7th October 2023

Great Malvern, UK

12th Edition



Schools Outreach

Tuesday 6th October 2020 (morning)

 Virtual event

A session showcasing creative science, technology, and entrepreneurship for middle and senior school students (Years 7 to 9) from around the region.

We broadcasted this live on Zoom and Facebook.





Dr Adrian Burden, Festival Founder introduced the session and hosted our guests. [Watch]




New kids on the blockchain

What is money, and how can a digital currency be made that prevents a person spending the same money twice with different people? This talk will explain the use of blockchain, the rise of bitcoin, and a number of other crypto-currencies. All being well, Tom will also transfer some money live from his digital wallet to host Adrian to demonstrate how it works. [Watch]

Tom Alcott, Founding CEO of BlockMark Technologies Ltd

Tom is a seasoned entrepreneur who has previously created a number of start-ups including The Social Network Company (social network analytics software analysing bank social capital risk), the international water charity FRANK Water funding 300+ villages in India, and spice specialist Peppermongers, involving global supply chains. BlockMark Technologies develops advanced blockchain applications and is one of the companies in the current cohort in Worcestershire's tech accelerator BetaDen.





Creating social impact through design

Janina will share with you her experiences and insights into her journey as a creative and business owner. From her first logo design for a science start-up to designing a report for a global Think-Tank, she will share some of her key learnings and skills that she has developed. [Watch]

Janina Neumann, Owner of Janina Neumann Design

Janina is a bilingual graphic designer, intercultural management trainer, and business owner of Janina Neumann Design. After completing her university degree in 2016, Janina set-up her design business with a mission of “design for social change”. Janina Neumann Design is a bilingual design company, helping clients create a social impact in the UK and abroad. The bilingual focus ensures clients can communicate their message equally effectively across different languages and cultures. Another key focus is diversity management, where JND helps organisations integrate business practices across cultures; from communication and organisation to leadership and etiquette.



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Extreme Robotics Laboratory, University of Birmingham

Take a look inside this state-of-the-art robotics research lab as we go on a live guided tour courtesy of the team at the University of Birmingham. This lab has developed state-of-the-art algorithms and control methods for autonomous robots used in nuclear sites and other tough environments. [Watch]

Their research centres around artificial intelligence (AI) controlled systems, vision-guidance, advanced manipulation of materials and processing materials with advanced laser cutting tools.

@unibirmingham, @metmat_unibham


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Laboratory Tour, Malvern Panalytical Ltd

We're fortunate to have a world-leading materials characterisation company on our doorstep in Malvern, and today they have kindly agreed to take us behind the scenes to one of their R&D laboratories to show you what it is like to work in this high technology field. They will also demonstrate some of the equipment they design and develop before it is exported around the world. [Watch]





Innovation comes out of creativity! 

Creativity leads to optimism and solutions-focused thinking. Having a positive mindset can lead to positive results. By looking at change as an opportunity to learn a new skill or achieve a new goal, it can help build your resilience, adaptability and overall well being.

Facing your fears and moving out of your comfort zone is one fantastic way of growing your personal development. Not all journeys will be easy but by looking at the smaller wins and celebrating and learning from them, will aid to future success. 

Whatever your goals in life, be it your future career, your physical and mental health or your dreams remember that every success starts with an idea and ideas come from creativity. [Watch]

Marie Jenkins, Owner of Advance Your Wellbeing

Marie Jenkins started her business Advance your Wellbeing back in Feb 2015, following a significant time in her life when she had poor mental health. Her whole business mission is to try and help prevent the same thing happening to others and to maximise peoples potential through interpersonal skills training.

Marie completed her degree in Entrepreneurship / Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Worcester in 2019, and she is currently an Enterprise Advisor at The Careers and Enterprise Company.




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Discover cyber security

You might not have considered a career in cyber security before, but you definitely should. Not only is it one of the most well-paid, in-demand sectors around, but it also offers young people the chance to forge a career doing something that matters. In this talk you'll about the different kinds of cyber attacks and how cyber professionals protect us against these threats. [Watch]

Emma Kirby, Schools Engagement Manager at SANS Institute

Emma currently works on the Cyber Discovery initiative, HM Government's Cyber Schools Programme which is an extracurricular learning programme for students aged 13-18 across the UK. It is designed to introduce students to cyber security and be an effective and fun way to master technical skills and security concepts, act as a gateway to the industry, and help students improve their digital skills!

