New £10m digital engineering centre for region launched

Issue date: 24 July 2020


A new £10 million digital engineering centre for the region has been launched.

UWE Bristol will play a central role in the Digital Engineering Technology & Innovation (DETI) initiative, which was announced earlier this year and will be important in driving innovation and digitally enabled recovery following the coronavirus outbreak.

DETI is a research, innovation and skills initiative to develop and accelerate digital engineering across multiple sectors for future generations of engineers and engineering products. It is receiving £5m from the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and is expected to deliver at least £62m of added research and development value over five years.

It forms part of WECA’s commitment to prioritising innovation to improve business productivity and resilience, create new skills and employment opportunities for residents, and help the shift towards a low-carbon economy. This is a pillar of the West of England’s Local Industrial Strategy, which sets out clear priorities to drive long-term, clean and inclusive growth.

DETI will work with leading companies and support industry to reduce carbon emissions by producing better products that are lighter, more fuel efficient and have less waste through undertaking research and innovation in the virtual world.

West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles said: “Following the coronavirus outbreak I’m determined that our region remains a thriving, successful and innovative place to live and work. Innovation and digital technology are vital to help our businesses recover and emerge digitally stronger. DETI will play an important part in our recovery and will have a major impact on reducing carbon emissions through accelerating the development of more efficient and sustainable ways of working while inspiring the next generation of engineers. By fast-tracking innovation, the West of England region will be better placed to maintain employment levels, reinforce our competitive position in global markets and make business more resilient for the future.” 

DETI is a strategic programme of WECA, delivered by the National Composites Centre (NCC) in partnership with UWE Bristol, the Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), Digital Catapult, the University of Bristol, and the University of Bath. Industry partners include Airbus, GKN Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, and CFMS, with in kind contributions from UWE, Digital Catapult and Siemens. DETI is funded by £5m from WECA, with co-investment from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and industry.

UWE Bristol will lead on one of the centre's three core areas of focus: skills and workforce development. This element of the project will concentrate on the provision of digital skills, training and career development for the engineering workforce of the future. It will also see UWE Bristol's Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics create an integrated education and workforce development capability programme and talent pipeline that will inspire, introduce, convert and specialise, promoting an inclusive diverse workforce, crucial for creativity and innovation.

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