Innovation and Industrial Regeneration
The First Lucy Houston Lecture and dinner

Clare College, Cambridge
Wednesday 17 March 2010

Lecturer: Professor Paul Kennedy
Dilworth Professor of History and Director of the Institute for International Strategic Studies, Yale University.
Author of " The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers”
Click here for full Curriculum Vitae
Click here for the text of the lecture
Click here to watch a video of the lecture

Guest of Honour:  Correlli Barnett

Author of the books The Collapse of British Power, The Audit of War, and The Verdict of Peace, famous volumes that chart the decline of Britain from imperial power to post World War II austerity.
Correlli Barnett is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.
Click here for more details

7:00 pm:  Lecture:  The Riley Auditorium, Clare College, Cambridge
8:00 for 8:30 pm: Black Tie Dinner, The Great Hall, Clare College

In March 2010 the SMART winners club for the Eastern Counties held what is expected to be the first of a series of lectures on the theme of Innovation and Industrial Regeneration.

Recognising the need for industry to introduce new products while simultaneously maintaining its existing presence in world markets is infinitely easier to say than to achieve, but not only maintaining our present industrial base but substantially expanding it is now vital to maintain employment, income and national wealth generation.

You can see some pictures of the evening here.

The Smart Awards

Of course, not all fledgling companies can benefit from such serendipity: for most the reality is little or no finance for expansion and a steady if unspectacular existence supporting in the main the larger companies in the field. “Unspectacular” - but these thousands of small firms, technologically innovative and well managed have evolved to form a new and highly resilient layer within the British economy, firms with university – level research yet able to trade on a normal commercial basis.

Much of the output is for export and combined represents a significant proportion of the nation’s total export output. So successful has the “SMART” scheme been that it has been widely copied abroad in a variety of forms. Yet it is not only the innovation and regeneration aspect that is important: many of these firms have reached the landmark of ten years of successful, profitable trading and in a country where over 75% of start up firms fail within the first 18 months this is in itself also a highly creditworthy achievement.

The Lucy Houston Lecture

The lectures will be dedicated to Lady Lucy Houston, who died in 1936, and by way of gifts of large sums of money enabled both the Supermarine company and Rolls Royce to develop new products: Racing Seaplanes, which led to the Spitfire, and Aero engines of the highest performance, a tradition maintained to today.

Initially they were to celebrate many firms in the Eastern Counties reaching such a landmark that the concept for a celebratory lecture and dinner was originally conceived. However between concept – some two years ago - and today much has happened that underlines all the more the role conventional industry must play in our economy.

Because of the way industrial capacity underpins most other facets of a nation we decided to approach Professor Paul Kennedy, of Yale University, author of the seminal book “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers” to be the speaker at the first event and we are delighted that he has accepted our invitation.

The lecture and dinner, to be help on Wednesday 17th March 2010 at the Riley auditorium, Clare College, Cambridge, will also have as its guest of honour Correlli Barnett, author of the books The Collapse of British Power, The Audit of War, and The Verdict of Peace, famous volumes that chart the decline of Britain from imperial power to post World War II austerity.