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Join us for this collaborative workshop which will run until 5.30pm, followed by a short drinks reception on site.

About this event

Strategic Advantage in UK Science and Technology: Enabling a Secure, Open and Connected Research Sector

For decades, UK progress in science and technology (S&T) innovation has benefited enormously from a research culture that encourages and invests in intellectual exchange with the brightest minds from around the globe. Indeed, engagement with the global intellectual economy is arguably a key characteristic of any advanced research ecosystem. Yet an open research culture that invites others in, inevitably brings with it the possibility of exploitation by foreign states seeking to undermine any advantage and enhance their own capabilities.

The challenge facing the UK is how to sustain and enhance S&T advantage through an open and collaborative research culture, while at the same time protecting its research, development and innovation system against state-level efforts to undermine national strategic advantage, particularly in the domain of dual-use emerging technologies.

This 3-hour workshop will bring together relevant stakeholders from academia, government and the private sector to explore the potential for a Higher Education sector-led response to this challenge. Specifically, a team from King’s College London and City University will propose a solution that can research and deliver an evidence base, and reliable, independent insights into the range of threats in this space and how these can be mitigated.

Workshop objectives:

  • To test this idea and explore how such a national capability should be operationalised and developed.
  • To ensure that this effort aligns with government priorities and related work across the sector.
  • To identify and advance opportunities for collaboration.

Workshop structure

The workshop will begin with three short (10 min) talks addressing various aspects of the threat landscape. The KCL-City team will then set out its proposed solution. The remainder of the workshop will be devoted to small group work on specific questions. These include:

  • How can the resources of all stakeholders (universities, government, private sector) best be utilised?
  • What does meaningful collaboration in this space look like? What are the opportunities/barriers to collaboration?
  • At what scale does this work need to happen to have adequate impact?
  • What are the points of overlap with other initiatives and activities, both in government and across the sector?
  • How can efforts be combined for maximum effect?
  • What challenges need to be navigated?