As work continues to install the latest digital connectivity to support around 40 businesses based in Nottinghamshire County Council’s Worksop Turbine business centre, a new Digital Innovation Centre in the building has already started supporting local students and business innovators.
The new centre has already rolled out a number of key initiatives since it was awarded £592,000 from D2N2’s Getting Building Fund allocation last year to comprehensively upgrade its existing digital IT infrastructure.
Work has included trialling augmented reality headsets connected to a 5G network for Nottingham-based Gooii Ltd, supporting a Worksop based virtual reality company with its plans for global expansion and connecting a Nottinghamshire virtual reality start-up company with the county’s existing business support networks.
As a showcase for innovation, the centre is also developing a trial demonstration for digital signage created by a local innovator, collaborating with developers to trial an innovative smart parking solution to reduce carbon emissions and creating a new model for monitoring energy usage as part of the University of Nottingham’s post-graduate programme.
Building the skills and careers opportunities of our young people is a key part of the new centre’s role with an early success being the piloting of a new 5G careers programme with more than 200 students at Mansfield’s Vision West Notts College – with planning underway to roll out the programme across the county.
During the summer, the centre also hosted a team of Nottingham Trent University students on its Grads4Nottingham internship project and is currently hosting paid gaming and app developer internships with the university’s Future You programme.
Councillor Keith Girling, Chairman of the County Council’s Economic Development and Asset Management Committee, said: “It is fantastic news that the new Digital Innovation Centre is leading from the front by using digital and 5G-related technology to support businesses in Worksop and the wider Nottinghamshire area, as well as helping to nurture the next generation of entrepreneurial talent and innovators.
“As we continue our journey out of the Covid-19 crisis, it is crucial we are at the forefront of driving forward innovation and connectivity to meet the demands of the ever-changing business world to create new jobs and bring fresh investment to Nottinghamshire.
“The centre is already helping to do this, improve skills and boost our economy and it is envisaged that the deployment of the 5G network will provide businesses with space to trial and develop their own innovations using these innovative technologies as well as creating high-skilled employment opportunities in the area.”
The project is one of 10 across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire which has received funding from D2N2’s £44 million share of the Government’s £900 million Getting Building Fund.
The programme of investment is being used to improve digital infrastructure; support skills and career opportunities; and the transition to a low carbon economy to drive economic growth following the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
D2N2 Chair Elizabeth Fagan CBE said: “The Digital Innovation Centre supports our aim of leading a 5G connectivity revolution, pioneering innovation, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.
“I’m delighted that D2N2 is supporting a project that will benefit the whole of our region.
“Through the Getting Building Fund, D2N2 is investing in projects that will drive the regeneration of our regional economy, adapt to new opportunities, and create a more resilient economy for everyone.”
For more information about the Digital Innovation Centre and how it could support you or your business, visit https://worksopturbine.nottinghamshire.gov.uk.