The new Fujitsu Innovation Hub has opened at Brunel University London, aiming to help develop digital skills for children from local schools and community groups.
The space is housed in Brunel’s Inspire STEAM Learning Centre: a cutting-edge teaching and learning facility that will inspire and engage children from Key Stages 1 to 5 in science, technology, engineering, the arts, maths and medicine – areas in which the UK economy is crying out for more talent.
At the hub’s launch event, Ash Merchant, Fujitsu UK’s Director of Education, spoke of the skills gap facing the country: “2.3 million digitally skilled people are needed in the UK by 2020; we can’t recruit half of those today. We’ll need 300,000 engineers by 2020; we’re struggling to get 20% of those.
“We have to adapt to a world of digital – and that means ensuring that our young people have the right skills to allow them to take up the opportunities in the economy.”
The Fujitsu Innovation Hub is the 26th to open in the UK as part of Fujitsu UK’s Education Ambassador Hub programme. Together with its partners Intel, Brocade and Kyocera, Fujitsu forges close working relationships with technologically smart educational institutions. And as well as supplying the devices, Fujitsu provided collaboration-friendly furniture and bold window designs to make the Brunel hub as inviting and useful as possible.
Professor Julia Buckingham, Brunel’s President and Vice-Chancellor, welcomed the new space, and officially opened it by joining Mr Merchant in cutting a ribbon.
“Enthusing young people is the key to the future,” commented Professor Buckingham. “It is the next generation who are going to drive this country forward, and having a space like this is absolutely essential.”
The Inspire STEAM Learning Centre is set to launch in Spring 2018 and will use Brunel’s research and expertise as inspiration to deliver curriculum-linked and industry-relevant learning experiences.