Robotics and AI at heart of new Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Technology

The Institute of Technology.
The Institute of Technology.

Robotics, artificial intelligence and agricultural technology will all be at the heart of the new Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Technology.

The IoT partnership led by York College, includes the University of Hull, York St John University, six FE Colleges and four employers, and hopes to nurture highly-skilled employees in STEM subjects.

Funding for the IoT – one of only 12 in the country – was secured last year, and is worth an estimated £10m to the Yorkshire and Humber region.

As one of the anchor higher education partners, the University of Hull will take a leading role in the applied research elements of the IoT. It will also support curriculum development, and college teaching staff through short courses and research masters. 

In early February, partner organisations including the University of Hull met to discuss research opportunities surrounding the IoT.

Key topics included robotics, agricultural technology, and the use of data.

Professor John Murray, professor in robotics and autonomous systems at the University of Hull
Professor John Murray, professor in robotics and autonomous systems at the University of Hull.

Professor John Murray, professor in robotics and autonomous systems, is the University of Hull’s project lead for the Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Technology.

He said: “The Institute of Technology provides the opportunity to train a highly-skilled, enviable workforce for employers across the region.

“It has the potential to increase productivity, help employers find the right talent for their business, and attract further investment in the future.

“The University of Hull is delighted to be working with partner organisations to develop a curriculum and research opportunities which could prove transformational for the wider Yorkshire & Humber region.”

Partners involved in the IoT include York College, the University of Hull, York St John University, and businesses ViSR, CATCH, Skipton Building Society, GB Recruitment and ENGIE Fabricom.

Since funding for the IoT was secured last year, Amy Gadd has been appointed as the head of the institute.

The University of Hull will also receive capital funding for digital and technologies equipment supporting artificial intelligence and virtual reality activities. It will work alongside partner colleges, staff and students, as well as employers.

Partner colleges of the IoT recruited students in September 2019 to branded courses at Levels Four and Five, along with a small number of Level Three courses. 

Level Four and Five courses include engineering, agri tech and digital technologies.  

Digital will include skills-related courses, as well as professional development for staff and employers.

Lee Probert, chief executive and principal at York College, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with further and higher education providers to develop this prestigious Institute of Technology.

“This is a once in a generation, transformational opportunity which will focus on developing higher level technical skills across the York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and North Humberside area.  

“The work we do will be supported by significant capital investment and will improve the level of skills, increase productivity, and make a real difference to the success of the region.”

[Phil Winter – University of Hull]

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