Vince Cable visits Begbroke Science Park

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, visited Begbroke Science Park this month and heard about the need to attract more people to study engineering. He gained an insight into some of the challenges facing Oxfordshire businesses, including recruiting graduates with the right skills and learnt how University innovation is being turned into new business ideas.

The visit included meeting both University scientists and CEOs of companies based at Begbroke, a brief tour of the Park, encompassing the Department of Engineering Science Impact Engineering Laboratory and Robotic Vehicle Laboratory, the Supercomputer, and the world-class Materials Characterisation facilities.

Vince Cable visits Begbroke Science ParkPictured above with The Rt. Hon. Vince Cable MP and Layla Moran, the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats, are (from left to right) Professor Nik Petrinic, Dr Ingmar Posner and Professor Chris Grovenor, Head of the Department of Materials.

Professor Nik Petrinic and Dr Ingmar Posner, from the Department of Engineering Science, demonstrated some of the ways in which engineering science is directly contributing to innovation and growth within the UK.

Throughout the day a range of topics were discussed, including a lively discussion about Government initiatives that help foster science and support the growth of small technology companies. In addition, Dr Cable was keen to understand where the remaining barriers stood and what Government could do to help break through these.

Other topics of the day included the difficulties of financing companies going through the growth phase, skills training at all levels (especially at PhD level) and the maintenance of adequate funding of University infrastructure for applied science and science parks such as Begbroke.