Suffolk hopes to become a recognised centre for ICT and digital technologies in industry, with the opening of a £9.6m facility dedicated to research and engineering.
he DigiTech Centre at BT’s Adastral Park in Martlesham, is a joint project between the University of Suffolk and BT.
Its specialist high-tech laboratories provide the base for cutting-edge learning in digital skills, and facilities are open for use by university staff, students and local businesses.
Adastral Park is BT’s global Research and Development centre, playing a pivotal role in telecommunications research such as the commercialisation of single-mode optical fibre and the recent development of the world’s first quantum networks.
BT spokesperson Lisa Perkins said: “This is a major milestone for us at Adastral Park as this new centre will help supply a rich pipeline of new technology talent, which will not only be of huge benefit to BT, but the entire region.
“There is also a growing demand for people with skills in new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science. The courses and scholarships offered through the University of Suffolk will mean that we will have access to students graduating with these key skills right on our doorstep.
University deputy vice-chancellor Professor Mohammad Dastbaz added: “In a rapidly developing technological age, we want the DigiTech Centre to be a state-of-the-art ‘solution centre’ for SMEs and other businesses as well as research and knowledge transfer hub.
“The Centre will have specialist laboratories in AI, Data Science, Network Security and Cyber range and will make Suffolk a recognised destination for industry-focused ICT and Digital Creative study programmes and an internationally recognised destination for continuous professional development in digital technologies.”
The Centre also received funding from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Chair C-J Green said: “Ipswich is recognised as having a vibrant digital creative hub and students at the DigiTech Centre will have the opportunity to become part of the Adastral Park community.”
The facilities span the University’s Waterfront campus in Ipswich and BT’s Adastral Park. Details at uos.ac.uk/digitech