A battle is developing over the UK's planned nano-technology centre.
The West Midlands, which has considerable expertise in the science, is bidding strongly to bring it to the region.
But Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt has told The Birmingham Post that no decision has yet been taken on the multi-million pound project.
The betting had been that the West Midlands bid would probably opt for Longbridge where a major part of the Rover site is being redeveloped.
But Mrs Hewitt revealed that Malvern had also thrown its hat into the ring.
Both are on the planned A38 technology corridor which regional development agency Advantage West Midlands is keen to foster.
Mrs Hewitt was touring Malvern Science Park on Wednesday and came away seriously impressed.
A host of specialist firms are sited in Malvern, centred on Qinetic, the high tech group spun out of the Ministry of Defence.
It already has a fabrication facility, or silicone foundry, as it is known.
And during the visit Mrs Hewitt was lobbied to bring the nano-technology fabrication centre to the town.
The West Midlands is up against Cambridge - an established technology player - for the centre and alternatives in Scotland, Wales, the South-west and South-east, but Mrs Hewitt offered some much welcome encouragement.
She said: "There are some good candidates from the West Midlands."
Nano- technology is often described as the science of small things, and pundits, including Mrs Hewitt, believe it represents the future.
She predicted that it would "transform manufacturing".
And she added: "It will create products that nobody has even thought of."
Mrs Hewitt said such technologies were the future for manufacturing where innovation, high added value and turning science and ideas into products were fundamental.
Nano-technology involves the use of sensors and can have applications across the board - in medicine, automotive, environ-mental, aerospace, food and drink, and many others.
Mike Thompson, development strategist for AWM, confirmed that the A38 corridor was the preferred location for the West Midlands bid.
But he said the agency was still looking at a number of sites, exploring things like access and what necessity there might be for remedial work, so the project, which would be on the scale of a silicone-chip plant, could be delivered as smoothly as possible.
Mr Thompson said it would be "a considerable boost for mainstream manufacturing" if the scheme came to the West Midlands."
Beside Qinetic, there is significant expertise in nanotechnology at Birmingham, Warwick, Aston and Coventry universities.