The International Centre for Life opened in 2000, born out of an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to creating a self-sustaining science village
Life is unique - an independent and self-funding charitable trust with a robust business plan that eliminates reliance on public funding for its operating costs. Almost 600 people from 35 countries work here: researchers, doctors and nurses work alongside people in the fields of education, public engagement and business.
At the heart of the science village is the Life Science Centre, which attracts around 250,000 visitors annually and is the largest provider of schools science workshops in Europe
The team at Life can help your company, centre, museum or attraction in the following areas:
Funding and tendering processes
Over two decades the Life team has successfully raised around £65 million from a variety of sources, including over £9 million in the last decade for education, public engagement and capital projects. Life is familiar with the grant application processes for most of the major Trusts and Foundations, and can assist with the development of proposals from the initial creative concept to the initial or full application stage. Life can even provide support for live presentations. When you are successful, Life can advise on how your resources are allocated, potential contractors for capital or engagement projects and appropriate models for contracting goods, works and services that will enable you to achieve your aims without being restricted by inappropriate regulation.
Researching, designing and building interactive exhibitions and spaces
The team at Life has many decades of collective experience in the development of interactive exhibitions and other learning spaces. Life can help you to develop concepts for new spaces, or refine wild ambitions into deliverable projects. With fifteen years of operating experience (plus experience gained in other institutions), Life can help you achieve a reliable installation that is as effective in future years as on opening day. Life can also help you to work out what sort of exhibits and activities suit your circumstances and operational capacity, as well as your visitors’ ambitions. Where others might rashly promise "maintenance-free" interactive exhibits, Life will help you uncover the level of maintenance commitment that you can comfortably live with. Life can also help you to build your own internal capacity to develop and deliver interactive exhibitions in the future so that a single project can leave a stronger institutional legacy.
Life’s technical team has extensive experience in the installation and dismantling of complex, sophisticated touring exhibitions - including infrastructure, electrics, pneumatics and lighting displays (including DMX controls.) The team can also share its expertise on specialist 4D motion ride programming and maintenance and creation of soundtracks for exhibitions and events. The team also constructs and maintains an annual open air ice rink.
The science of science communication
You may be interested in engaging with the public, and have dipped your toes into the world of science communication, but do you know about the theory underpinning contemporary best practice? Do you know the history of science communication, or the ideas that have influenced practitioners over the decades? Life, with Northumbria University, has developed an MSc programme for aspiring science communicators. Life can offer more tailored training with a theoretical as well as a practical element so that you can understand why as well as how to engage the public.
Developing and performing theatre and planetarium shows
Life has a long track record of creating and developing both science theatre and planetarium shows with its highly skilled in-house public engagement team. Life can train your staff to write and/or perform science shows and other face to face engagement activities, and help them learn how to train other staff to deliver these activities at your institution. Life is home to Britain’s most popular planetarium and the team has extensive experience in programming shows in-house, with particular expertise in Digistar. Life can also assist in training your staff in writing and presenting shows.
Life is the largest provider of schools science workshops in any European museum or science centre, providing over 40,000 educational experiences to school students every year. Life offers curriculum enrichment and enhancement by providing access to expertise that is not normally available in schools. The education team can help you devise and implement strategies for successful learning from early years through to A level. Life also offers CPD for teachers.
Once your science centre, museum or attraction is open, you face the challenge of keeping it fresh every day, engaging effectively with every visitor and providing a high quality experience day after day. With 15 years of operation and staff with experience of delivering successful experiences in some of the UK’s leading museums and science centres, Life can help you meet this challenge.
Marketing and communications
The experienced team at Life can help you devise marketing and communication plans that are deliverable, quantifiable and get results. Areas of specialism include: brand management; marketing strategy and planning; media relations; digital communications including social media and print management.
The Life business model is unique. Commercial activities have been developed which are complementary with the mission whilst providing valuable revenue streams. The team at Life has many decades of collective experience and can help you to develop and deliver successful plans covering:
- Property rental and management
- On site catering for weddings, conferences and events
- Visitor cafes
- On site retail spaces
- Cleaning services
- Outdoor space hire for events and organisational, technical and marketing support
- Event management
- Building and managing an annual outdoor ice rink
For more information, or to discuss your requirements, contact Julia Hankin.