« Back to news

UKSPA's Autumn Conference 7-8 November 2019

UKSPA's Autumn Conference 7-8 November 2019

blog image


UKSPA AUTUMN CONFERENCE - 7 and 8 November 2019

Culham Science Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 3DB

For registration please click here

To discuss exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities please email info@ukspa.org.uk

Culham Science Centre


The Science Centre is a secure site and delegates will need to bring identification (with photo) to enter.


Delegates will be able to park on site during both days of the conference. In line with government policy UKAEA, as owner of the Centre, encourages a choice of modes of transport to the site.

Travel to Culham Science Centre


Public transport options to Culham Science Centre are limited.  There are trains to Culham from both Didcot Parkway and Oxford but are irregularly timed.


There will be a minibus service from Didcot Parkway to/from Didcot Parkway to encourage the use of public transport. Details below.


Thursday 7 November 2019

A free Half hourly Shuttle Minibus from Didcot Parkway will operate  between 10.00 - 12.30


Didcot Parkway is well served by taxis (Fare in the region of £20.00)

Trains from Didcot Parkway to Culham

08.48 – Arrives 08.55

10.28 – Arrives 10.35

Trains from Oxford to Culham

09.06 – Arrives 09.16

10.05 –  Arrives 10.35


Registration opens



Optional Tours: 11.30-12.30

Tour of RACE robotics facility

Running in parallel with the above - A tour of the OAS Apprenticeship training centre


12.30 - 13.15

Lunch in Library Area

RoundTable tbc


Plenary  Session

13.15 – 14.15

Culham, the Oxfordshire Cluster and Beyond

Tim Bestwick, UKAEA director of business and innovation.

Ian Chapman, CEO, UKAEA

Rob Buckingham, RACE


Discussion Session 

14.15 – 15.00

Driving the Knowledge Economy

Panel: As above with additional contributors tbc

The morning sessions will provide a timely forum for presentations and discussions on current opportunities and challenges for the science and innovation sector at a time of continued political uncertainty. Presentations, by leading figures from the sector, will look at the future for UK’s research campuses, funding and investment as well as EU related issues, including future funding of large scale research projects.





Parallel Sessions




1 Environments for Innovation

2 Innovation Support and Growth


3 Learning from Oxford:Driving Oxford's knowledge economy: the impact on the innovation and science park eco system

4. TBC


16.30 – 17.15



Coach to Hotel








Hilton Garden Inn, Abingdon OX14 1TZ





Hilton Garden Inn, Abingdon OX14 1TZ


Friday 8 November 2019

Coach from Hotel at 09.00

Hilton Garden Inn, Abingdon OX14 1TZ


Registration opens




First Session



Keynote: Speakers to be confirmed

Discussion Session

10.00 – 10.30


Parallel Sessions

10.30 - 11.30


4 Environments for Innovation: Life Science Trends: Positive impact for sector and occupiers

5 Innovation Support and Growth: Growing innovative companies – good practice session


6 Learning from Oxford: Investment and growth.


11.30 – 12.00


Parallel Session

12.00 – 13.00


7 Environments for Innovation: Build it so they will come? Speculative laboratory buildings

8 Innovation Support and Growth:

Scaling up innovative companies – good practice session


9. Learning from Oxford: The Oxford-Cambridge Arc

Final Plenary



Speaker to be confirmed



Optional Tour: 14.00 -15.00

Tour of JET including control room, remote handling systemsand the JET assembly hall


Free Shuttle Minibus to Didcot Parkway

13.30 – 15.30


Train from Culham to Didcot Parkway

13.17 – Arrives 13.24

Train from Culham to Oxford

13.35 – Arrives 13.44


About Culham Science Centre

Culham Science Centre combines world-class publicly funded research into fusion power; commercial technology organisations and Culham Innovation Centre, to create a powerhouse of high technology innovation and enterprise in South Oxfordshire.

Culham Science Centre, owned and managed by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, is sited in one of the most successful science locations in the country and is a partner in Science Vale UK, along with other public and private sector organisations in the area, to promote southern Oxfordshire as a global hot spot for enterprise and innovation in science, high technology and the application of knowledge.

The conference will include walking tours of:

Tour A: RACE

The UK Atomic Energy Authority is at the forefront of UK robotics at its Remote Applications in Challenging Environments (RACE) research facility at Culham Science Centre. Since opening in 2016, the RACE facility has conducted R&D into the use of robotics in extreme industrial environments where it is difficult to send people to carry out work.

It also supports companies developing their own autonomous systems. RACE is a key centre for implementing the Government’s Robotics & Autonomous Systems strategy, which aims to equip the UK to compete in this emerging global industry.

Tour B: Skills

Located at Culham Science Centre near Abingdon, OAS is a partnership between the UK Atomic Energy Authority and the Science & Technology Facilities Council. The two organisations have a history of apprentice training in science and engineering stretching back more than 70 years. The new centre, opening in September 2019, will be managed by apprentice training partner MTC Apprenticeships.

MTC’s Advanced Engineering apprenticeship helps learners develop the skills needed for delivering the technologies of the future in the high value manufacturing sector.

This tour will provide an early opportunity to look at facilities and activities.

Tour C: Fusion

Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) is the UK's national laboratory for fusion research. CCFE is based at Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire, and is owned and operated by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).

Culham has made many major contributions to international fusion research and development. Today the UK fusion programme is centred on the innovative MAST (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) experiment and employs around 150 people. The programme is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the European Union under the EURATOM treaty.

CCFE hosts the world's largest magnetic fusion experiment, JET (Joint European Torus), on behalf of its European partners. The JET facilities are collectively used by European fusion scientists, co-ordinated by a programme management unit at Culham. JET is situated next to the UK fusion laboratory. Around 500 people are employed at the JET facilities, with around 350 European scientists visiting each year to conduct research, and many from outside Europe.

                     All sessions and speakers are subject to change and amendment



Share this: