We have worked in close collaboration with BT to develop the DigiTech Centre, a £9.6 million research and engineering facility at BT’s Adastral Park. DigiTech is a Centre of Excellence in Digital Skills for Teaching & Learning, Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Suffolk
Adastral Park is BT’s global Research and Development centre and has played a pivotal role in telecommunications research, such as the commercialisation of single-mode optical fibre, and the recent development of the world’s first quantum networks.
The DigiTech Centre is now fully open and is providing cutting-edge digital skills for people looking to pursue careers in information and communications technology, and has received the blessing of Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne. Specialist high tech laboratories are at the heart of DigiTech, and are being used jointly by University staff, students and businesses at Adastral Park and across the region.
DigiTech is now the principal home for undergraduate, apprenticeship and postgraduate computing provision at the University of Suffolk. Our students have access to a secure Cyber Range, an enterprise-grade Juniper networking sandpit, and an AI Compute Server delivering 9.7 64-bit double precision teraflops of computational resources, among other facilities.
In research and knowledge exchange, the DigiTech Centre is the physical location of the Digital Futures Institute. We are undertaking extensive research and business collaborations in Artificial Intelligence, automation, cybersecurity, Internet of Things, networks, serious games, robotics and software, with PhD student and postdoctoral projects already being based at the centre. The Smart House is now the lynchpin for the work of the Suffolk Sustainability Institute, in particular our research into “net zero” operations and our commitment as a university in this area.
The DigiTech Centre is a unique partnership uniting our young, and modern University with a world leading telecommunications company in BT. In a rapidly developing technological age, the DigiTech Centre is a state of the art ‘solution centre’ for SMEs and other businesses as well as a research and knowledge transfer hub. The Centre has world-class co-working specialist laboratories and will make Suffolk a recognised destination for industry-focused ICT and Digital Creative study programmes and an internationally recognised destination for continuous professional development in digital technologies.
About the DigiTech Centre
The DigiTech Centre offers students the opportunity to study industry connected educational courses, in our new world-class specialist laboratories. Our students can experience more project-based learning opportunities where they can practice learning by doing, interacting with businesses and other organisations alongside their studies.
The DigiTech Centre is a collaboration between University of Suffolk and BT, with funding from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The centre is part of the School of Engineering, Arts, Science and Technology (EAST) at the University of Suffolk and is based at the heart of Adastral Park, one of Europe’s largest science and technology business parks. Adastral Park is home to BT’s Applied Innovation Labs, and an exciting cluster of over 100 other high-tech digital and technology companies based at Martlesham Heath.
Being part of a large technology community gives our students many opportunities for collaboration and informal learning. In addition, students have access to more social, entertainment and sports facilities - and "the Hub" is a great place to socialise and network.
The DigiTech Centre will give our students the opportunity to become part of the Adastral Park community, one of Europe’s largest Science and Technology campuses. As a student you will study in modern facilities and have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment - perhaps you will develop deep learning models which will be trained on terabytes of data on our AI Compute Server, design and test network configurations on the enterprise grade routers and switches in our Juniper networking sandpit, or undertake penetration testing in our Cyber Range. Importantly, you will have an opportunity to do some of your course work with businesses as part of your study, participate in hackathons supported by industry mentors, take up placements and internships, and benefit from the range of technology events and support programmes that run at Adastral Park. This will make your learning more industry relevant and will improve your opportunities to secure top jobs upon graduation.
Adastral Park is at the heart of the UK's digital ecosystem. It hosts a national operation centre, test facilities and a global R&D unit, all set amongst a thriving community of collaborative technological innovation. Around 3,000 BT employees and around 1,000 employees from other companies are based at the Park. Each year there are around 60,000 visitors to Adastral Park, with around 1,100 of them being leaders from global business or government.
The DigiTech centre will enable the University of Suffolk to have an education centre at the heart of Adastral Park where students will become part of this thriving business and skills development community.
Further information about Adastral Park.
Initially, the University of Suffolk will offer the following courses which will have modules delivered at the DigiTech Centre:
- Degree Apprenticeship: BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions (Software Engineering), BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions (Network Engineering) and BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions (Cyber Security Analyst) will utilise the Adastral Park facilities at multiple times in the degree programme – many apprentices will be working for employers based at the Park.
- BSc (Hons) Computing will utilise the DigiTech Centre for specialist modules. For example, cyber security modules will make intensive use of the Cyber Range and Digital Forensics Laboratory, artificial intelligence and data science modules will use the AI Compute Server, and advanced networking modules will involve the Juniper Networking Sandpit. Many students may be working on final-year projects with businesses based at Adastral Park.
- MSc Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (conversion course programme) uses the DigiTech Centre for most of their studies and will be accessing the AI Compute Server and our Amazon Web Services practical labs.
- Our future MSc Applied Cyber Security (conversion course) and MSc Advanced Computing programmes (both launching in September 2023) will use the DigiTech Centre for some of their delivery
We expect students to be based at Adastral Park for full days. This could be either part time (~2 days a week) or on block. Students will not be expected to travel between sites on the same day.
The University runs a free direct bus from the main Waterfront campus to the DigiTech Centre in the morning and a return service from DigiTech to the Warterfront campus in the afternoon after teaching is finished.
There is a regular bus service (67 or H66) which travels between Ipswich Railway station and Adastral Park. See Suffolk on Board for a bus timetable.
There is ample, free parking on site at Adastral Park. All cars must be registered and display permit whilst parking on site. If using a sat nav, enter the postcode IP5 3RE and follow the signs for reception. There are multiple EV charging points on site. Information about parking permits will be issued to students during their Induction.
There are several cycle routes leading to Adastral Park, CycleStreets.net can provide detailed routes. There are covered cycle stores and showers.
The Park has a number of communal and shared facilities which are open to all Adastral Park residents, including University of Suffolk students.
Students will be issued with an access card for Adastral Park during their induction.
- The Hub – Canteen & coffee lounge, WHSmith, Unisex hair salon, cash machine.
- AtLAS - Adastral Park Leisure and Sports
- Bodytalk Gym
- BT Fleet Solutions workshop for car servicing and MOT.
- Library / study area.
- Woodland walk - 0.2-mile circular trail.
For full information visit the Adastral Park Amenities webpage