New £13m Institute of Technology could lead UK’s digital and green revolution

Derby College Group and the University of Derby are joining forces on a £13 million plan to create a new East Midlands Institute of Technology (IoT).

Together with Loughborough College and Loughborough University, they aim to create the IoT, which would be designed to produce the highly advanced workforce needed to lead the digital revolution.

The East Midlands IoT would focus on levelling up the critical engineering, manufacturing and digital skills needed by employers to address the challenges of clean growth.

The plan already has the backing of Rolls-Royce, Toyota, Alstom and Bloc Digital.

Mandie Stravino, chief executive of Derby College Group, said: “DCG has a proven track record in working with employers to co-design and co-deliver our curriculum, which will be a crucial element in the development of the IoT.”

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, vice-chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for our region and we are delighted to be working with further and higher education partners from Derby and Loughborough and with industry to bring vast expertise and experience to this initiative.”

Based in the heart of the East Midlands, the IoT would be designed to lead the UK’s green and digital revolution and form the “beating heart” of the country’s post-pandemic recovery.

Its graduates would be part of a net zero carbon workforce and support the UK’s journey to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

It would support students by specialising in programmes such as Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies; Information and Communication Technology; Science and Mathematics and Construction, Planning and the Built Environment.

A new IoT centre would be created in Loughborough, with students able to access all four sites, including world-class training environments in Derby at the University of Derby’s Enterprise Centre and DCG’s Roundhouse technical and professional skills college.

Mandie said: “By working together, we will be able to provide a clear progression for workforce and employers to access the higher level skills they need to remain competitive in their global markets and offer an accessible route into high wage and high skilled employment both for young people entering the world of work and adults looking to up-skill.”

Kathryn said: “As an applied university, offering placements and apprenticeships in the engineering and technology sector, we understand the importance of ensuring graduates are ready to meet the region’s skills needs.

“Our strong industry links and TEF Gold-standard teaching, combined with our specialisms in areas such as data science, advanced manufacturing, architectural technology and low carbon business support, make us very well equipped to help deliver the Institute for Derbyshire and Leicestershire.”

The IoT would work in close partnership with its roster of anchor employers to develop the right skills and programmes, from T-Levels through to postgraduate degrees, required for those industries.

Mark Jefferies, chief of university research liaison at Rolls-Royce, said: “Rolls-Royce creates amazing products and services to meet the world’s vital power needs.


“We’re one of the few global companies best-positioned to shape the future of power and reduce its carbon impact and it’s our people who make us who we are today.

“I am delighted to support this exciting new initiative which promises to deliver enhanced skills and support an increasingly diverse range of talent for the region.”

Will Tanner, communications director at Alstom UK & Ireland, said: “As the UK’s leading provider of sustainable mobility solutions and with our strong presence and heritage in the East Midlands, we are delighted to support the East Midlands IoT initiative.

“We very much look forward to working with the East Midlands IoT as it develops and feeds into the process of selecting the rights skills and programmes for the green careers of the future.”

Keith Cox, director of Derby-based innovation and immersive technology company Bloc Digital, said: “The opportunities the East Midlands IoT presents to young people to gain industry-informed qualifications in areas of digitisation and decarbonisation are critical to the long-term success of companies in our region.

“The power of immersive, digital solutions will allow manufacturing industries in our region to continue to innovate and remain globally competitive. We are delighted to be part of the East Midlands IoT bid.”

Tim Freeman, deputy managing director of Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, said: “We are delighted to be a core signatory of the East Midlands Institute of Technology bid.

“A key part of our mid-term plan is to ensure we have the right skills for our workforce of the future that we continue to decarbonise our processes and we capitalise on innovative solutions to advance our technologies.

“We see the skills, qualifications, research and innovation delivered through the East Midlands IoT as an excellent opportunity to achieve these strategic priorities.”

The East Midlands IoT has now been selected by the Government to enter the final round of applications to become one of eight new UK IoTs.

The successful applicants will be revealed later this year.