Plans to revolutionise the advanced digital engineering sector have been kick-started by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) (www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk
), which has awarded £5 million to the new Centre for Digital Engineering Technology & Innovation (DETI) and arranged match-funding of £5 million from West of England businesses at the forefront of the industry.
DETI is led by the National Composites Centre, which will develop and accelerate digital engineering across multiple industry sectors to benefit future generations of engineers and engineering products, and to help tackle global challenges.
West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “Our region is a global leader in high- value design and innovation, and we want to make sure that we retain that position in the face of global competition.
“DETI will help us do that by putting the West of England at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution and bringing together the worlds of digital technology and advanced engineering.
"DETI will be a nationally important centre based in the West of England.
“It will help secure the future of the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries and is a key part of our ambition to strengthen cross-sectoral innovation and support our region’s ambition for clean and inclusive growth.”
The DETI project will develop training courses related to advanced digital engineering.
It will also engage with schools, particularly in less affluent parts of the West of England, with the aim of reaching 1,000 children and inspiring them to pursue a career in digital engineering.
DETI is not a new building; it will use existing facilities and assets — including those at the National Composites Centre and at the Centre for Modelling and Simulation on the Bristol and Bath Science Park — to undertake its research, innovation and skills initiatives.
It has already engaged with over 100 companies in different sectors, including renewable energy, marine, aerospace and electronics.