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Birmingham’s clean up

Science Capital paves the way forward for concerted action on climate change

Hotel du Vin, Birmingham on Wednesday 16th June 2010

Getting politicians and business to agree on how to build a green economy is not easy. While BP chief executive Tony Hayward is being told to clean up the "nightmare well" in the Gulf of Mexico, US President Barack Obama is calling for a "new future" of clean energy.

City regions are often left to find a constructive way forward. Birmingham is taking a lead in the UK by bringing its business, financial and scientific leaders together to look at energy alternatives, develop a common strategy and to build new partnerships.

Over 80 experts will gather at Hotel du Vin, Birmingham on 16 June 2010 to discuss the latest climate and energy policy recommendations.

The West Midlands boasts one of the largest concentrations of know-how needed to plan and build a low carbon world. So, according to organiser Professor Michael Overduin, it was the logical place to host the inaugural event of Science Capital. This new organisation is based in Birmingham, will bring together leading scientists and business experts from the area, and aims to stimulate the region’s economic growth by directly linking innovators and investors.

The gathering is taking place as the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition prepares a national strategy for adapting to a changing climate. Julia King, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University and appointed last year as the UK's Low Carbon Business Ambassador, will offer the latest thinking from the government’s Climate Change Committee.

Supported by Birmingham City Council, the meeting is designed for those who develop and support new fuel, solar and biomass technologies and are developing strategies for reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. Representatives from seven local universities are converging, and Catherine Burke of Martineau is moderating the discussions.

The event is in central Birmingham and although sold out, will release its results to the public at David Hall from Anthony Collins Solicitors agrees: "there is a real need for an accessible, open network for us to realise the opportunities for all parties in the region".

This is only the first of the grand challenges tackled by Science Capital and Birmingham Science City. Future events focus on Innovative Healthcare on 15 September as part of the British Science Festival, followed by the Digital World event on 13 October and are open to all.

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Issue data 15 June 2010

Further information from:

Michael Overduin
Director, Science Capital
Mobile: 07810 444 960

Background on Science Capital:

Science Capital is an independent, inclusive and apolitical membership organisation directed by Michael Overduin (University of Birmingham), Brian Miller (FD Solutions) and Vernon Blackmore (Netnak). It was developed as a sister organisation of the Lunar Society, and was established as a separate company limited by guarantee in March 2010.  The company is based at 8th Floor, 134 Edmund Street, Birmingham, B3 2ES.  Its mission is to bring together scientists and business experts, innovators and investors  (see also

Brief description of the event:

The event, Food, Fuel & Future: Strategies for a Changing World, takes place on 16 June 2010. Julia King, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, will present current thinking from the Committee on Climate Change. Malcolm McIntosh directs the Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise at the Griffith Business School, Queensland, Australia and will speak on the emerging low carbon economy from the perspective of the Asia Pacific region. Tim Jones, from the University of Warwick will present third-generation solar cells being developed at Molecular Solar.  Kevin Kendall directs the University of Birmingham’s Fuel Cell Group, and is part of the 80million Science City Consortium. He will present on hydrogen fuel cells, whole-systems optimisation and vehicle downsizing.

What the aim of the event is:

This inaugural Science Capital meeting brings together scientists and business experts active in energy, low carbon technologies and climate change policy. Through engaging talks and lively discussions, Science Capital explores scientific and technological advances alongside the investment and legal frameworks needed to make them a commercial reality.

What is special/different about the event:

Engaging seminars are offered by leading researchers from across the West Midlands who will present their latest ideas and products, and thereby gain exposure to the region’s business leaders.  As an accessible membership organization, Science Capital is open to all those who are interested in developing an innovation-led economy and in commercializing research discoveries.

Who it is targeted at: 

The speakers are drawn from across the region’s array of universities and research intensive companies.  A panel discussion will engage the audience’s questions and discuss strategies.   Scientists, investors, policy makers and business experts will be provided with opportunities to build the relationships needed to grow successful companies.

What's in the future for Science Capital:

Events in central Birmingham on 15 September and 13 October will focus on innovative healthcare and digital technologies, respectively; further details are posted on