2023 marks the IASP (International Association of Science Park’s) 40th world conference on Science Parks and Areas of Innovation, and as part of the AIP team’s efforts to raise the profile of Norwich Research Park, and build more connections, AIP CEO Roz Bird attended the event this year, providing a presentation.
Taking place from the 12th to the 14th September, at the European Convention Centre, Luxembourg, and attended by people from many different countries, the theme of the conference was ‘Megatrends in Innovation Ecosystems’.
Roz provided a presentation as part of a breakout session entitled ‘Collaboration for an Ageing Population’ and was joined on the platform by Apratim Chattopandhyay from Support Elders in India, Amonpat Jacobsen from Prince of Songkla University Science Park in Thailand, Jean-Paul Scheuren from HE:AL Campus S.A. and Cathering Delevoye from Technoport, both in Luxembourg. The session was Chaired by Agnes von Matuschka from Potsdam University Science Park in Germany.
The session considered how science parks are ideally placed to build the collaboration models necessary to create innovative products and services that support active and healthy ageing.
Healthy ageing is a key area of research at Norwich Research Park. So much so that the University of East Anglia (UEA) officially launched the Norwich Institute for Healthy Ageing (NIHA) in 2021. The NIHA encourages collaboration between the UEA and other key campus institutions including the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the Quadram Institute as well as providing opportunities to engage with the local community and local companies.
The NIHA novel research approach includes consideration of multiple related behaviours that can affect healthy ageing. Traditionally, behaviour change research has taken a single-behaviour approach. The NIHA approach is to consider multiple health related behaviours which are interlinked. The behaviours considered in the research include nutrition, smoking, physical activity, sleep, social activity, drugs, alcohol and weight. By making positive behaviour change in these areas of life it is possible to add healthy years to lives.
The UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) scores the nutrition research, taking place at Norwich Research Park, as first in the UK (157 universities participated) with 95% of the research graded as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).
Norwich Research Park has so much potential for growth as a site, and a community. It is important that as the AIP Team prepares the site, for expansion, so the profile is raised to ensure all businesses and researchers, in relevant scientific fields, know about the park and can access the specialist expertise and facilities on the campus.
Roz said, “The event was a fantastic opportunity to meet likeminded people representing science parks across the world. My presentation was well received, and I am looking forward to following up on new collaboration opportunities. It was good to share good practice and raise awareness of the amazing healthy ageing work taking place at Norwich Research Park.”
Members of the AIP Team are also attending the World Agri-Tech Summit and Future Food Tech events in London later in September.