Press release -
Great Malvern to become the home of innovation during annual technology festival
Great Malvern station will become ‘The Innovation Station’ next week, as part of this year’s Malvern Festival of Innovation.
West Midlands Railway is an official travel partner for this year’s celebration, with visitors encouraged to use regular ‘innovation shuttles’ to and from the event.
The annual science and technology festival, which is now in its seventh year, and will be opening its doors from 8 – 13 October.
This year’s event will open with a talk about robotics from Dr Edmund Hunt, who will be looking at the question of what we can learn about swarms from nature. During the week, other topics covered will include the rise of smart cities, the promise of quantum computing, the challenge of cyber security and the opportunities for bitcoin and blockchains.
Jeff Lynn, the co-founder of equity crowd-funding platform Seedrs will also speak about his experience as an entrepreneur during the popular ‘Startup Stories’ evening.
The Festival also aims to inspire the next generation of innovators, and will be hosting events for schools from around the region during the week. There will also be an exciting family day taking place on Saturday 13 October.
Steven Fisher, head of on-board experience for West Midlands Railway said, “Innovation is central to the future of the rail industry. We are making £1bn worth of investment into providing new trains and improved stations. New ideas and technologies are an essential part of delivering these improvements and festivals like this are an exciting part of building up the next generation of innovators.”
Adrian Burden, founder and curator of the Malvern Festival of Innovation said, “We need to encourage people from around the country to think creatively and come up with new ideas for compelling products and services. We are really pleased that West Midlands Railway are helping us to bring visitors from around our region on their Innovation Shuttles and inviting them to alight at the Innovation Station."
For more information and to book train tickets visit westmidlandsrailway.co.uk/innovationstation
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About Malvern Festival of Innovation
Dr Adrian Burden, a serial entrepreneur and technologist, founded the Malvern Festival of Innovation in 2012. The aim was to establish the Festival as a vibrant internationally-recognised annual event for Great Malvern.
In the first year, the Festival ran for two days and included talks from Prof Peter Dobson, Luke Johnson and Charles Morgan alongside an exhibition of about 50 companies. In 2013 the Festival grew to include a Family Show featuring Dr Jonathan Hare and Prof Mark Miodownik, and a pilot schools outreach event in Malvern College. In 2014 and 2015, the festival included much larger schools outreach events, attracting about 400 and 800 students respectively.
More recent speakers have included Prof Marcus du Sautoy, author Brian Clegg, explorer Newall Hunter, and technologist Lucy Rogers. In 2018, the Festival spans a week of events for schools, business professionals, entrepreneurs, policy makers and families.
More details can be found at https://www.festival-innovation.com/
About West Midlands Trains
West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com
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