Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Festival of Tomorrow will return next year

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A science and technology festival that was held for the first time in Swindon in February, will make a return in 2021 – and organisers want local businesses to get involved.

Organisers of Swindon’s Festival of Tomorrow will present a mixture on online and in-school events, together with some small-scale live activities in and around Swindon, when the festival returns in February 2021.

The festival will offer the very latest in science and tech, with engineers and researchers from leading companies, universities and institutions covering everything from the future of food and medicine to the latest on Artificial Intelligence and the fight to tackle climate change.

Organisers are now reaching out to businesses, charities and organisations in Swindon and beyond to get involved. One of the first to sign up is Swindon-based UK Research & Innovation, which brings together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

“We are living in a rapidly changing world,” said Alexis Mannion, public engagement lead at UKRI. “The Festival of Tomorrow gives us the chance to share with our local communities, as well as audiences further afield, the knowledge and innovation which will shape the UK’s choices.

“UKRI supports UK researchers to push the frontiers of human knowledge and understanding so that we can all have the opportunity to shape the future for the better.”

The inaugural festival, held in February this year, was so successful that exhibitor slots were oversubscribed, and advance tickets sold out.

Intel, Oxford University and the Science Museum Group were among the big names that thrilled Swindon’s families with hands-on demonstrations and real-life science and technology.

Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for the town centre, culture and heritage, said: “Swindon's first Festival of Tomorrow was one of the stand-out successes in our approach of trying different ideas and events to engage families with science, technology and innovation.

“Covid has really affected the organisation of large events but the vaccine is the perfect example of science overcoming challenges.

“The Festival of Tomorrow is designed to inspire Swindon's next generation of engineers, scientists, and biologists, and help children and young people develop their knowledge and skills, while having fun.

"The event will also help to highlight the growing number of career opportunities and pathways for young people which are available to them.”