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Birmingham Conference April 2-3 2019

This Conference is jointly organised by S-Lab and the UK Science Park Association. The last such event - in May 2017 at York Racecourse - attracted over 500 key stakeholders in the design, financing, managing and operation of science research, incubation and innovation facilities. 75% of attendees rated the event as excellent or very good due to the quality and range of content, and the ‘buzz’ and unexpected interactions of diverse audiences coming together. Summary details are below and a draft programme can be downloaded from our Dropbox folder here

General Conference tickets can be booked here. (Applies to all companies, and most others). 

Tickets for Birmingham University staff and invited others are available here. (These are by invitation only - please don't book unless you're sure you qualify).

Dinner tickets for everyone are available here

Information on the Tours is available here.

Click here for details of the Smart Ventilation workshop on April 1st.

Conference keynotes and around 100 parallel sessions - many featuring shortlisted applicants for the S-Lab and UKSPA Awards - will cover:

  • Activities at the University of Birmingham, including the design, operation and learning approaches of the new Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL); its Enabling Technologies core facilities, Sustainable Labs and Technical Academy initiatives; the Insitute of Translational Medicine; and its Enterprise and Innovation developments including the BioHub.

  • UK new build: Birmingham City and Coventry Universities (both health-related); STEMLab at Loughborough; Cambridge’s Chemical Engineering Building; Liverpool’s Materials Innovation Factory; Oxford’s Beecroft Building (physics); and the Quadrum Institute (food, at Norwich).

  • UK refurbishment: HSL’s Central London Pathology Labs and Imperial’s Molecular Sciences Research Hub (both from office space) and Cardiff’s Dementia facilities (taking advantage of flexibility features built into the Hadyn Ellis Building).

  • International case presentations drawn from the S-Lab Awards shortlist including the Australian Federal Police Forensics Facility, the Maersk Tower at the University of Copenhagen (health/life science) and the University of Otago’s teaching labs.

  • Specialist streams on Lab Futures; Multi-Disciplinary STEM Teaching Labs; Core Facilities and Equipment Sharing (at Birmingham and elsewhere) and Designing for Low-Vibration facilities.

  • Operations - autoclave efficiency and procurement; chemical management, storage and risk assessment; flow cytometry; freezers; fume cupboards; imaging and more. 

  • Estates and ventilation - A new Capital Projects Soft Landing Strategy at the University of Oxford; continuous commissioning and monitoring at the University of California Irvine; extract for maximum air quality and minimum noise in line with the WELL Building Standard®, and fume cupboard innovations. 

  • Energy/Environment - Green Lab initiatives at Birmingham, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Strathclyde; energy-efficient equipment; minimising single-use plastics; and 50% reductions in lab energy use through the Smart Labs programme at UC Irvine. (There will also be a half day training course featuring Irvine on Smart Ventilation at Birmingham the day before, i.e. 1st April.)

  • Lab management and careers - Bimingham’s Technical Academy; Nottingham’s implementation of the Science Council’s Technician Commitment; apprenticeships at MMU; technical support at Birmingham’s CTL; networking for lab staff; and discussion session.
    Many sessions on best practice design and operation of innovation and incubation spaces organised by the UK Science Park Association.

Plus a pre-Conference Experience day at MIRA, the centre for automative innovation on April 1.

There will also be a Conference Dinner on April 2, and an Exhibition with around 40 stands. Here are our latest sponsors and exhibitors. Please contact us at events@ukspa.org.uk if you are interested in sponsorship or exhibition information. Or you can also see our flyers here: Exhibition Options and Sponsorship Opportunities.


The Conference takes place at the University of Birmingham Campus in the Bramall Music Building and Aston Webb Building. The University of Birmingham Campus has its own Railway Station - University - and frequent services take just a few minutes to and from New Street. Birmingham is busy at this time of year so please book your accommodation early.

Conference address: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT

The newly opened Campus Hotel (Edgbaston Park Hotel) and the Lucas House Hotel are about a 10 minute easy walk of the conference buildings. Only a relatively small number of rooms are reserved for the nights of Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd April 2019. These are available on a first come - first served basis so do be quick and book early to secure a room here. Details on room types, the code for booking and who to call/email are below.

In addition to this, we have secured a number of hotel bedrooms in Birmingham itself – covering different budgets. In order to book these, you need to click on the link below and book directly on the website.  Please note the individual booking and cancellation policies.

Alternatively, you can use search engines to find your preferred hotel/best rates. Please note that we have not visited any of these hotels. They are put forward by the University itself (Campus hotels) and by the West Midlands Growth Company (off Campus hotels).

Rooms/rates are valid for 1st and 2nd April 2019

University of Birmingham Campus Hotels

Edgbaston Park Hotel: CODE: GA000118
53 Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham B15 2RS
Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre is part of the University of Birmingham Group

More info: https://www.edgbastonparkhotel.com/

60x Standard Double/Twin rooms: £108 B&B
8x Executive Double: £143 B&B
13x Double Deluxe rooms: £188 B&B

Lucas House Hotel: CODE: GA000111
48 Edgbaston Park Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2RA
Lucas House Hotel is the University of Birmingham’s budget bed and breakfast accommodation.
More info: https://www.lucashousehotel.com/

30x King rooms: £93.50 B&B
10x Double rooms: £83.50 B&B
10x Single rooms: £79.50 B&B  

To book accommodation at Edgbaston Park Hotel or Lucas House Hotel you must either send an email to Lucy Woods or Matthew Arnott at reservations@edgbastonparkhotel.com  or telephone Lucy at +44(121) 414 9780 or Matthew at +44(121) 414 9779. In either case, please quote the above booking codes.

Please note that any bedrooms not reserved at Edgbaston Hotel by 22/02/2019 will be released back on the system for general resale to the public. Lucas House option will expire on 1 March and likewise, will be released for general re-sale after that date. Guest will not be able to book using the code after this date but may be able to book at the standard rate if there is availability.

Birmingham City Hotels

West Midlands Growth Company have negotiated hotel rates which you can book via this link. Please note the individual booking and cancellation policies.

Alternatively, use search engines to find your best hotel option. 




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