David Hughes shares his thoughts on Teesside University’s Industrial Digitalisation Technology Centre (IDTC) and how this can help Tees Valley businesses to understand how they can get value from digital transformation.
David has lived and worked in the Tees Valley area since coming to do his degree at age 18 after his apprenticeship in tool making for injection moulding. David tells us “since Teesside is the UK’s industrial hub there is no better place to be” and he never left. His PhD studies led to him becoming a lecturer at Teesside University where he is now the Associate Professor of Enterprise.
David’s work has always been linked with industry and his current venture as Principal Investigator for the ITDC centre builds upon his many years helping industrial related projects grow through industrial collaboration. He is also the IOM3 Polymer Society Board Chair and he benefits from being at the strategic heart of the plastic production and plastic recycling here on Teesside.
The university has already seen many successes with Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) which connect business with the UK’s academic resources. Several businesses in the Tees Valley have been supported, enabling waste treatment, recycling and digitalisation initiatives to create jobs. This innovative UK programme has a high success rate for companies that apply, with KTP funding available for many companies and the university offers application support.
David is particularly proud of the IDTC which launched in March 2021 with the centre itself due to open in June 2021. The Industrial Digitalisation Technology Centre is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA).
With the IDTC project David will focus on how digital technology can make a difference to businesses in the Tees Valley. Many companies are not digitally equipped and hence wasting £000s in time and materials. The university’s research expertise will help Tees businesses by transferring knowledge thus creating more jobs and innovative companies. These real improvements not only have the capacity to make individual companies more competitive but also helps create value in the whole of the supply chain.
Who is IDTC for?
Any company that is wasting time through unnecessary administration or paperwork or is wasting materials or any other resources.
There are often benefits to using technology beyond what companies may originally think of. IDTC may be able to make your product become more saleable as it may become more user friendly by learning from the user experience? Can they last longer by predicting maintenance? Can they become more sustainable by optimising energy consumption?
So how does it work?
Firstly, you can have some ‘serious play’ and get hands on with sensors, data capture and other digital technologies. Get in touch and arrange to turn up with your legacy equipment or problem process. The IDTC team will then work with you to choose the right solution for you and develop your bespoke road map.
If you wish to develop your innovative ideas further, the funded support will take your road map and help turn it into reality. Generally, a six to twelve month funded project with full access to our consultants and technologies leading to opportunity development.
What does it cost?
Free to Tees Valley Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) that meet the eligibility criteria.
David is looking forward to real improvements becoming a reality. “I love it when I see businesses do well,” he says, “and this project will see more new jobs and ideas come to fruition. We all need to make the most of what we have and the IDTC can help your company do this and ensure companies in the Tees Valley continue to play a significant part of the UK’s innovation and industrial heritage.”
Find out more at: www.tees.ac.uk/sections/business/funded_support/idtc.cfm