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Festival of Innovation attracts 2,500 visitors

Malvern Editorial 15th Oct, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

MORE than 2,500 people got a glimpse of the future when they flocked to Malvern’s popular Festival of Innovation extravaganza.

Last week’s six-day event offered a range of free activities, exhibitions and workshops including an event attended by 800 school pupils aimed at inspiring the next generation.

The festival, which was first staged in 2012, focuses on exploring the next technologies of the future.

Different themes were explored each day focusing on the increasing need for cyber security, the use of robotics and drones in agriculture, and the role of creative design in product development. The business and technology days attracted more than 400 business professionals.

There were talks from industry heavyweights including renowned British designer Sebastian Conran, Phil Smith, chief executive of Cisco UK & Ireland and Mark Stansfeld, chairman of GiffGaff.

The weekend programme included a family fun day during which 180 people attended the Family Show to hear Dr Kate Lancaster explain nuclear fusion and Dr Sam Gregson entertain with a comedic presentation about experimental design and the world of particle physics.

The final day of the festival saw an impressive fleet of current and future electric vehicles on display in Priory Park, with talks explaining the advantages of owning an electric car.

Events were held at Malvern Theatres, the Three Counties Showground and Priory Park.

The annual festival is organised by the social enterprise Innovate Malvern CIC, supported by Malvern Hills District Council with additional support from numerous sponsors including Cisco, IDS INDATA and QinetiQ.

Dr Adrian Burden, founder and curator of the festival, said: “During the festival it was wonderful to see so many students enthused by science and technology and so many families engaging with hands-on exhibits.

“This is the fourth time the festival has been held and it gets bigger every year and we had speakers come from across the country to showcase new ideas, creativity, advanced technologies and entrepreneurship.”

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