MORE than 2,500 people came to this year's Malvern Festival of Innovation to become the innovators of the future.

The six-day event offered a range of free activities, exhibitions and workshops including an event attended by 800 school pupils aimed at inspiring the next generation.

Different themes were explored each day, including the increasing need for cyber security, the use of robotics and drones in agriculture, and the role of creative design in product development. The business and technology days alne attracted more than 400 business professionals.

There were also keynote talks from industry heavyweights including renowned British designer Sebastian Conran, Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK and Ireland and Mark Stansfeld, chairman of GiffGaff.

Famed British car maker Aston Martin came to Malvern College with a special event aimed at Year 10 to 13 students with an interest in design, technology, physical sciences and engineering.

Dr Bal Choda of the company told the young people about the design process, systems engineering, and innovation that goes into the creation of an Aston Martin sports car.

The weekend programme included a family fun day during which 180 people heard Dr Kate Lancaster explain nuclear fusion and Dr Sam Gregson entertain with a comedic presentation about experimental design and the world of particle physics.

The final day of the festival saw an impressive fleet of current and future electric vehicles on display in Priory Park, with talks explaining the advantages of owning an electric car, organised with the Malvern Hills Electric Automobile Association.

The festival is organised by the social enterprise Innovate Malvern CIC, supported by Malvern Hills District Council and with additional support from numerous sponsors including Cisco, IDS INDATA and QinetiQ.

Dr Adrian Burden, founder and curator of the festival, said: “During the festival it was wonderful to see so many students enthused by science and technology and so many families engaging with hands-on exhibits.

“This is the fourth time the festival has been held and it gets bigger every year and we had speakers come from across the country to showcase new ideas, creativity, advanced technologies and entrepreneurship.”