£5m grant for Future Technology Centre

The newly refurbished centre of technology and engineering at Portsmouth, Portland Building

The Future Technology Centre will be housed in a new wing of the refurbished Portland Building, home of technology and engineering

The University of Portsmouth has been awarded the maximum £5m by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) towards a new, cutting edge Technology Centre.

The University will contribute a further £6m to establish the Future Technology Centre, which aims to engage young people in engineering and technology subjects, and create new opportunities for the city and the region. It will provide leading-edge simulation, visualisation, modelling and prototyping resources to encourage high-level skills development by students.

The £11m Centre will support significant innovation and expansion of the University’s engineering and science provision and enable the University to develop new courses in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, including flexible courses in partnership with employers.

The Centre will be housed in a new wing of the University’s Portland building, home to the Faculty of Technology and the Business School which last year underwent a £10m refurbishment.

Work on the new Centre will begin next summer and will be completed by January 2017.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith said: “We are delighted this new Future Technology Centre has won such strong government backing.

“Our students will benefit substantially from this ultra-modern facility, and we will be able to work even more closely with employers and local schools and colleges. It will be a technology hub for the city and region, allowing young people to be introduced to and enthused by technology and engineering.

“The decline of shipbuilding in Portsmouth means the city needs to build on its historic strength in engineering, while redefining and growing to be a hub of future technology industries. The University has a key role to play in this renaissance and will use this government funding to develop a facility that will support the increased demand for highly skilled STEM graduates in the workplace.”

The centre will include flexible teaching and social learning spaces to promote creativity, problem-solving and team building; high specification IT and industry-standard resources, including applied physics; and fabrication and rapid prototyping laboratories.

By removing many of the barriers to studying traditionally male-dominated subjects, the University’s new Centre aims to help change the perceptions of engineering and technology and encourage more women and people from under-represented groups to see a future for themselves in industries for which the UK has a pressing need for more talent.

The centre will provide a hub for:
– 3D simulation;
– visualisation and modelling used in digital engineering;
– applied sciences, including physics, biomechanics and healthcare;
– systems design and innovation;
– and advanced manufacturing used in or needed by industry.

The University is already a major player in the STEM subjects, with 8,500 students currently enrolled in these areas.

Hefce awarded £200m nationally to universities and colleges to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. £5m was the maximum grant individual institutions could have been awarded.

3 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Fantastic news – well done all those involved

  2. “… develop new courses in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, including flexible courses in partnership with employers …” Actually, seeing you plan to invest in visualisation – I can only say that the first time I understood certain mathematical constructs and formulae was when – long out of secondary school – I had access to modeling and visualisation software (like Wolfram Mathematica etc.) when I immediately began to “see” and by e.g. varying certain values for variables began to understand the “inner workings” or cause/effect relationships hidden in so many mathematical “gems”!

  3. This is good for Portsmouth and will build on the reputation that Portsmouth is a city that can provide a diverse range of skills sets to meet the future requirements and challenges In the engineering sector.

    I hope that Portsmouth City Council can rise to the challenge of building and redeveloping where required the areas within Portsmouth and its surroundings ( the northern quarter) in order to ensure that we don’t loose out on students looking elsewhere rowards rival cities who are undertaking or are already reviving their city centres to maximise the economic potential from its large academic and student population.

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