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MIRA Technology Park – the UK’s leading automotive Technology Park and Enterprise Zone – has today announced the construction of the MIRA Technology Institute; a unique collaboration between HORIBA MIRA and some of the Midlands’ top education institutions.
The partnership – which alongside HORIBA MIRA, comprises lead partner North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, Coventry University, Loughborough University, and University of Leicester – will see the construction of a 24,500 sq. ft. bespoke global skills centre at MIRA Technology Park.
The MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) is being created to help to satisfy the ever increasing demand for specialist skills in the automotive sector – an issue that the UK has to solve to ensure the automotive sector continues to prosper. In particular, MTI – which is set to open in September 2018 – will help to create specialist skills in some of the new disruptive technology areas such as electrification and driverless car technologies, ensuring a sustainable supply of future technical specialists and engineers.
The development of the MTI follows research by the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) to identify future skills needs. MIRA Technology Park, as a developing Enterprise Zone, focuses on auto sector R&D and – in the post-recession automotive renaissance in the UK – the demand for specialist technical skills has risen sharply as successful vehicle manufacturers and their supply chains have geared up for expansion and growth, while the supply of the specialist skills required has lagged behind. MTI offers a unique solution aligned with the government’s new Industrial Strategy Green Paper by creating a sector focused institute of technology. It is being funded with £9.5m from the Leicester and Leicestershire LEP Growth Deal Fund, and is backed by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Developing talented apprentice’s right through to qualified engineers, the MTI will bridge the skills gap across the automotive sector with relevant expertise and qualifications, including:
- Technical and non-technical training MSc-level courses delivered by HORIBA MIRA, leveraging the company’s specialist subject matter expertise and facilities
- BTEC and EAL accredited qualifications and apprenticeship standards, delivered by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, providing robust skills for entry-level engineers
- Masters-level delivery through a range of specialist technical modules, delivered by Coventry University. In addition, the University will offer a full range of Automotive Degree Apprenticeships at Level 6+, as well as the world’s first foundation degree in Metrology
- Masters-level post-graduate Certificates and full MSc programmes delivered by Loughborough University, focused on powertrain simulation and test, including hybrid and pure electric, body and chassis systems and intelligent vehicle systems
- The University of Leicester will be delivering specialist courses in advanced structural dynamics using their MIRA Technology Park-based ASDEC facility, specialist software for reliable ‘real time’ embedded systems and advanced engineering management courses up to MSc level
- In addition a Doctoral school will operate from MTI, working with the university partners to deliver research programmes leading to PhDs
George Gillespie OBE, CEO at HORIBA MIRA, said: “The MIRA Technology Institute is a unique solution that has been created to address a very real problem the UK automotive sector is facing. Importantly, it is well aligned with the government’s new Industrial Strategy. It will be a huge asset to MIRA Technology Park but we hope its benefits will be felt throughout the UK auto sector and beyond.”
Marion Plant OBE, Chief Executive at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, said: “I am delighted the vision the College had for an advanced institute of technology is coming to fruition with the commencement of the building phase. As the lead partner, North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College has been instrumental in the project design and delivery and we are thrilled with the rapid progress now being made.
“Our thanks to the LLEP and the Department for BEIS in supporting this vital project for our region. Importantly, this project will help us to meet the demand for engineers regionally, nationally and globally by building a core skill set that will help to create future growth, employment and wealth. It is a leading model that could easily be extended to other sectors.”
Nick Pulley, Chair of the LLEP, said: “The LLEP’s Local Growth Fund has been extremely successful for the Leicester and Leicestershire area. We are all very excited about the new MIRA Technology Institute which will open for students next September. This is a great investment and will see an outstanding 2,500 training places each year.”