A team of Professional Services staff from across the University have been working in partnership to develop a series of investment and philanthropic opportunities for businesses, high net worth individuals, and the government in Qatar.
The team, being led by colleagues from DARO, Research and Innovation Services and Business Engagement, alongside the University senior team, academics and colleagues in external relations and special collections, have developed a series of pitch books around the Birmingham Qur’an manuscript and the Mingana Collection, and the University’s Life Sciences and Energy Capital offers.
The main driver for this activity is a joint 'Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum' on 27 and 28 March to secure investment across the UK. This will be the biggest business and investment forum ever between the two countries and is led by both governments.
The City of Birmingham will host the second day of the Forum, where UK firms, and the University, will showcase high-profile 'investment-ready' projects. We have secured significant UoB presence at the conference (the only University to have our own exhibition space) including three showcases covering Life Science, Energy Capital, and a digital exhibition of the Birmingham Qur’an. The Vice-Chancellor will also deliver a key note speech to conference to open the Education breakout session. In addition the VC and Sue Worrall will host an exclusive private viewing of the Birmingham Qur’an for UK and Qatari VVIPs.
The event will bring together ministers and senior government representatives from Qatar and the UK including the International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox and the Minister of Finance His Excellency Ali Shareef Al-Emadi. Hundreds of high-profile businesses executives, council leaders and academics are also expected to attend across the two days.
The Forum will culminate in a formal dinner at the Town Hall on 28 March, which the University is sponsoring. There will be live music performances from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
The University has also been working with colleagues at Marketing Birmingham and the City Council on a post-event programme which will be delivered for a smaller Qatari delegation on 29 March to showcase the University’s Life Sciences offer to potential investors.
This project has been a real cross-cutting effort from colleagues across the University. It is the first project of its kind that the University has embarked on and is a testament to the collective strength of the Professional Services teams involved in the delivery, particularly given the challenges faced in managing and influencing the large number of external stakeholders involved.