A new festival is being held this Saturday to highlight the wealth of technical innovation, knowledge and skills in Birmingham.
Birmingham City University is holding the first ever Birmingham Techfest at Millennium Point on Saturday 25 June, 10am-4pm. The festival will incorporate the UK Micromouse Championship, which has been hosted by the university for the past eight years.
UK Micromouse involves contestants racing robotic ‘mice’ around mazes. It has grown to include a wide range of robotic activities other than the maze-solving competition, such as a schools’ competition and mini-sumo - in which contenders seek out their opponents and then ‘push them out of the ring’ - and robot football.
In addition the Techfest will showcase the activities of the university’s Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment amongst others, with displays of students’ work, cutting-edge research and demonstrations.
“We wanted to help put Birmingham and the West Midlands on the technology and innovation map, where it truly belongs,” says the faculty's associate dean Dr Peter Rayson. “I think that the second city is often overlooked and that we have a lot to shout about; the region is home to Jaguar Land Rover – a business built around two great British car brands - and we have a thriving computer games industry on our doorstep.
“The university itself works with leading global technology companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Cisco, is researching the use of algae to create an alternative fuel and is collaborating with East Ends Foods Ltd to develop an urban farm on the site of the iconic former HP Sauce factory.
“We felt that many people may not realise what the region, and university, has to offer so we decided to hold Birmingham Techfest to highlight our achievements.”