Attracting private sector investment to science parks is the main theme of a special high-tech conference on February 9 and 10 at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.

Carter Jonas is co-hosting the conference, Investing in the UK's Innovation Infrastructure, with Oxford Innovation and the UK Science Park Association.

Nick Hood, head of technology at Carter Jonas, said: “In these difficult economic times technology is the growth engine for the economy.

“Technology businesses need accommodation. Science and innovation parks are well placed to provide it, facilitating the formation and growth of knowledge-based business.

“The need to generate finance for this market is creating a climate of investment opportunity for the private sector.”

The conference will examine the interests of public and private sector developers and investors — including pension funds, local authorities, universities and research organisations — to demonstrate how innovation centres, science parks and enterprise hubs are evolving.

It will review the requirements of investors and science park operators to consider how best to attract investment, while meeting the objectives of business growth.

Speakers will include include Professor Steven Cowley, chief executive of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, David Way, director of knowledge transfer at the Technology Strategy Board, and David Hardman, managing director, Birmingham Science Park Aston.

The conference is aimed at those looking to diversify their investment portfolio, while making a return from the development and promotion of the knowledge-based economy through the provision and management of specialist premises and initiatives.

Conference package rates range from £40 (dinner only) to £150 for the two-day event, plus the conference dinner.

There are early bird discounts for delegates booking before December 31.

o For more information and booking details, see the website and search for technology conference.