The University of Birmingham is at the forefront of the development of transformational Industry 4.0 technologies. A combination of government investment and collaborative research activity between industry, the University and other leading institutions across the West Midlands has positioned Birmingham as a global player in energy innovation.
In August 2016 £60m from the government helped to establish the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA.) The Thermal Energy Research Accelerator (T-ERA), one of three work streams, is being led by the University of Birmingham, and is driving the development of a range of thermal and cryogenic energy technologies.
Through industry collaborations T-ERA is able to investigate the real world applications and integration of these innovative solutions.
The future of manufacturing
A key element of the regional energy infrastructure is the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) based at Ansty Park near Coventry. The University of Birmingham is a founding member of the MTC and has helped to shape its vision of being a world-class global research facility that will ‘make the future’ through transformative innovation in manufacturing technology.
One of the most exciting collaborations between the University and the MTC is the International Thermal Energy Manufacturing Accelerator (ITEMA.) By leveraging Industry 4.0 principles and other novel manufacturing approaches, ITEMA will scale up the production of technologies that will improve the efficiency of thermal energy systems.
Industry 4.0 focuses on the use of cyber-physical systems to transform the manufacturing process and establish new standards of productivity and competitiveness. ITEMA has harnessed these new processes and techniques to create ‘factories in boxes.’ These units, which can be transported as shipping containers, utilising smart sensors, super-fast broadband and other technologies, are operated remotely and allow manufacturers to rapidly deploy at sites globally.
The MTC provides a vital step in establishing a viable route to market for these systems.
Partnership with Fraunhofer UMSICHT
As well as technologies, the University is looking to develop relationships that will foster innovation. In May 2017, we were joined on campus by key figures from industry and academia to launch the Joint Research Platform between the University and Fraunhofer UMSICHT. The partnership establishes closer ties with cutting-edge renewable energy technology in the UK and Europe.
Energy Capital cements the West Midlands as a dominating force in energy and manufacturing. The region has a rich heritage of industrial activity and today the projects and collaborations from Energy Capital are having serious impact and influence on industry.
The Tyseley Energy and Environmental Enterprise District will provide a nexus for energy and waste in the city. The site will play a major role in attracting international companies to the region and will provide a space for the development of the skills required to facilitate the transformational projects. The University is keen to work with global and regional partners to establish more transformational projects.
We want to work with you
The University of Birmingham possesses a vast array of expertise, resource and equipment to help your business tackle complex challenges and issues through innovative collaboration. Whether you are a large corporate organisation with a long term project or a small business requiring a short term solution, we want to show you how the world-class knowledge and experience of the University of Birmingham can solve your business needs.
To learn more about engaging with the University please contact:
Sam Hickman, Business Engagement Partner
College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, The University of Birmingham
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4271
Mob: +44 (0)7976230204