LEADING academics and technology figures met in Malvern for discussions and fact-finding opportunities.

Beverley Nielsen, director of the Institute for Design & Economic Acceleration at Birmingham City University welcomed Professor Mak Sharma, professor of Computer Science Education at Birmingham City University, to Malvern Hills Science Park on Monday, August 12.

The visit was part of a fact-finding tour of Malvern Hills for Professor Sharma who is leading activity in Birmingham City University as part of the £50m DCMS funded West Midlands’ 5G project, the UK’s first large-scale test-bed, with the visit having been organised by Beverley Nielsen who is keen to establish stronger links between Birmingham, West Midlands and the Malvern Hills technology cluster.

Professor Sharma spent the day visiting Chris Walker, engineering and transformation director - cyber information and training at QinetiQ, Alan White, CEO of Malvern Hills Science Park and Carl Arntzen, CEO of Bosch Thermotechnology.

Professor Sharma said: “The Malvern technology cluster is renowned internationally for 5G technologies, known for digital, cyber and resilience technologies with some impressive sensors capacity.

“As we are focussed on upgrading skills in 5G technologies, we are actively looking to train talent in this new and exciting area. Further money is being made available through the upcoming 5G testbed and trial projects as part of plans to improve mobile connectivity across the UK. So we see plenty of opportunity for collaboration.”

Beverley Nielsen, who is also Liberal Democrat PPC for West Worcestershire, said: "The day was a great success and it was a fantastic opportunity to meet all of the figures involved with the 5G testbed on behalf of Birmingham City University.

"I really want to encourage co-operation with all of the West Midlands universities and with the university want to develop the STEM skills which we have a shortage of.

"We want to retain students with those skills so they don't have to move to London or the South East, they can stay here in beautiful Worcestershire."