The Conference happens yearly and alternates between Belgium and the UK. It aims to enrich both countries’ mutual interests in areas as varied as politics, economy, culture, media or academia.
The central theme of this year’s Conference will be the role of entrepreneurial universities in the development and transfer of technology and their place in regional, national and European high-tech innovation systems.
Topics for discussion will include university-driven hi-tech innovation in Belgium and in the UK, innovation support systems and what makes creation and business work? The Conference hosts several high-profile speakers including academics, business people and policymakers such as Professor of the Technology and Innovation Management, Koenraad Debackere of the Catholic University of Leuven and Professor Stephen Caddick, Vice-Provost of Enterprise at University College London
Honorary Ambassador Lode Willems, the Belgian Co-Chairman of the Conference said:
"In this often ruthlessly competitive globalised world, I believe with many others that the two paths to increasing our own European competitive strength, so vital to sustaining and developing our welfare states, are those leading from education to science and from innovation to higher productivity. How frequently and under what auspicious conditions does cutting edge academic research in our entrepreneurial universities stimulate world class high-tech product and business developments in our companies and vice-versa?"
"I am also keen to find out what our governments and other authorities are doing, or not doing, to increase this cross-fertilisation"
Sir Stephen Wall , the British Co-Chairman said:
"Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Guy Verhofstadt, founders of the Belgo-British Conference, were powerfully committed to the development of the knowledge economy. There will be people at our conference with the genius to change the world; companies with the means to make it happen and Governments whose policies can create, or not, the space in which tomorrow’s world will be forged."