7th November 2016

A new Education Innovation Hub will open in February 2017, under the Fujitsu Education Ambassador Programme, supported by Intel, Brocade and Kyocera. The hub will be situated at the South Devon College Vantage Point Campus in Paignton and follows the announcement at the Bett Show (a national educational and training technology conference) of the growth of the Ambassador Programme. In its second year, South Devon College is the latest educational institution to open an Innovation Hub during this phase of the national programme.


The Ambassador Programme is a national engagement initiative led by the four global IT leaders that aims to highlight the use of computing power to underpin knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and drive forward innovation and digital skills development at South Devon College as well as its wider community..


The hub will be equipped with a range of the latest computing technology, and will be used to promote the use of technology in learning, and support in the development of digital skills.


Torbay and South Devon has a growing Hi-Tech sector that has potential to make a huge economic and social impact on the area. South Devon College is committed to being actively involved in the economic, social and cultural development of the people and businesses that surround it. Fundamental to the wider success of the project will be the use of the hub to develop the digital skills of the teaching community embedding these across the whole curriculum at South Devon College.


The Innovation Hub will also be instrumental in delivering events such as Techbay, an initiative delivered through the Torbay Development Agency with support from South Devon College which aims to inspire, motivate and excite young people to become the next generation of Hi-Tech developers. It will also provide opportunities for the college to further develop ‘code conversion’ courses helping members of the community and local workforce from non-computer science backgrounds to enter or progress in industries requiring a level of coding skills. 


Media students: Carmen Earnshaw, George Mallen, Daniel Ould, Anne-Marie Weiss and Computing students Joel Stoddard-Turvey, Charlotte Thompson and Nathan Matthew meet with Stephen Criddle, Principal South Devon College (left), Ash Merchent Director of Education at Fujitsu (right)

Laurence Frewin, Vice Principal and Deputy Chief Executive at the College said, “South Devon College is passionate about preparing students, teachers and the wider community for this digital revolution, which is already happening. We want to make sure our current and future students, and the local businesses who will employ them, are ready now and will maximise the reach and impact of this by working with key partners such as Fujitsu.”


Ash Merchant, Director of Education at Fujitsu, said: “South Devon College is passionate towards digital transformation and the role of digital in supporting its students, and we’re excited to be a part of that with the launch of the Innovation Hub. A recent survey by Fujitsu revealed that around a fifth (22%) of consumers believe that digital education should be part of the modern education curriculum, which points towards a real need to see education establishments focusing on the digital journey. Educational institutions like South Devon College will play a crucial role in making this happen,and Fujitsu, supported by our partners, is committed to supporting them in bringing their vision to life.”


Stephen Criddle, Principal South Devon College (left), Ash Merchent Director of Education at Fujitsu (right)

Ian Crews, Principal at South Devon UTC said, “Working in partnership with South Devon College, South Devon UTC is passionate about developing future generations of engineers, scientists, computer scientists and environmentalists who will transform the world we live in. The Fujitsu Innovation Hub will allow learners with a specific interest in science, computer science and engineering the chance to develop their skills, while utilising the latest technology that industry has to offer and the opportunity to receive support from expert and technically trained staff. It’s a fantastic opportunity to promote shared practice and create industry linked pathways to highly skilled careers.”


Deborah Passmore, Partnership Executive, Torbay Development Agency said, “As part of the MADE Project, TechBay is a growing initiative which showcases the latest hi-tech and digital technologies to young people across Torbay and South Devon. The Fujitsu Innovation Hub will play an important role in making the latest hi-tech technologies accessible to all and excite and motivate the next generation of scientists, engineers and hi-tech engineers.”


Graham Catley General Manager at Gooch and Housego said, “The Fujitsu Innovation hub supports greater collaboration between industry and education, aiding career skills development and providing expertise on the world’s cutting edge technology. Gooch and Housego currently employ 6 apprentices through South Devon College and the hub will further strengthen our link with the education and training benefits provided by the College.”


Steve Caunter, Assistant Principal at South Devon College said, “South Devon College is committed to preparing young people and the wider community for the next technological revolution and the digital economy. The Innovation Hub will provide numerous opportunities for all to develop their skills and prepare them for employment. The facility, complete with cutting edge Hi-Tech equipment, will become a centre of excellence delivering projects with the aim of demonstrating power of technology, helping all age groups to adapt to a digital age.”


The main objectives of the Ambassador Programme are to support greater collaboration between industry and education, aiding career skills development and providing expertise on personalised technology in teaching and learning.


For more information on the Hi-Tech and Digital Centre please email [email protected] or call 08000 380123. Alternatively, come along to our next Open Evening on the 16th November 5pm-8pm at our Vantage Point Campus, Long Road, Paignton, TQ4 7EJ.


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