The University of Buckingham launches AI and Innovation Hub
The University of Buckingham School of Computing’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Innovation Hub has been officially opened by Lord Clement Jones.
The launch celebrates Phase 1 of the £3.2m investment in Computing at Buckingham – a joint university and Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (BLEP) venture. The BLEP has provided half the funding for the new Centre for AI and for an iHub, which includes labs, equipment, and space for start-ups. The site also includes a Living Lab where research involving students, academics and businesses developing and commercialising new products and services can take place. It will complement existing Living Labs, Clusters, and Innovation Centres in Buckinghamshire to help drive economic growth and skills in line with Buckinghamshire Local Industrial Strategy.
As part of the project, the School of Computing has established new computer suites and has acquired specialist equipment to introduce academic programmes specialising in artificial intelligence, cyber security, games and immersive applications development, and robotics. The University is the first organisation in the UK to have Birdly, an immersive flying machine that enables the user to fly over landscapes and cities of the world using virtual reality. There is also Spot, the mobile canine robot, by Boston Dynamics, Single-arm Yumi robots and several state-of-the-art virtual and augmented reality headsets.
The project is to keep Buckingham at the forefront of AI and robotics teaching and research. Buckinghamshire leads the way in AI and robotics and the University is helping local businesses with projects involving computing students.
“I am thrilled to open this trailblazing Computing Department. It’s fantastic to see the partnership between the local LEP and the university resulting in pioneering AI and robotics equipment which will help to produce the next generation of leaders in computing and the development of groundbreaking technology in Buckinghamshire.”
Lord Clement Jones
“Bucks LEP is delighted to be contributing £1.6m of Local Growth Funds into the University of Buckingham’s centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Innovation. This match investment aims to address the gap in academic application and ethical research into the use of AI. The opportunities provided by the application of AI is of growing importance to Buckinghamshire businesses and we are supporting the University to work collaboratively in this field with entrepreneurial businesses and particularly with those businesses located at the rapidly growing Enterprise Zone sites at Silverstone Park and Wescott Venture Park. It will also enhance Buckinghamshire’s pivotal position to help attract inward investment and create a step change in local economic growth.”
Richard Harrington, Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership
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