Teesside University has launched the Industrial Digitalisation Technology Centre (IDTC) to help support SMEs to discover and explore a range of digital technologies and opportunities which could benefit their business.
Local SMEs had a first look of the Industrial Digitalisation Technology Centre’s Serious Play Facility at the hybrid launch event last week, where they could find out more about some of the innovative tools which can take them on their digital journey.
Business leaders across the Tees Valley attended the event, both virtually and in-person to discover the innovative technology that the collaborative workspace has to offer.
The launch involved several, socially distanced in-house sessions, plus an online webinar, where businesses were taken on a whistle-stop tour of the lab space and had the opportunity to meet some of the team behind the project, including new Project Manager, Mikey Thompson.
Daniel Pybus, Digital Manufacturing Engineer at Mersen also presented information on how industrial digitalisation has recently benefited the global manufacturing organisation following its Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project with Teesside University.
The funded support enabled Mersen to explore robotic process automation, presented an evolutionary algorithm solution to its cutting stock problem and digitally transformed the way that it collects data from the shop floor.
In a similar way to KTPs, the IDTC project connects *eligible Tees Valley businesses to academic experts that have the skills and knowledge to help digitally transform their business.
The centre itself is located in the Stephenson Building on Teesside University’s Middlesbrough campus and provides open access to Industry 2, 3 and 4 technologies where SMEs can explore, evaluate and de-risk their investments.
Data capture kits, VR sets, cloud computing and an analytics suite are just a few of the facilities available to trial. Businesses are also given full access to the project team, including 2 digital technicians and 4 developers.
"This fantastic facility offers businesses a chance to discover and explore a range of the digital tools and opportunities which can help their businesses to develop and grow."
- Laura Woods, Director of Academic Enterprise
Laura Woods, Director of Academic Enterprise at Teesside University, said: "This fantastic facility offers businesses a chance to discover and explore a range of the digital tools and opportunities which can help their businesses to develop and grow."
David Hughes, Associate Professor and Principal Investigator of IDTC added: “We are very excited to open the centre as a hub and showcase of the amazing industrial digital work being done, not just in the University but across the region”.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We’re pioneering innovative ways of working digitally across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, but the sector doesn’t work in a vacuum. It can help other businesses explore how to do things differently, become more efficient, grow and create jobs. I’d urge all our ambitious SMEs to check out the service it provides.”
The IDTC funded* project is delivered across two strands. Strand one consists of 12 hours academic support to help businesses explore the opportunities of industrial digitalisation and establish where they sit within the industry using a diagnostics tool kit. Followed by a tailored one-to-one to establish a suitable digitalisation project.
Strand two offers further support on the digitalisation journey, looking at the projects proof of concept, ROI and the stages of development to integrate the process into the business.
*The Industrial Digitalisation Technology Centre (IDTC) project is a part-funded service available to Tees Valley businesses employing fewer than 250 staff with an annual turnover no greater than £50m per annum