- The minister was given a tour of the new Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology (GBSIoT) Hub
- The Hub will be welcoming its first students in the next few weeks
- Damian Collins MP also visited Aston University’s Advanced Prototyping Facility and autonomous vehicle used for teaching and research.
The minister for tech and the digital economy met with representatives from Aston University’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Solihull College & University Centre during a visit to the new Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology (GBSIoT) Hub on 2nd August.
Damian Collins MP was given a tour of the new facility by Rosa Wells, executive director for employment and skills and IoT at Solihull College & University Centre. The GBS Institute of Technology focuses on engineering and advanced manufacturing and is a partnership between local further education colleges, universities and industry partners. It will support learners from across the region to progress to high-skill technical jobs in industry through clear, supported pathways.
Construction of the GBSIoT Hub building is nearing completion and will be welcoming students in the coming weeks. During the visit, the minister was shown the cyber physical manufacturing rig, a scaled-down version of a factory of the future, which will create a simulated working environment for GBSIoT learners.
The minister then met with executive dean Professor Stephen Garrett and deputy dean Professor Kate Sugden for a tour of Aston University’s Advanced Prototyping Facility conducted by senior project manager Paul Gretton. The facility supports businesses by increasing awareness of the opportunities available through 3D printing to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing designs, and to develop new products all the way through to producing prototypes.
The visit also included a showcase of Aston University’s Autopod, a state-of-the-art autonomous vehicle funded by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and the GBS Institute of Technology which is used for research and as a teaching tool.
Professor Garrett said: “Aston University has a proud history of delivering high-quality technical education and world-leading research. We were delighted to be able to showcase our facilities to Damian Collins MP, whilst discussing our commitment to equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in STEM careers.”
Damian Collins MP said: “It’s been brilliant to visit the pioneering facilities at Aston University today, especially seeing the cyber rig which will give students first class training to enter the industry with confidence.
“Having these opportunities will help young people gain skills they need for future jobs, supporting the UK’s world leading advanced manufacturing and digital industries.”
The minister toured the facilities at Aston University as part of his wider visit to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.