22nd November 2013

GeoVation launches New challenge at the Malvern Festival of Innovation

Jonathan Field

The Malvern Festival of Innovation is a great way to discover what the future holds, to see how others are innovating – and it was the perfect opportunity for us to launch our new GeoVation Challenge: “How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain ?”which is all about encouraging us all to get active in Britain’s open spaces; Dr Adrian Burden of Key IQ Ltd, one of the festival organisers, said: ‘[GeoVation] only do three per year, so it was significant to have this launch at the festival’.

The festival was started in 2012 by Dr Emma Philpott and Dr Adrian Burden to showcase the town’s rich scientific history and has fast become a forward-thinking exhibition, conference and networking event, spread across three days with an exciting programme of speakers, themed seminar features and exhibitors from sectors including engineering, environment and tourism.

There were some exciting presentations from speakers such as Clive Beale, Director of Educational Development at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, who also donated 100 Raspberry pi starter kits to each student who took part in the Next Gen Innovators workshop. Ian Glover gave an enthusiastic presentation on the Bloodhound Supersonic Car 1K Club, whose team hope to break the land speed record (currently set at 763 mph), and showed exciting film footage of the car in action. Also presenting was our very own Chris Parker, talking to an inspired audience about GeoVation and our new Challenge.

Exhibitors included The Virtual Experience Company who have recently used our OS OpenData product OS Terrain 50 and produced a stunning 3D virtual world of Malvern and the surrounding area.

Technology Strategy Board (TSB) were one of the sponsoring exhibitors. They have not only championed GeoVation, but have also helped one of our GeoVation Challenge winners, MyTourTalk who won £40,000 funding in our Wales Coast Path challenge and have now gone international with their tourism app. TSB’s SBRI initiative provides businesses with public sector procurement contracts to research and develop new products and services through addressing public sector challenges.

West Worcestershire MP Harriet Baldwin

West Worcestershire MP Harriet Baldwin

Saturday saw West Worcestershire MP Harriet Baldwin visit the festival, where more than 100 families attended the family day to encourage more young people to take an interest in science. Harriet visited our stand and took a keen interest in GeoVation and especially our newly launched challenge. Harriet commented, “Malvern has been at the heart of research and development for many decades and inventions like radar and the LCD were developed in Malvern.

The Festival is a great way of celebrating Malvern’s brilliant brains and I am delighted that this family day has been added to the programme to inspire the next generation of inventors.

Businesses are all on the look-out for good scientists, engineers and mathematicians so events such as this are very valuable for young people who are thinking about what to study.”

Thanks to everyone who visited our stand over the event, and we hope we provided an insight into GeoVation and inspired you to submit your ideas to our current challenge