Interstellar insights to put businesses light-years ahead

Posted by pt91 at Mar 19, 2018 10:53 AM |
Leicester team prepares for giant leap to Hong Kong for UK government-organised GREAT Festival on 24 March

Issued by University of Leicester on 19 March 2018

Online press pack for University of Leicester at the GREAT Festival:

Space technology expertise is just a small step away according to Leicester’s crew of scientists and business experts, as they prepare to make a giant leap to Hong Kong for the GREAT Festival of Innovation.

From model satellites to virtual reality trips through space, the University will guide fellow business and education leaders from across Asia through the exciting possibilities of space-enabled technology, with the help of aspiring astronaut Dr Suzie Imber.

The University of Leicester will make touchdown on 24 March of the four-day Festival organised by the UK’s Department for International Trade, with its experts taking part in speaker sessions as some of the world’s leading minds in space science and technology.

Established to showcase the UK’s creativity and leadership across a host of industry and education sectors, the Festival, taking place 21-24 March 2018, focuses on how innovation, technology and creativity will change the way we work, live, learn and play in the years to come.

Leicester’s own aspiring astronaut Dr Suzie Imber, winner of 2017’s Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes? TV series on the UK’s BBC2, will be inviting attendees to ‘step into our world’. She will be telling the story of the University’s 50-year-plus history of delivering the science and engineering which has enabled space exploration through the model satellites on display, while also discussing her own role in ESA’s BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

Visitors will get to experience a virtual reality trip amongst the stars, with Dr Imber as their guide to the space technologies that Leicester uses to learn more about our universe and the planet we live on. They will even get to take the experience home with them in their mobile phone.

Scientists and business expertise from the University will be on hand to demonstrate the unique and surprising ways in which businesses can engage with space research from UK institutions. Professor Paul Monks, Head of the College of Science and Engineering, will illustrate how Leicester is working to deal with the challenge of cybersecurity for a panel discussion (24 March), while Dr Imber will explore our future in space in panel discussions on ‘Democratising Space’ (22 March) and ‘Space Innovation’ (24 March).

There will be opportunities to consider more earthly concerns as representatives from the School of Business will be demonstrating the value of upskilling your workforce with the University’s world-respected MBA degree and its brand new Masters courses in Innovation Management in Organisations and Entreneurship. The University will also be reaching out to its worldwide community of alumni with a reception to launch the new University of Leicester Hong Kong alumni community. It will be a chance for them to reflect on their place in Leicester’s history as its upcoming Centenary celebrations look towards its future.

Internationally renowned for its world-leading research in space science, technology, engineering and Earth observation, Leicester will join other UK universities in showcasing how leading sectors are collaborating with these unique engines of innovation to gain a competitive edge, strategically linking higher education, research and business to help create tomorrow.

In 2017, the University received funding to kick start the development of Space Park Leicester to drive innovation in its world-class strengths in space and Earth observation science and provide a new anchor for a vital British industry.  The University of Leicester’s vision is that Space Park Leicester will be recognised internationally as the world-leading hub for space and space-enabled data industries.

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Professor Paul Boyle, said: “We are proud to be supporting the GREAT Festival of Innovation and joining the leading universities and businesses that are showcasing the very best that UK business and industry can offer.

“There is a whole universe of opportunity to be found in space and we’re eager to help businesses explore it. Whether you are observing a distant supernova or the traffic jams on Earth, processing data from a space probe or from a weather satellite on your mobile phone, space-enabled technology is affecting your everyday life and we are still at the tip of the iceberg of what it can achieve.”

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: “The UK’s education sector is world renowned for its high quality and universities like the University of Leicester are leading the way in innovating for future generations. From virtual reality to game art, students around the world are experiencing education like never before.

“As an international economic department, DIT is ensuring British businesses make the most of growing markets like Hong Kong and exporting their goods around the world. The GREAT festival of Innovation will be a major showcase for the UK in Asia, and a shop window for the best of our creativity and innovation.”

For more information please visit or follow the hashtag #GREATinnovation.


Notes to editors:

  • The Great Festival of Innovation Hong Kong will be the third of its kind, following successful events in Istanbul (2014) and Shanghai (2015). Its vision is to create long-term partnerships that drive the future of free trade and prosperity between the UK and Asia
  • The GREAT Britain campaign is currently active in 144 countries and has already delivered £2.7 billion in economic benefits for the UK
  • Several hundred invited delegates will attend the Hong Kong event, which takes place at the Asia Society Hong Kong Centre and will feature more than 60 panels and events over its four days

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