Vince CableThe Rt Hon Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, is to speak at a pioneering new expo in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, that will bring together leading figures from industry and research to showcase British innovation in the low-carbon automotive and motor sports sectors.

Cable will deliver a keynote speech at the Qualcomm Halo Sustainable Moto Expo 2012, which takes place in the town on 8th and 9th September. The new expo will also feature a presentation by Iain Gray, Chief Executive Officer of the Technology Strategy Board, the government agency that provides funding support to encourage UK industry to work with British Universities on collaborative innovation projects to drive business growth.

A report1 published in September 2011 by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers called for the industry to attract more young people – and more females. The report stated that innovation has always been the path to creating value and acknowledged that skill shortages can affect businesses’ ability to innovate and grow. Cheltenham’s Sustainable Moto Expo aims to show how these skills can meet our future needs while inspiring young people to move towards a career in engineering.

Educational partners for the expo include leaders in energy-efficient engineering including Oxford Brookes University, the University of Oxford and TheGreenpower Education Trust, all of whom will be demonstrating low-carbon vehicles at the event. The expo is set to inspire young engineers with fun events such as a ‘Pitstop Challenge’ and a display of futuristic low-carbon vehicles. “We’re making mechanical engineering interesting and exploring the future,” says Events Director Pete Allison.  “And we’re bringing some very exciting people to Cheltenham.”

The Qualcomm Halo Sustainable Moto Expo 2012 is a taster for a regulated low-carbon street race planned for next year in Cheltenham. This will be the forerunner of the groundbreaking full-performance low-carbon Cheltenham Street Race, planned for 2015 when legislation will provide for street racing. That event will see the streets of the Regency town transformed into a race circuit as low-carbon emission cars compete to push the boundaries of speed and green technology.