BT opens digital research centre with University of Suffolk

UK operator group BT has opened up a new £10 million research and engineering facility at its Adastral Park campus.

The DigiTech Centre is designed as somewhere students, academic professionals and businesses can use to develop their digital skills with a view at pursuing an ICT career. It apparently cost £9.6 million to make and it’s not clear how much each of the stakeholders chipped in. It seems to be affiliated to the University of Suffolk, thus creating the opportunity for a bunch of telecoms-specific qualifications.

“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 a research and knowledge transfer hub,” said Professor Mohammad Dastbaz, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Suffolk.

“The Centre will have state of the art 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. This new initiative will play an important role in our region and nationally and we are pleased that students at the University will benefit from the partnership with BT and state-of-the-art facilities.”

“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 also the entire region,” said Lisa Perkins, Adastral Park and research realisation director at BT.

“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. The DigiTech Centre builds on a legacy of innovation and development at Adastral and ensures the East of England continues to be a major technology hub.”

Hopefully. Barely a day goes by in the UK without stories lamenting the lack of skilled workers in some sector or other. While many universities double down on useless qualifications and counterproductive indoctrination it’s good to see some focusing on vocational courses. With tertiary education more expensive than ever, surely the only justification for spending the money is to make yourself more employable as a result, so this is a positive development. Check it out.

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