Growing UK Technology Specialists Network hosts annual conference

Apr 26, 2024

Almost 200 technical specialists in the higher education and research sector attended the second UK Technology Specialists Network (TSN) annual conference in Bath this month (16, 17 April).

TSN was founded by nine individuals from higher education and research institutes to develop a national group that helps to enhance the skills and knowledge of technology specialists and strengthen institutional expertise.

The two-day event featured talks and workshops on a range of topics impacting Research Technology Professionals (RTPs) focussing on research facilities, methods and career development.

Four UK Research and Innovation research councils contributed to a session about initiatives and opportunities for RTPs and the network hosted a hot topics question and answer session.

Dr Ian Hancox, Co-director for the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy, Director of Research Technology and Technical Strategy for the University of Warwick said:

“This is the second annual conference TSN has hosted, and I’m really pleased to welcome even more people to this year’s event which was fully booked well in advance. This shows a strong appetite from the technology specialist community to share insights, innovation and strengthen network connections.

“The national network continues to grow and recently secured £1.8m from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to provide access to bespoke learning and development opportunities for the RTP community and facilitate knowledge exchange.”

Dr Natalie Homer, Mass Spectrometry Core Manager and Senior Research Fellow in the Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility, University of Edinburgh said:

“This year’s conference includes a breadth of technical-led talks and workshops from peers covering topics such as facility financing, career development and applying for funding.

“There are few events like this which offer such focussed topics for discussion, relevant to the specialist role of our members. There are now over 370 people in the network and I’m confident it will continue to be a valuable community.”

More than 60 different higher education and research institutions were represented at the event which was sponsored by Agenda.Science, Idea Elan, SpectralWorks, Stratocore and ULab.

The national technical network was established in late 2022. It was initially formed as part of the TALENT Programme and is now part of the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy.

The Technology Specialists Network is open to technical professionals working in UK universities and research institutes. Find out more about the network here.