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Double Ministerial Visit to University of Warwick to Consult with Midlands Visionaries

Visionary Midlanders have attracted not one but two Ministers to visit the University of Warwick on Monday 1st October. Two of the government’s biggest champions of partnership between science and business; Science Minister Ian Pearson  and Minister for the Midlands Liam Byrne, both visit the University of Warwick campus to consult with key figures with a Vision for the region's future. 

Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson  is to pay a special visit to The University of Warwick  to see for himself the University of Warwick’s world renowned WMG department led by Professor Lord Bhattacharyya – one of the World’s leading advocates of partnership between science and business.

 Prime Minister Gordon Brown has already identified  WMG as a crucial example of best practice in partnership between science and business.  The Prime Minister recently declared that  “Everywhere I go, whether it’s India, China, Malaysia, Thailand or South Africa, people talk to me about the success of WMG, about the links that it has built up around the world” 

Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson is MP for Dudley South and is himself a graduate of the University of Warwick with a MA in Industrial Relations and PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, He is keen to see how this part of his old University has become an international beacon of best practice for  collaboration between science and  industry. Business ranging from  multinational car manufacturers to a small businesses, hospital trusts and  global banking corporation  all benefit from collaborating with WMG.  

There will be a photo and brief  interview opportunity with Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson and Professor Lord Bhattacharyya at 10am at the entrance to the International Manufacturing Centre Building on the University’s main campus at 10am on Monday 1st of October.   

Regional Minister for the West Midlands, Liam Byrne, is coming to the University campus to  fulfill the promise he made in his inaugural speech to the region in August to bring  together ‘ideas people’ to look at a 30-50 year vision of the region. He will canvass the audience of business leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs, public sector and young people for their views on what they think should be done to transform the region and how the Minister himself can bring about change. The key areas to be covered are people & society, environment & energy, health & well-being, technology and governance.

During the visit Liam Byrne MP will also announce the formation of the West Midlands Leadership Group. The group, which is made up of Chief Executives from senior government agencies in the West Midlands, will meet with the Minister every two months to report on the work being done to address the key issues facing the West Midlands. It well also identify emerging areas where the Minister may use his influence to intervene on the region’s behalf.

The group will consist of John Edwards (Advantage West Midlands), Trudi Elliot (Government Office for the West Midlands), Olwen Dutton (West Midlands Regional Assembly), David Cragg (Learning & Skills Council), Margaret Tovey (Job Centre Plus) and Cynthia Bower (West Midlands Strategic Health Authority). 

Minister Liam Byrne is also the Labour MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill. In a recent speech he said: “The appliance of science in business will also be critical to our success and the West Midlands is well placed to be a leader in this field with eight top universities and numerous other HE and FE institutions."

There will be an opportunity for interviews and photography with the Minister and some of the “ideas people” attending the event at 2pm on Monday near to University of Warwick’s  Vice-Chancellor’s residence on the Cryfield side of the campus  on Monday 3rd of October. The Minister will also be available for interview down the telephone line.For further details contact Annie Harris on 07966 284 502. 

For further information please contact: 

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager
Communications Office, University House,University of Warwick,
Coventry, CV4 8UW, United Kingdom
Tel: 024 76 523708 Mobile/Cell: 07767 655860 

PR84  28th September 2007