Thursday, March 14, 2013

Manchester at MIPIM - the appliance of science

I have really enjoyed MIPIM this year. Mostly because I’ve been following the news there from Manchester, London and Liverpool. I left Cannes to the liggers.

Joking aside, there are worse places to be than the French Riveria at this time of year, but if you go to MIPIM then you have to work hard to really get the most out of it.

It’s one of those events that plays to Manchester’s strengths. Working the event and providing strong intelligent leadership.

Manchester uses the presence at MIPIM to wisely partner with four other European cities with complementary agendas and areas of co-operation. There is also a great deal to be learned from Hamburg, Lyon, Barcelona and Amsterdam.

It was also exciting to hear that New Economy Manchester’s chief executive Mike Emmerich wants the city to be a world science city, providing solid support for enterprise and investment in science across the city region and explain how it can be achieved. The University of Manchester’s professor of physics was also on hand to position the city globally. He’s Brian Cox, by the way, you may have heard of him. Other cities I could mention would have been content to roll out a celebrity and press the flesh.

At the heart of Manchester’s Science strategy is Graphene, the wonder material, discovered at the University by Russian born scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov.

I have heard the criticism that hundreds of patents have been filed in China and Korea, while Manchester has just a few. This is to misunderstand both the value of patents and what Manchester’s research base is capable of.

I’ll defer to Clive Rowland from the University to explain that as he does here.

Anyway, my good friend Andrew Spinoza has been good to his word and compiled a terrific blog from Cannes, which you can read here.

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