A few weeks ago I received a rather exciting email. I’d been asked by the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to meet the Secretary for State for Business and Enterprise, Mark Prisk MP and brief him on the work of the United Kingdom Electronics Skills Foundation. Naturally this was something I couldn’t refuse, even though it was scheduled for the morning before our major Master’s Group Design Project was due in.
I had to be at the Department in London by 10am, which meant a very early morning and a frantic last-minute dash to ensure I reached the bus in time. I made it though and stepped out of the train station directly underneath Big Ben. I’ve been there loads of times before, but there’s still something magical about setting foot in the Capital and seeing all the main sights: the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, the Thames, etc.
A few minutes later I arrived at the venue and after being briefed on the protocol for the day took the time to speak to some of the companies present. The event was designed to showcase all that is good in British electronics and as such there were some big companies present. For me, the highlight of this was the Imagination Technologies stall who were featuring two of the latest Android smartphones (Motorola Razor and Google Nexus) and also one of the only Kindle Fire’s (Amazon’s new tablet) in the UK, all of which feature their graphics core IP. I played with some tech demos on them and they were very impressive to say the least.
Next, it was time for the main event. Despite all the big names present, amazingly I was first on the list to speak to the Minister, because, and I quote, “he wants to make sure he has time to speak to you, so you’re first in case we run over and he has to leave”. Wow. As it was our meeting probably lasted about 5 minutes or so, but it flashed by in a second. I told him about what I’ve had the chance to do in industry and at University, and about the UKESF scheme and how it has benefited me. Hopefully this will help the UKESF to move on to help many more students in the future. It certainly sounds like it has full support right to the very top of Government.
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