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Business world rushes to back popular Festival of Tomorrow

Swindon’s popular Festival of Tomorrow will be returning in February, and businesses and organisations have rushed to support the initiative.

Swindon-based government agency the UK Research and Innovation is the headline sponsor, while Business West, Catalent, GEL Studios, New Elements, The James Dyson Foundation, and the Swindon-based UK Space Agency are major partners.

The festival will be held at the Deanery Academy in Swindon on February 17 and 18 and is free to attend for under 18s.

This year’s highlights include the Future You zone, supported by Swindon-based Catalent, which will delve into the latest in health and medicine and look to the future on how we can get the most from our bodies.

Gastronaut Stefan Gates will bring his brand-explosive new show, Rude Science, that reveals everything you always wanted to know about the revolting (but vital) science that no one ever talks about.

The festival will explore How to Live on Mars!, with a panel supported by the UK Space Agency. Astronomer and author, Dr Colin Stuart will take the audience on a journey to the Red Planet to witness the majesty of a Martian sunset.

Business West is sponsoring a National Trust and RSPB panel on Wild Isles and People’s Plan for Nature. The Science of Sport, sponsored by Catalent, will feature a former rugby international and some cutting brain scanning kit being trialled in the UK to monitor sports concussions.

Prof Dame Ottoline Leyser, CEO of UK Research and Innovation will be there to explore the future of UK science and research, and Science Museum curator Dr Laura Humphreys will update the latest from the National Collections Centre project and reveal some of the weirder objects they’ve uncovered in Ducks in Space.

Rod Hebden, director of Festival of Tomorrow, said: “I am so excited that the Festival is back for another year, with even more spectacular shows, hands-on workshops and incredible exhibitors. The support from our sponsors and the enthusiasm of everyone who takes part is inspiring, and we’re looking forward to including even more art this year, thanks to support from the Arts Council.

“Since 2020, we’ve wowed over 20,000 visitors and over 100,000 pairs of eyes have interacted with our displays, art installations, exhibitors and shows. We look forward to welcoming ever more visitors this year and keep inspiring the next generation of young minds.”

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