Europe’s longest-established science festival, the four-day event is a celebration of science and research excellence, offering members of the public the opportunity to hear from experts in a vast landscape of scientific fields.

Held in a different region of the UK each year, Coventry and Warwickshire were chosen as the 2019 hosts, putting the West Midlands’ research expertise under the microscope.

This year’s festival programme was ambitious and necessary, tackling some of the biggest global challenges we are facing.

From managing waste and future heating solutions, to autonomous cars and smart cities, events explored real-world industry issues and looked at how researchers based right at the heart of the West Midlands are developing the leading innovations needed to solve them. 

Take, for example, electric cars.

We know that the technology is achievable and that manufacturers are increasing investment into product development, but what about the wider structural impact of replacing fuel engines with electric vehicles?

This is where Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) – part of the University of Warwick – comes in.

In a talk led by Professor David Greenwood and Dr Melanie Loveridge at the festival, the two experts outlined how WMG is working on accelerating vehicle electrification for the commercial automotive sector.

Investigating charging infrastructure requirements, as well as battery design, composition and recycling, WMG is conducting leading research that will ease the mass transition of the automotive market in the future.

And this was just one of the many talks I attended that showcased the importance of the region’s academic institutions for industry.

As someone that has always been fascinated by science but baffled by the technicalities, this year’s festival was engaging, accessible and fun.

The British Science Association succeeded in bringing the world of scientific discovery to life, proving that science is more than just a subject to be studied in a classroom; it is the essential ingredient for the future, to ensure we can all live in a cleaner, happier and healthier world in the decades to come.

Hollie Christian-Brookes
Communications Executive at West Midlands Growth Company