Creating connections in the East of England

24 - 25 January 2023 09:30 - 17:30 Online Free
Creating Connections

Taking place at John Innes Conference Centre, Norwich, this event will bring together experts from academia, industry and government to address scientific and technical opportunities and challenges in the East of England region.

The day will feature workshops and roundtable discussions on diverse topics including policy, innovation and education. This event will also feature a lunchtime address and networking session which will bring together delegates from across the conference.

A detailed schedule of the day's sessions is currently being updated, and start times will soon be confirmed.

Attending this event

This event will be free to attend by invitation. To request an invitation, please contact


18:30-22:00 Industry leaders' dinner

The dinner will bring together business leaders and senior representatives of the Royal Society to discuss the scientific and industrial landscape in the East of England, focusing on topics critical to the successful application of science for societal and economic benefit such as the investment landscape, the skills pipeline and academic collaborations.

10:00-11:30 Is East Anglia ready for carbon capture and storage (CCS)?

To keep global warming temperatures below 1.5°C, many thousands of CO2 storage wells and related infrastructure will be required worldwide to lock away millions of tonnes of CO2 underground for thousands of years, possibly longer. With its proximity to the North Sea and already existing offshore infrastructure, East Anglia could be a frontier location for the UK to develop CCS technologies and infrastructure.

This session will bring together an expert panel to discuss the practicalities and challenges associated with storing CO2 underground and debate its relevance to the east of England. Panel members will come from a range of different backgrounds and institutions, highlighting the need for an interdisciplinary approach to developing CCS in the UK with the goal of achieving net zero by 2050.

Audience members will be invited to participate and group discussions will occur between audience members in small break-out groups that will aim to tackle key questions. The main outputs will then be fed back to the wider session after which the session will close with an open forum to encourage networking and information exchange.

To request an invitation, please contact the Industry Team.

10:00-11:30 Creating a talent pipeline via effective and sustained engagement with schools

It is imperative to create a future pipeline of STEM talent and this session will explore the importance of partnerships between schools, industry and academia, the barriers to effective engagement and how success can be achieved via the Royal Society Partnership Grants scheme. 

To request an invitation, please contact the Industry Team.

11:45-13:15 Educational priorities for the next election

Young people need to be educated in a broad range of subjects not only to enter the workforce, but also to ensure emotional and mental wellbeing, and to equip them to be active participants in democracy and society.

The Royal Society is looking to inform political party manifestos at the next general election and wants to build on the recommendations that came out of our summer conference on the Future of education.

Join us to discuss the priorities for education policy both in the short and long term in order to bring about meaningful change.

To request an invitation, please contact the Industry Team.

11:45-13:15 Food systems for a net zero future

Food production and consumption is responsible for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. The food and agricultural sector both contributes to and is threatened by a changing climate, in the UK and internationally.

This event will bring together an expert panel to discuss the implications of climate change on the region’s agricultural sector and how the food system can both contribute to a net zero future and adapt to a changing climate.

Attendees will then take part in roundtable discussions, contributing ideas to how the region's agricultural sector can mitigate and adapt to climate change. This session will encourage cross-sector collaboration and networking.

This event will be free to attend by invitation and is open to individuals across academia, industry, government, and farming.

To request an invitation, please contact the Industry Team.

14:00-17:30 Industry College networking event

An afternoon of presentations, workshops and discussion surrounding industry-academia collaborations, with a particular focus on partnerships in the East of England. This is open to the Royal Society Industry College network, which consists of current and former award holders of the Royal Society Industry Fellowship, Short Industry Fellowship and Entrepreneur in Residence schemes. All three schemes were established by the Society to help facilitate research translation and strengthen the links between industry and academia.

A detailed schedule for the session will follow soon.

14:15-15:45 Using genetic technologies to help agriculture

Genetic technologies can help address the twin challenges of 21st century agriculture: increasing outputs whilst reducing inputs and doing so in the context of a changing climate. Realising this potential will depend in part on a regulatory framework that focuses on the risks and benefits of products made using genetic technologies rather than the technologies used to make them. The Government’s proposed changes to the regulatory framework in the Precision Breeding Bill will make it easier for researchers and businesses to use genome editing for some purposes, but many of the most transformational changes will be stuck in the over burdensome GMO regulatory framework.

This workshop will discuss applications of genetic technologies that could be of greatest benefit to farmers and Royal Society proposals for reform of the regulatory framework that would facilitate these. 

To request an invitation to this session, please contact the Industry Team.

14:15-15:45 Reforming education to develop research and innovation, grow absorptive capacity, and improve productivity in the East of England

This roundtable is seeking the views from experts from industry, employers, colleges and universities and local government to discuss the importance of (and relationship between) skills, education, and innovation in growing regional skills distribution and productivity in the East of England. What are the current policy challenges and how can they be overcome to benefit local people and places? The findings of this discussion will help inform the Royal Society's policy work related to Education, Place and Skills.

To request an invitation to this session, please contact the Industry Team.

16:00-17:30 Digitalisation in the food system: the role of data-driven technologies in the net zero transition

Building on the Royal Society’s 2020 report, Digital technology and the planet: Harnessing computing to achieve net zero, this session will assess the current and potential role of digital technologies in an increasingly digitised UK food system. It will examine the ways in which new data-driven technologies (such as digital twins and predictive modelling) might enhance resilience in the UK food system by supporting the net zero transition and potentially addressing sustainability goals beyond net zero carbon emissions (such as biodiversity, food security and tackling regional inequalities). Covering the range of social, economic, and technological barriers involved, this roundtable will aim to identify areas for action* for government, academia, and industry.

To request an invitation, please contact the Industry Team.

16:00-17:30 The future of Open Science

Open Science has been in vogue for some time, and the Royal Society has been a driving force in its development and wider adoption. Join us for a discussion of the initiatives the Society journals have launched to support Open Science endeavours and the moves we are making to continue our transition to a more open future for scientific publishing.

To request an invitation, please contact the Industry Team.