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Bruntwood Sci-tech joins our Future Cities Forum in Cambridge this autumn

Future Cities Forum is delighted that Dr David Hardman, Managing Director of Bruntwood SciTech - Birmingham, will join our 'Science Cities' physical forum in Cambridge in October. He will be speaking about future development and the need for connectivity between knowledge hubs and the wider city and its social and business communities.

David's career over the last twenty-five years has been in knowledge transfer; working at the interface between applied research and commercial application and exploitation. His expertise and interests are directed at creating appropriate partnerships and infrastructures to promote the development and success of cross sectorial knowledge-based businesses. He started out as a PhD microbiologist, with research interests in the application of microbes in what is now described as 'clean technology'. In 1992 co-founded and led a start-up biotech venture and this experience developed into a wider interest in the translation of science into good and applicable technologies. Following 10 years in Cambridge leading the early commercial development of the Babraham Research Campus he moved to Birmingham in 2008 and over the last 13 years has developed and implemented a strategy to build on the legacy of Aston Science Park. The result is the Innovation Birmingham Campus; an urban focal point promoting digital innovation and adoption across all sectors. In 2018 the Campus became part of Bruntwood SciTech to create a focal point for a thriving innovation district in Birmingham. David is also a NED for the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP and sits on the innovation and skills boards for the GBSLEP and the West Midlands Combined Authority. David was awarded an MBE for 'contributions to science' in 2009.

Our 'Science Cities' programme though 2021 has discussed the planning and integration of R&D hubs both within cities and in new residential districts, including Stockholm (Karolinska Institutet), Heidelberg in Germany, Oxford North, Exeter and the West Midlands.

In October this year our next physical 'Science Cities' forum in Cambridge will discuss best practice collaboration between public and private sectors in developing world class knowledge centres. It will have a focus on how the Arc linking Oxford through Milton Keynes and Bedford to Cambridge will become a powerhouse of innovation, connected to Birmingham's emerging tech and life sciences hubs (close to to the new HS2 Curzon station) and to London's world class centres at King's Cross St Pancras, Imperial West in Hammersmith, and the developing South Bank campuses of Guy's and St Thomas's NHS Trust.

At our Cambridge forum and accompanying report in 2019 looked at how to solve the over-heating economies of Oxford and Cambridge and the need to compete on a global scale with such cities as Boston and those emerging in China.

There was concern voiced over the ‘choking up’ of infrastructure as these cities continue to grow and how decisions on how to move forward with solving this problem needs improved dialogue and collaboration between stakeholders.

Creating high quality ‘place’ in and around innovation centres was discussed as a priority as well as the need to work on planning the movement of people/transport in and around cities more effectively. We discussed the best approaches to creating knowledge hubs and clusters within cities that are both economically and socially successful - and very importantly are well designed, especially in urban settings.


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