Logistical Information



Howard Theatre
Downing College
Regent Street

Porters' Lodge Tel: 01223 334800
Fax: 01223 363852



Networking and Social Opportunities

Gala Dinner - Tue 25 July

The OpenPlant Forum Gala Dinner will be held at 19:30 in the Main Hall at Downing College. Please note that only those who have registered can attend and only vegetarians will receive the vegetarian option. Tickets for people with special dietary requirements must be collected from the Forum Reception desk.

If you are not a speaker or funded by OpenPlant, please pay the £25 fee for the conference dinner by cash or cheque at the Forum Reception desk by 16:00 on Tue 25 July.


Confit of Duck and Chicken with Pancetta Apricot, Char Grilled Sour Dough
(V) Celeriac Velouté, Black Truffle Focaccia


Fillet of Scottish Salmon Fennel Purée, Crushed Potato, Braised Baby Fennel, Red Amaranth Cress, Lemon Oil
(V) Walnut Gnocchi Pepper ragout, salsify and mushroom soil


Trio of Desserts: Hazelnut and Chocolate Macaron, Madagascar Crème Brûlée, Lime Meringue Pie

Wine will be served at the table and coffee and chocolates will follow in the Grace Howard Room from 21:00. A cash bar will be available until 23:30.

Punting and BBQ - Wed 26 July

The OpenPlant postdocs have arranged a punting trip (16:45) and BBQ (18:00 at the Sainsbury Laboratory in the Botanic Gardens. A taxi/minibus back to Norwich will be provided at 20:00.

Please register here to attend by 21 July. Places are limited.

For those who do not wish to punt, the Botanic Gardens themselves are open until 18:00.

The OpenPlant Hub

A ten-person meeting room is available throughout the conference to be booked in 30 min slots for informal or formal meetings that gather small groups around a particular topic. Sign up for a slot at the Forum Registration Desk.

Conference Facilities


For those being accommodated by OpenPlant, you will be staying in Downing College, Regent Street, Cambridge, CB2 1DQ. Please check-in via the Porters Lodge. Accommodation includes breakfast and wifi is available via eduroam or guest logins obtained from the Porter’s Lodge.

Payment: Nothing is payable on check-out.

Posters and leaflets/literature

Poster boards, tables and velcro pads will be available for those who have registered to bring a poster or would like to put out leaflets/stickers.


UniCam and eduroam networks are available onsite, temporary logins will be issued to visitors on check-in or via the Forum Registration Desk.

Social Media

The OpenPlant Twitter account is @_OpenPlant and we will be tweeting on #OpenPlantForum. The conference will also be on Glisser at http://glsr.it/openplant2017 - view presentations, ask and vote on questions and more.


Access to power sockets will be limited during sessions so we advise that you bring  your electronic equipment fully charged where possible and we will try to provide increased access during breaks and lunch.


Parking is not available onsite without prior arrangement and is very limited in the City Centre.

Contact Us

Dr Jenny Molloy
Department of Plant Sciences
University of Cambridge
Downing Street

Email: synbio@hermes.cam.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1223 766546 (ext 66546)

Conference Urgent Number:  +44 7787 445 330
The Downing College Events Team and Porters Lodge can also help with urgent queries or emergencies.

Getting to Cambridge

By Rail

There are direct services to Cambridge Station from London Kings Cross and London Liverpool Street.  When travelling from the north or west, it is normally necessary to change at Peterborough and/or Ely.

There are frequent bus services from Cambridge Railway Station to the city centre (Drummer Street Bus Station, which is a 5 min walk from Downing College). Taxis are also available at the station and it's around 20 minutes to the venue on foot .

By Coach

National Express long distance coach services terminate at Parkside, on the Northern side of Parkers Piece, as does the Stagecoach X5 service from Oxford via Milton Keynes. Christ's is only a few minutes walk from the terminal.

By Air

There are direct coach services from the four London airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton.  There is also a direct train service from Stansted (which is the nearest of the four London airports).

By Road

Parking in Cambridge city centre car parks can be difficult and is also expensive. There are several Park and Ride sites located outside the city centre with bus connections to Drummer Street Bus Station, a few minutes walk from both Christ’s College and the Department of Plant Sciences. It is recommended that visitors use these facilities whenever possible.  Details of Park and Ride sites,  city centre car parks and parking charges can be found on the City Council's website