Loughborough University, the University of Derby, Loughborough College and the Derby College Group (DCG) have joined forces on a £13m plan to create the highly advanced workforce needed to lead the digital revolution – otherwise known as Industry 4.0.
The East Midlands IoT would focus on levelling up the critical engineering, manufacturing and digital skills needed by employers to address the grand engineering challenges of clean growth by embracing the advanced skills required for AI and a data-driven economy.
Graduates will be part of a net zero carbon workforce and support the UK’s journey to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Based in the heart of the East Midlands, the IoT's objectives are to:
- Support students by specialising in programmes such as Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies; Information and Communication Technology; Science and Mathematics and Construction, Planning and the built environment;
- Work closely with global powerhouse employers, including Rolls-Royce, Toyota, National Grid ESO, Alstom, Fujitsu, Uniper and Bloc Digital, to ensure programmes level up the workforce with the right skills
- Create an exciting new IoT centre in Loughborough, with students able to access all four sites, including world class training environments in Derby at the University of Derby’s Enterprise Centre and DCG’s Roundhouse technical and professional skills college.
The East Midlands IoT has been selected by the Government to enter the final round of applications to become one of eight new UK IoTs.
Professor Rachel Thomson FREng, pro vice-chancellor for teaching at Loughborough University, said: “We are really excited to be working with our partners - Loughborough College, University of Derby and Derby College Group - and key employers in Leicestershire and Derbyshire to create an outstanding Institute of Technology which will deliver much-needed digital and engineering skills to support industry and business across the region.
"Importantly, the IoT will provide access to the right training and skills development at the point of need to support our local community to have fulfilling careers throughout their working life.”
Jo Maher, principal and CEO at Loughborough College, said: “Reaching the final stage reflects Loughborough College’s proven track record of delivering pioneering STEM programmes which prepare students with the skills for working successfully in Industry 4.0.
“We are so proud to collaborate with such exceptional partners and anchor employers on creating a pathway which will genuinely help accelerate the UK’s journey to net zero carbon economy and provide incredible training and employment opportunities throughout the region.”
The successful applicants will be revealed later this year.