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Forward thinking legacy of innovation leader

* 11 November 2003 *

Forward thinking legacy of innovation leader

More than 200 scholars and researchers from around the world will be discussing the latest developments in innovation at a University of Sussex conference this week.

Minister for Science and Technology Lord Sainsbury is due to be among policy makers attending the first plenary event. The conference is being held in recognition of the lifetime contribution of the late Professor Keith Pavitt.

Dr Virginia Acha is a former student of Professor Pavitt and a member of the conference organising committee. She said: "The conference is one of the leading events for the innovation community this academic year. The distinctive element is the debates, which are in keeping with Keith's tough questioning style. Keith never shied from controversy or from pushing the boundaries of innovative thinking. He was a great teacher who was able to back up apparently outrageous comment with grounded argument. We are continuing in his style by tackling contentious issues in vigorous debate during the three days of the conference."

The event will mark the opening of the new Freeman Centre at the university, which combines the research expertise of SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research) and the University of Brighton's Centre for Innovation in Research Management (CENTRIM).

The conference also follows Professor Pavitt's forward thinking approach by showcasing future talent.

Dr Acha said: "We encouraged participation of younger researchers and at least one third of all papers presented will be authored by junior researchers. Also a poster session will allow some of the most renowned researchers in the field to present their work to junior researchers, rather than the other way around as usually happens. We hope the informal and lively social occasion surrounding the exhibition will make interaction at all levels possible."

Broad themes for discussion by expert panels include industrialisation, policy, management and internationalisation of innovation.

A high demand from attendees has seen all 240 spaces booked in advance. Sponsors include the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Department of Trade and Industry.

The event will run from Thursday 13 November to Saturday 15 November.

* Notes for editors *

Press Office contacts: Jacqui Bealing or Alison Field, University of Sussex,
Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, or


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