Previously Emma worked as Project Lead at the Birmingham Education Partnership. She has a Philosophy degree from the University of the West of England.




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HydroFlex – The UK’s First Mainline Hydrogen Powered Train, Institution of Mechanical Engineers & University of Birmingham

We'll be joined by Kevin Blacktop and Stuart Hillmansen from the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education. They will explain how the new hydrogen-powered train is being tested and developed with a view to creating a sustainable mass-transport system for the future. [Watch]

@IMechE, @IMechE_Worcs, @unibirmingham



From microbiology to educational computer gaming

We'll chat to Dr Carla Brown about her career to date, and how she trained as a microbiologist yet now leads an educational computer-gaming startup in Scotland, having also worked in the US for a spell. This will be an opportunity to hear about Carla's experiences as both a scientist and an entrepreneur, and to see what she is working on right now to help educate teenagers about COVID-19. [Watch]

Dr Carla Brown, Science Director & Founder of Game Doctor

Carla has a degree in microbiology from the University of Dundee and a PhD in the area of novel antibiotics from the University of Glasgow. She then worked on an interactive educational exhibit for health at Queen Mary University London before spending time as a research scientist at Drexel University College of Medicine in the US. There she undertook formal research on the effectiveness of digital games for science learning in higher education. On returning to the UK, Carla worked for Public Health England as Project Manager of the e-Bug health education project. In 2015, she founded Game Doctor to develop games and interactive technology for science and health education. She was listed in the Forbes 30 under 30, 2017.

@Sci_Game_Girl, @GameDrLtd



Laboratory Tour of the nanoESCA analysis laboratory at the School of Physics, University of Bristol.

Surface science and materials analysis requires sophisticated and expensive equipment operating under vacuum and with high resolution. We'll find out more about the state-of-the-art facility at the University of Bristol and see what samples they are researching and why. [Watch]





A visit to Singapore - materials research facilities the other side of the world! 

The Institute of Materials Research & Engineering (IMRE), one of Singapore's national scientific research facilities under the Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), has well equipped science laboratories and undertakes cutting-edge research in areas that include materials analysis, characterisation, design & growth, patterning, fabrication, synthesis and integration. [Watch]

Dr Janaki Shanmugam, Scientist I at IMRE

Janaki uses her expertise in Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and related techniques to provide materials characterisation and failure analysis for in-house projects as well as industry services at IMRE. She is also Vice President (SERC) of the A*STAR Postdoc and Early Career Scientist Society. Janaki has a BEng from the National University of Singapore and a DPhil (PhD) in Germanium-Antimony-Tellurium materials from the University of Oxford.

@Astarhq, @astar_research




At this time...


Biology Week 2020

Running from 3rd-11th October, Biology Week showcases the important and amazing world of the biosciences, getting everyone from children to professional biologists involved in fun and interesting life science activities.


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National Boffin Day

Tuesday, 6th October 2020 is National Boffin Day. It is reported that a group of brilliant scientists who performed their wonders in radar development in Malvern during the Second World War referred to themselves as ‘the boffins’. It’s a day when we can all join together to celebrate intelligence, innovation and creativity in all its forms.



International Year of Plant Health

The United Nations has declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The year is a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.


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World Space Week

World Space Week is an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition. The United Nations General Assembly declared in 1999 that World Space Week will be held each year from October 4-10. We'll also feature some space-themed activities and exhibits in the Festival programme.

@WorldSpaceWeek, @WSW_UK


European Cyber Security Month

ECSM is the EU’s annual advocacy campaign that takes place in October and aims to raise awareness of cyber security threats, promote cyber security among citizens and provide up to date security information, through education and sharing of good practices. We'll be featuring some cyber security exhibitors and workshops during the day.

@CyberSecMonth, #CyberSecMonth


2020 Festival Sponsors & Supporters