The Joint ACC / CMGS Genetics Spring Conference 2012 will take place at the International Convention Centre, one of Europe's leading conference and events venues situated in the heart of the city centre. Over 200,000 conferences and 320 exhibitions are hosted in the city every year bringing great minds together. Birmingham is an energetic city and the power of collaboration is behind some of it's biggest achievements. In the 18th century, the eminent scientists, inventors and natural philosophers Erasmus Darwin, Matthew Boulton, James Watt, Joseph Priestley and Josiah Wedgwood would gather in Birmingham and engage in intellectual debates - their conversations were the brainpower behind the Industrial Revolution. Pioneered by this esteemed group of Birmingham industrial glitterati, The Lunar Society still exists today and their dynamic spirit for collaboration can be felt across the city. Scientists and medics still enthusiastically work together in the same way that Watt and co. did in the 18th century, and Birmingham is a real hub for medical technology, with world class clinics and research facilities.
The diversity of the city's residents brings a rich cultural mix to Birmingham, with 30% of residents of minority ethnic origin. Birmingham's people have a passion for expressing themselves in many forms - from film to dance, art to architecture – Birmingham's independent arts scene thrives on its diversity. Among the city's many other attractions are: The Jewellery Quarter – the largest jewellery-making centre in Europe; museums and art galleries and more parks, open spaces and canals than any other European city. If you have passion for shopping, Birmingham has a plethora of designer stores – such as Harvey Nichols and the iconic Selfridges. Birmingham has recently been nominated one of the top 20 destinations to visit in 2012 by the New York Times, on the basis of its growing culinary reputation. In addition to Birmingham's famous 'Balti Triangle' curry district, it also boasts three Michelin-starred restaurants. Purnell's, a 15 minute walk from the ICC, was awarded it's Michelin star in 2009 and was recently named AA Restaurant of the Year. (The other two, Turner's and Simpson's, are both within a 2 mile radius of the West Midlands Regional Genetics Lab!).
The ICC is renowned for being a light and spacious venue, and contained within is the prestigious Symphony Hall. The ICC strives to be green with energy generated by a district based combined heat and power plant which helps to minimise the carbon footprint, along with energy saving sensors, switch off procedures and eco-friendly purchasing. The ICC also features a green roof: a unique pilot scheme which is turning an otherwise bare, flat area into a thriving eco-system.