The Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, will visit the University of Aberdeen this morning to deliver the keynote address at a prestigious event being held at King’s College Centre.
The 'Innovation and Energy' conference, to be held today (Friday 23 March 2007), is the final event in a series hosted by the CBI and QinetiQ, the international defence and security technology company. It will focus on innovation and its role in resolving some of the UK's biggest issues – in particular the role that innovation and technology can play in addressing the country's energy supply and sustainability challenges. The event will also mark the launch of a new report from the CBI and QinetiQ looking at average investment in innovation by firms in the UK.
Innovation is at the heart of business competitiveness and QinetiQ and the CBI are working together to encourage debate across government and business about the UK's innovation ecosystem and how this should be cultivated effectively. Previous events have attracted delegates from across the government, academic and commercial worlds and explored themes such as innovation and public procurement, business-university collaboration, and innovation in the supply chain.
Alistair Darling, a graduate of the University, will deliver the keynote address.
Professor C Duncan Rice, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, will welcome guests and provide the introduction at this month's event. He said: "We are delighted that the CBI and QinetiQ have decided to hold this event at the University of Aberdeen and we're equally pleased to be welcoming so many distinguished speakers and guests to the campus, in particular, the Rt. Hon. Alistair Darling MP, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, a graduate of Aberdeen.
"We can never do enough to help foster links between business and universities in this country. Making the connections is one thing, but we can't lose sight of the long term importance of the research base. Not all research takes place in a university setting nor should it. The best model is that we do the research and industry does the development. We also need to make sure there is always a place in our universities for the blue skies research that will bear fruit in decades. Our role is to provide the reservoir of applicable ideas for world business."