal and economic benefit.

Co-hosted by Dame Sue Ion DBE FREng FRS (Chair of the Royal Society's Science, Industry and Translation Committee) and Sir John McCanny CBE FREng FRS (Queen’s University Belfast).

06 September

09:00-10:30

Registration and arrival refreshments

09:30-12:30

Harnessing the data opportunity: people, processes and technology

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Abstract

Identifying best practice across Ireland to develop data skills, protect privacy and ensure good data governance, to allow the safe and rapid use of data and digital technologies.

To request an invitation to this session please send an email including your name, job title, affiliation and reason for interest in attending.

10:30-12:30

How can Northern Ireland benefit from commitments to increase investment in research and innovation across the UK?

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Abstract

This round table will focus on the UK government's industrial strategy and target for 2.4% of GDP to be invested in UK R&D. It will explore how Northern Ireland can benefit from and contribute to this UK-wide ambition alongside its own research and innovation strategy.

In 2017, the UK government outlined an ambition in its industrial strategy for the UK to be the most innovative country in the world, committing to a target of 2.4% of GDP invested in UK R&D within ten years, and a longer-term goal of 3%.

To meet this target, the UK must create a vibrant environment that fosters research and innovation throughout the UK and across public services, universities and business, as well as attracting global investment. This roundtable will bring together large and small businesses, universities, and national and local policymakers and funders to assess how research and innovation varies across Northern Ireland, and explore strengths and opportunities.

This event will draw on local case studies to illustrate how successful research and innovation clusters have been established and where they are being built for the future. The discussion will draw on perspectives from individuals working across academia, business and Government.

Through this discussion, we will seek to identify the limiting factors on research and innovation activity in Northern Ireland as a basis to explore local, national and UK-wide levers that may enable participants to overcome these. 

We will also explore how people across Northern Ireland can contribute to and share the benefits of R&D investment. We will share the findings of this discussion to inform ongoing policy and influencing activity locally and nationally.

To request an invitation to this session please send an email including your name, job title, affiliation and reason for interest in attending.

Explore research and innovation in Northern Ireland with our interactive map.

10:30-15:30

Connecting communities with science

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Abstract

This event is for museums and science organisations that want to work together. Museums are great places to explore local culture and history, but science is often left out. How can you make sure that the stories of science are shared with communities in Northern Ireland?

This workshop will explore the possibilities for collaboration between museums and STEM organisations. If you work in a museum you will have the opportunity to meet organisations who can help you develop high quality science content, hear about success stories from Northern Ireland and beyond, learn from peers at other museums, and find out about opportunities for funding. If you work for a science organisation you will find out how to work with museums to create unique, locally relevant projects, how to reach new audiences with your content and meet peers from across the region.

To request an invitation to this session please send an email including your name, job title, affiliation and reason for interest in attending.

11:00-12:30

Working together to develop key skills for future careers

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Abstract

This session is aimed at those who teach 5 to 18 year-olds, as well as academics and industry members. The Royal Society's education team will explain the Royal Society’s vision for a broader, balanced and more connected curriculum, share case studies aimed to promote future science careers, and demonstrate how the Partnership Grants Scheme supports collaboration between schools, universities and industry to develop key skills in experimental science, data science and problem solving. This scheme allows schools to apply for up to £3000 to support their research projects working alongside an external partner.

To request an invitation to this session please send an email including your name, job title, affiliation and reason for interest in attending.

12:30-13:30

Lunch, exhibition, speeches and networking

13:30-15:00

Opportunities and challenges for research and innovation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

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Abstract

This round table, held jointly with the Royal Irish Academy, will explore how Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland currently work together in research and innovation, and explore some of the opportunities and challenges for the future.

The shared island of Ireland land mass of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland supports collaboration, but as the UK prepares to leave the EU, these relationships are changing. 

This round table will bring together large and small businesses, universities, and national and local policymakers and funders to better understand the strength of these existing collaborations, and explore how they may develop in future for the benefit of people across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

To request an invitation to this session please send an email including your name, job title, affiliation and reason for interest in attending.

15:00-16:00

Afternoon networking and refreshments

15:30-18:00

Breaking barriers to enable unexpected pathways towards world-changing ideas

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Abstract

Professor Andy Hopper CBE FREng FRS, Professor Máire O'Neill, Sir John Pethica FREng FRS and Sir John McCanny CBE FREng FRS will candidly share their achievements and mistakes from their experience of growing labs and starting companies. Following this, the floor will open to attendees to discuss your boldest ideas and the unexpected bumps in the pathways to pursuing them. We would be keen to hear what your message is to the Royal Society to help achieve these ideas.

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This event will bring together experts from academia, industry and government to address future challenges and the role of Ireland in driving UK innovation.

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