David Willetts MP, the new Minister of State for Universities and Science at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has chosen the University of Birmingham as the location to deliver his first keynote speech since being appointed to the cabinet, today at 12 noon.

Prior to the keynote speech, the Minister will travel in one of the University’s hydrogen powered cars to visit the School of Chemical Engineering's Centre for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research, and also meet key people from Birmingham Science City.

Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, said: “The University of Birmingham prides itself as being a major institution where the key issues of the day are shaped and debated. I am delighted that David Willetts has chosen the University of Birmingham as the venue to deliver his first keynote speech in his new role as Minister for Universities and Science. This is a prime opportunity for the University to begin to engage with the new Government and to hear about developing education policy.'

Willetts who was born in Birmingham and attended King Edwards School, has two family connections with the University of Birmingham: his father graduated with two engineering degrees – civil and mechanical – in the 1940s; and his great grandfather was one of the glaziers who worked on the Great Hall’s spectacular stained glass window. David Willetts will go and see the window after his keynote address.