Famously an industrial heavyweight, Newcastle & Gateshead is now proving to be a research and innovation powerhouse.
Conference organisers are now choosing an event’s host destination based on its industry strengths aligning with the topic of the conference, making it easier to source expert speakers, to build an exciting programme and to have access to a local pool of relevant delegates. With strengths in several sectors, Newcastle & Gateshead can offer organisers access to this knowledge pool, as well as its superb venues and accommodation, easy transport links from the UK and beyond, a buzzing cultural scene, 2,000 years of history and a famously warm Geordie welcome.
Newcastle & Gateshead has a reputation for world-leading research and business strengths in medical sciences and sustainability, tech and digital, offshore and marine, and business and professional services. Home to the inventors of the light bulb and the steam turbine, the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of North East England is unrivalled and to this day life-changing innovations are happening in the city.
Recognised for its strengths in biomedicine and clinical trials, many innovations in the health sector are made in Newcastle & Gateshead. Newcastle University has one of the UK’s leading medical schools and is also home to the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing (NUIA), the largest facility of its kind in Europe, where world-leading research is made into ageing, its causes and its social and health consequences. Meanwhile, The International Centre for Life is the UK’s first biotechnology village, a landmark £90 million development which houses Life Knowledge Park and the Institute of Human Genetics.
An exciting new development, Newcastle Helix, is a £350 million flagship project that brings together academia, public sector, communities, business and industry in order to create a global centre for urban innovation in the heart of the city. The National Innovation Centre on the site will be home to the National Innovation Centre for Ageing, the National Innovation Centre for Data and the National Institute for Health Research Innovation Observatory (NIHRIO).
Paul Szomoru, Director of Business Events at Newcastle & Gateshead Convention Bureau, said: “Here in Newcastle & Gateshead, we’re lucky to be home to many world-leading academics and researchers in various fields of medical sciences, whose dedication and hard work has life-changing impacts all around the world.
“We’re one of six designated UK Science Cities and are home to cutting-edge facilities. Amazing innovations are happening here, making Newcastle & Gateshead a natural fit for medical conferences where speakers and delegates are at the absolute forefront of their fields.”
It’s thanks to these strengths that the region has seen a boom in high-profile medical conferences in 2018. September alone saw four major medical conferences head to the destination, and a total of 3,800 delegates will visit the city for medical events across the year. July saw the Association for the Study of Medical Education host its annual scientific meeting at the iconic Sage Gateshead, with over 600 national and international medical professional delegates descending on Newcastle & Gateshead for the event, while The European Thyroid Association, the Association for the Study of Obesity and the Royal College of Nursing have also hosted events in the city this year.
Newcastle & Gateshead is also a major centre for the renewable, offshore and subsea energy industries and is one of six Centres for Offshore Renewable Engineering (CORE) in England. The region is home to the world’s most advanced steel tube facility, Newcastle University’s £7 million engineering research facility, the Tyne Subsea – the National Centre for Subsea and Offshore Engineering, the first of its kind in the UK, and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. These strengths meant that Newcastle & Gateshead offered the perfect location and local expertise to host the fourth UK Energy Storage Conference that took place earlier this year, which Newcastle & Gateshead Convention Bureau worked closely with Newcastle University to bring to the region.
With the fastest growing digital cluster outside of London, Newcastle & Gateshead’s software and technology market is forecast to grow to 2.5 billion by 2020. The region is home to 2,800 tech and digital businesses, as well as the only FTSE 100 software company, Sage Group plc, so global leaders rub shoulders and do business with fast-growing local start-ups, collaborating and innovating future solutions. Conferences such as Thinking Digital and BIM Show Live – a conference that explores the latest technology innovations in the construction industry – are therefore well-suited to the destination.