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Digital Innovation Roadshow Arrives in Greater Manchester

Written on 5th December 2023

Our nine Further Education Colleges are hosting a series of Digital Innovation Roadshows to help businesses across the region, as part of Greater Manchester’s Centre for Digital Innovation (CDI) Innovation Accelerator programme.

Launching in December 2023, our colleges will host a series of events, inspiring and inviting SMEs to connect with free business Innovation advice and support. The first event will be held at 10am on Wednesday 6th December 2023 at Oldham College.

For the first Roadshow event, Oldham College will partner with Manchester Metropolitan University, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Manchester Innovation Activities Hub. Plus business leaders  who will share stories of how they’ve embraced technology and adopted an innovation mindset to drive growth and business performance.

The events will explore the ‘human factors’ required for innovation, such as culture and skills, and introduce the new technologies changing businesses across all sectors, including: Artificial Intelligence including ChatGPT, mechatronics and robotics; Industrial Digitalisation technologies such as 3D printing, Digital Twin and Internet of Things, and Immersive Technology with a focus on XR and AR for use in content creation and training environments. Of course we’ll also explore business needs for, and opportunities in, Cyber Security – essential for all companies.

Attendees will hear about the fully funded programme of CDI workshops designed to help explore how these new ways of thinking and working can transform processes and products – and ultimately performance and profit.

The CDI is one of the UK Government’s innovation accelerator programmes announced earlier this year. 

Funded by Innovate UK, CDI is a consortium of Universities (Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Salford, Lancaster University, and the University of Manchester) all our colleges and 14 industry partners who together will create a supercluster of digital expertise to help the region’s businesses achieve their goals through digital innovation.

Simon Jordan, Principal and CEO of The Oldham College, explained, “Being part of Greater Manchester’s Centre for Digital Innovation is an exciting opportunity for colleges to expand our business relationships, connect with new local partners while improving local access to R&D and new tech that can drive productivity and help to improve business performance.  By bringing businesses and HE research partners into our faculties, we also inform our provision so that our teaching supports the economy of tomorrow as well as today,

Coral Grainger, GMColleges Innovation Project Director added “This project is about ‘Levelling-up productivity GM Style’. FE and HE partners collaborating and finding new ways to support business growth together. We’ll shine a light on local resources and share knowledge and insight in places accessible to the many businesses based out in the Boroughs.  

“Greater Manchester will lead the way in how FE Colleges participate in the Innovation Ecosystem. Our December Roadshow is the first step along that new path, and we hope leaders from businesses of all sectors and sizes will join us in that journey.”