A £10million project has been unveiled at Cranfield University to provide specialist support facilities.
The university has been awarded funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to provide a new centre for teaching programmes on intelligent mobility and transport systems at the campus.
The Transport Systems Catapult (TSC - the UK’s technology and innovation centre for Intelligent Mobility, based in Milton Keynes) supported Cranfield’s bid.
The £10 million Integrated Transport Systems Engineering Centre, jointly funded by HEFCE, South East Midland Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) and Cranfield, will provide a dedicated space with specialist facilities. The teaching centre and ‘virtual’ hub will support teaching, training and executive education development for the burgeoning intelligent mobility and transport systems sector.
Professor Sir Peter Gregson, chief executive and vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in securing this funding from HEFCE and grateful for the support of SEMLEP. This centre will support Cranfield and our partners in delivering education and training which will have a transformational effect on the lives of learners.”
To be open by 2016, the centre will provide access to key partners, allowing undergraduate and further education providers to deliver industry-relevant education and training in a multi-skills-level environment, providing real-life team- working in the transport systems sector, equipping them with the knowledge for the 21st-century workplace. Daniel Mouawad, chief executive of South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), said: “We welcome this funding which, combined with SEMLEP’s £2 million, will equip Cranfield University with a new Centre for Integrated Transport Systems Engineering. This centre will play a significant role in education provision across the South East Midlands and form the foundation of Cranfield’s Campus Masterplan.”
They are a key partner in a twin-city consortium appointed by Innovate UK to lead a £20 million project announced recently, that will integrate driverless cars into everyday life and position the UK as a global leader in driverless vehicles and autonomous systems technology.
Steve Yianni, chief executive of TSC, said: “With a vested interest in emerging transport technologies and intelligent mobility solutions, we recognise the requirement for the evolution of a knowledge enriched, appropriately qualified and skilled workforce across the sector. We are confident that the new Centre will have a positive impact at a national level; both as an educational facility and as a novel model for HE sector adoption.”
This Training Centre together with the new Aerospace Centre building Cranfield announced in July, form part of a 25-year plan of investment to develop the Cranfield campus and its facilities.