LEP supports Festival of Innovation

Mazak ImageThe LEP is pleased to announce its support of Malvern’s Festival of Innovation for the second year running.

The Festival is taking place from 7-9 November and Malvern Theatres will be the focal point for much of the activity. It is being organised by Malvern based business, Key IQ, in association with Malvern Hills District Council and with support from the Institution of Engineering & Technology and the Institute of Physics.

The Festival will this year focus on four themes: cyber security, technology for tourism, engineering & manufacturing and sustainability & environment.   A programme of themed symposia is on offer, featuring speakers from each of these fields.  There will also be an exhibition of 60 entrepreneurial organisations and those that support innovation.

Of particular appeal to those working in one or more of the four themed sectors, the Festival will also be of interest to those starting or growing innovative businesses and to any members of the general public who have an interest in innovation and technology.

The Festival is free of charge, but visitors are asked to register in advance to attend the symposia.

Visitors to the show from outside of our region can take advantage of the ‘Innovation Express’.  This name has been adopted by First Great Western for their early direct train service from London Paddington to Great Malvern for the duration of the Festival.

A separate strand for school children has been developed for pupils in years 6-9.  Malvern College will be the venue for two half day sessions that encourage budding innovators to try out computer aided design and have a go at an engineering challenge.  They’ll also have a hands-on Raspberry Pi session supported by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a registered charity that aims to promote the study of computer science and related topics, particularly at school level.

A second series of workshops for students will be in association with the national organisations e-skills UK and Cyber Security Challenge. Based at the Coach House Theatre, these workshops will allow 12 – 16 year olds to learn about all aspects of cyber security and have a go at writing and cracking codes.

Harriet Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire which includes Malvern, will open a family show on Saturday 9 November to be held at Malvern Theatre.  Entitled ‘Innovative Stuff’, this two part show will feature freelance science commentator and TV presenter, Dr Jonathan Hare, and Professor Mark Miodownik, well known as a broadcaster and writer on science and engineering.  Tickets are priced at £4.95 and available via the Festival website.

Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership has identified cyber security as one of its key industry sectors and is keen to support innovation in the county.   Gary Woodman, Executive Director, says: “Innovation in business is key to the future success of our county.  We are proud to support this fantastic event for the second year running and look forward to hearing about all the technological innovations.”

He continues: “We are also very pleased to support  the work the Festival is doing with schools.  Developing the skills of the next generation is of vital importance, particularly to ensure the future success of our cyber and technological industries. Indeed it is a fundamental part of the work being carried out by the LEP’s Employment & Skills Board”

Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership is a gold sponsor of the event.  The Platinum Sponsor is QinetiQ and the Lead Partner is the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency.  Other sponsors include TextLocal, Bishop Fleming, Santander, Worcestershire County Council,  Parkinson Wright Solicitors, Malvern Instruments, UKTI, Artwork Creative, Malvern College and the Wyche Innovation Centre.