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Virtual discoveries: UK innovation & expertise

Friday 12 June 2020

The UK has always been an innovation powerhouse, ranked as one of the world’s top five most innovative countries. Delegates are drawn to the UK because of what can be achieved when they meet here, whether its scientific breakthroughs, the latest in technology or creative ways of thinking. Meet the minds behind UK innovation and virtually explore the many organisations that continue to advance our knowledge of the world during lockdown.

Life sciences & the fight against COVID-19

The UK’s life sciences sector is the largest in Europe with one in five of the population working in science-based roles. And now the UK is at the forefront of the global healthcare effort against coronavirus.

Oxford University, England


Oxford University – one of the world’s top universities – is quickly advancing ground-breaking research with vaccine trials underway. The University is also leading many other COVID-19 research programmes, including social impact, contact tracing, education and environmental impacts. Learn more about its coronavirus research at the Oxford University website.

Also visit the University’s beautiful surrounds with their virtual tours. Explore the famous colleges and charming quads and gardens, such as the Jesus College Quad. Visit Oxford University’s website to take the virtual tour. And learn more about holding future events in the region at our dedicated Oxford page.

Centre for Life, NewcastleGateshead, England

One of North East England’s preeminent centres of science, the Life Science Centre, leads ground-breaking biomedical research in regenerative medicine and genetics. Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, it has achieved breakthrough research on fertility, embryo cloning and stem cell research in its short history. The work continues with scientists dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic. See their work with their ‘Meet the scientist’ series on the Centre for Life YouTube channel, featuring climate change, epidemiology, microscopy and genetics. Keep everyone occupied at home with their ‘Life goes online’ home science experiments and public lectures via Zoom. To get involved, visit the Centre for Life websiteAnd learn more about NewcastleGateshead here

Francis Crick Institute, London

Dedicated to biomedical discovery, the Francis Crick Institute examines the biology that underlies health and disease, discovering new treatments. With 1,500 scientists and staff based in central London, it is Europe’s biggest biomedical research centre under one roof. Having rapidly responded to the COVID-19 crisis, the centre is focussed on collaborative research on the virus. You can meet the scientists working on coronavirus, as well as other discoveries such as stem cell research. New content is added as part of its Discovery Week – a great opportunity to get children involved in science. Learn more at the Francis Crick Institute YouTube channel and to discover what London can offer your future business events, see our dedicated London page.

University of Glasgow, Scotland

One of Scotland’s – and the UK’s – leading universities is part of the COVID-19 research effort. Glasgow University’s Centre for Virus Research is one of the 13 centres in the UK alliance of scientists that are sequencing the virus’ whole genome, as part of the £20million COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium. This fast-moving research programme is helped by the Centre’s rapid screening and sequencing capability, with funding support from the Scottish Government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard. Read more on the University of Glasgow website. To learn more about what this innovative city can offer your events, visit our Glasgow page.

Innovation & technology

The UK has the world’s ninth-largest global manufacturing economy and specialises in advanced manufacturing, engineering and industry 4.0. The UK also has one of the world’s largest technology ecosystems with tech start-ups raising over $13 billion in 2019 and is home to over 1,000 AI companies and 35 tech hubs and research institutes.

Graphene at the University of Manchester, England

In 2004, Manchester scientists discovered graphene – the world’s thinnest, strongest and most conductive material. The University of Manchester is now home to the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre and National Graphene Institute, dedicated to the rapid development of graphene and other 2D materials. Working with the private sector, Manchester scientists are pioneering the incredible applications graphene offers industry – including electricity, conductivity, energy generation, batteries, sensors and more. Learn how this wonder material can impact your life with the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre’s webinars on the challenges and opportunities of graphene and explore further with the rich video library on its discovery and application. Learn more on The University of Manchester’s YouTube channel. To explore what Manchester, known as the science city, can offer your future business event visit our dedicated Manchester page.

Rolls Royce and Goodwood Estate, Sussex, England

Luxury car brand Rolls Royce has a long history of superior engineering and attention to detail, known for making the ‘best car in the world’. Their luxury cars are still manufactured to exquisite detail in Goodwood, Sussex on England’s south coast. Get a rare, behind-the-scenes look into the attention and detail that goes into each car with their factory tour video on YouTube, perfect inspiration for exclusive group tours of the Rolls Royce factory. While there, take a look at their spectacular neighbours – Goodwood Estate, one of England’s greatest sporting domains. Home to grand sporting events such as the Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival on its famous motor circuit, the estate also offers a huge array of luxury group experiences including horse racing, golf, spa, shooting, driving and flying experiences, in addition to its leading hotel, dining and meetings facilities.  Explore all of the grandeur at the Goodwood Estate website.

