HETS 2021: Largest UK Conference for Technicians

The UK’s biggest ever conference for technicians in Higher Education and research will be taking place in Nottingham on 10th November 2021. The UK Higher Education Technicians Summit (HETS) is dedicated to sharing best practice amongst technical staff working in higher education and research in the UK and Ireland.

As a highly skilled workforce, around 30,000 technicians currently underpin research, teaching, knowledge transfer and innovation at UK universities, and many are researchers and educators in their own right, teaching and training students and researchers at every level.

HETS 2021 is being held at the East Midlands Conference Centre at the University of Nottingham, and is sponsored by Midlands Innovation in partnership with the Science Council.

Recognising technical excellence

The 2021 summit will be the largest event held specifically for UK and Ireland higher education and research technical staff, building on the success of three previous summits held at Birmingham in 2019, Warwick in 2017, and in Nottingham in 2015.

The conference is structured around a range of “hot topics” and will also discuss broader issues around technical skills and education, including the importance of technicians in driving forward innovation, and the latest initiatives to ensure the future provision of technical education to young people.

HETS will once again be recognising technical excellence in academia through the awarding of the national ‘Papin Prizes’. To reflect the depth and breadth of technical roles in universities and research institutes, the Papin Prizes will be awarded to technicians in a range of categories, including teaching, research, infrastructure, outreach and more.

Dr Helen Turner, Director of Midlands Innovation, which sponsors HETS, said:

“The roles that technicians do, usually behind the scenes, are vital in ensuring the success of our universities and research institutes, providing academic, research and student colleagues with the essential technical expertise that they need to enable their research and teaching.

“HETS is an opportunity to celebrate the work of technicians, while also helping to develop their skills, and giving them the opportunity to network with each other, making invaluable new contacts in the technician community.”

Leading the way in technician development

Midlands Innovation is leading the way in the development of Higher Education technicians in the UK. It recently secured funding from Research England and partners for a programme called TALENT, the largest ever investment into technicians in universities, whose specialist skills often go unrecognised despite the crucial role they play in the success of universities and the growth of the UK economy.

Kelly Vere, Higher Education Engagement Manager at the Science Council, who leads Midlands Innovation’s programmes for the technical community, added:

“I am delighted that we are able to confirm the fourth UK Higher Education Technicians Summit in June 2021. I know it’s an event that colleagues value and enjoy. Through initiatives like HETS and also the recently announced TALENT programme, we are ensuring increased professional development opportunities for technical colleagues across the region, the wider UK and beyond”.

Find out more about HETS and register here.




De Vere East Midlands Conference Centre, Beeston Ln, Nottingham NG7 2RJ



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