Building the Britain of the Future

29 Jan 2009

Building the Britain of the Future: innovative companies and products showcased at expo event

Innovative projects co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board were among 20 products and services chosen to feature at an exhibition hosted by DIUS in London on January 28th. Titled Building the Britain of the Future, the evening event included an address by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and a panel session with ministers and entrepreneurs discussing how innovation can turn scientific advances into business, creating new markets and increasing prosperity and quality of life.

Eight of the companies featured had research and development projects co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board:  Flybrid Systems, ACAL Energy, Marine Current Turbines, Smart Holograms, eMove, Kizoom, Hypertag and Blitz Games.

With an audience of over 100 innovators and business people, the event was part of the launch of a new DIUS-led campaign, with the headline ‘Science: [So what? So everything]' designed to emphasise the fundamental importance of science in everyday life.

The campaign is backed by the Government, the science community and a variety of celebrities, some of whom joined the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers at a reception in Downing Street earlier the same day. High profile guests included the author Terry Pratchett, businessman James Caan and scientist and presenter Kathy Sykes. The morning reception was followed by a discussion about how science can be taken to a wider audience to encourage more public involvement and understanding.

Independent projections suggest there could be as many as 2.9 million jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics related occupations by 2017. At the Downing Street reception, Science and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson said science would be "an important tool for getting us out of this downturn."

He said: "Britain is a world-leader in science, second only to the United States, with many of the most important scientific discoveries and inventions having been made here. Continued success in science is vital to our future - and yet there is still the perception among many of our people that science is too clever for them or elitist in some way. We must challenge myths like these if we are to build a prosperous, science-literate society, able to tackle the difficult issues that modern science presents and work them through to create the jobs and growth of the future."

The evening expo event clearly illustrated the essential link between science and technology and these new opportunities - innovation.

To find out more about the Science: [So what? So everything] campaign visit www.direct.gov.uk/sciencesowhat

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Last updated on Thursday 12 February 2009 at 23:55

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