Land Rover, Solihull & Liverpool, England

Land Rover Manufacturing Tour, Liverpool

The four-wheel drive company Land Rover is a British icon, known for its rugged, off-road vehicles. Manufactured in Britain, witness the company’s craftsmanship and expertise that goes into each vehicle with the factory video on the Land Rover website. This is a fascinating taste of the factory tours Land Rover offers in Solhihull (near Birmingham) and Liverpool, giving you a hands-on experience of British advanced manufacturing. No factory tour would be complete without getting behind the wheel of one, so start dreaming of the Land Rover Driving Experiences – a great team-building activity that is offered all across Britain. Learn more at the Land Rover website.

London Tech Week, London

The annual London Tech Week is a leading festival of tech innovation where global leaders share and learn across the full tech ecosystem – including adtech, internet of things, edtech, fintech, medtech and smart cities. Usually taking place all across London, Europe’s leading tech hub, with over 58,000 attendees going to 243 events across the city – this is a true business festival. While on lockdown, stay up to date with all things tech at #LTWConnects – a series of virtual sessions on the power of technology, including the future of HealthTech, the investment landscape and resilience in leadership. The virtual event has an inspirational line up with leading speakers including Hilary Rodham Clinton, Arianna Huffington, Roger Lynch and Ruby Wax. Learn more at the #LTWConnects website. To discover what London can offer your tech events, see our dedicated London page.

Aerospace at Farnborough International, Hampshire, England

The Red Arrows perform against a dark sky at The Farnborough International Airshow, Hampshire, England.

One of the UK’s largest trade events, Farnborough International Airshow is going online. The biennial event, which normally takes place in July every year welcoming 80,000 visitors, is one of the world’s major aerospace events and is an international showcase of the UK’s expertise in aerospace. Join online with free-to-attend digital events over five days with content, collaboration, thought leadership and industry insight. Though you can’t see the impressive aircraft that are normally lined up at Farnborough’s onsite airport, you can still experience the incredible innovation this 70-year air show brings every year.  Register to attend at the Farnborough International Airshow website. And explore the convention centre that hosts this incredible event at our Farnborough International Convention Centre page.

National Robotarium, Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland is an international leader in robotics and Edinburgh’s Robotics Centre is pioneering the country’s research and application of robotics and artificial intelligence. Ahead of the National Robotarium’s opening in 2021, the new centre has launched online interviews and lectures with the Centre’s leading scientists. They discuss this fascinating technology with topics including teaching machines to talk, how robots help those with autism and manufacturing with lasers. Start learning at the National Robotarium website. To explore what Edinburgh can offer your future events, visit our dedicated Edinburgh page.


With some of the best-known universities in the world – including 4 in the world’s top 10 – the UK is renowned for excellence in education and has been advancing knowledge for hundreds of years.

Professor Brain Cox and Manchester University lockdown lectures

Low angle view iof the stars in the night sky above Holkham Estate beach huts, Wells-Next-The -Sea, Norfolk, England.

Professor Brian Cox OBE is one of England’s leading physicists plus broadcaster and author, famous for captivating audiences with his knowledge of particle physics and astronomy. Known for making this complex area of science relatable for the public, see an exclusive ‘lockdown lecture’ from the University of Manchester, where he is a professor of particle physics in the school of physics and astronomy. Or see the other fascinating lockdown lectures, interviewed by undergraduate students covering topics from sociology, engineering, nursing and graphene. See the lockdown lectures at the University of Manchester website. And get to know Manchester as a great destination for future events at our dedicated Manchester page.

University of Cambridge, England

The 800-year old University of Cambridge is ranked second best in the world, according to the Times Higher Education. Not only is the University set on the beautiful shores of the River Cam in the picturesque town of Cambridge, but the University continues to lead discoveries and knowledge across a wide number of areas and is bringing these discoveries to you via its YouTube channel.  From climate change, robots, wooden skyscrapers and talking cars, see how researchers at Cambridge are changing our future for the better. Or explore the beautiful grounds, famous colleges and extensive museum and library collections at the Cambridge University website. Learn more about Cambridge for your future events at our Cambridge page

Life Sciences Hub Wales

Wales has world-leading academic expertise in life sciences, with particular strengths in regenerative medicine and cell therapy. The Life Sciences Hub Wales is a hotspot for Welsh expertise. In addition to supporting the global medical effort against COVID-19, the Hub is also sharing public ‘Healthy Thinking’ podcasts with new perspectives from leading thinkers in Welsh health and care innovation. Hear the fascinating insights at the Life Sciences Hub Wales website. To learn more about Cardiff city for business events, visit our Cardiff page.

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