University of Salford Leads £100m Consortium to Bridge Digital Skills Gap in North West
The University of Salford Business School is taking the lead in a major initiative aimed at addressing the digital skills gap in the North West of England. Backed by a £100m Government Innovation Accelerator funding, the Centre for Digital Innovation (CDI) consortium brings together key academic institutions and private sector partners to enhance the digital capabilities of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region.
The consortium, which includes Manchester Metropolitan University, Lancaster University, the University of Manchester, GM Colleges, and other partners, has a clear objective: to transform the North West into a hub of digital innovation. By collaborating and pooling resources, the CDI consortium aims to provide SMEs with the expertise, research, and facilities needed to drive innovation, create new products, and foster strategic collaborations.
At the forefront of this endeavor is the University of Salford Business School, which is spearheading the consortium’s online digital skills platform. The school is focused on four core pillars of the digital age, namely Artificial Intelligence (AI), Industrial Digitization (ID), Immersive Technology (IT), and Cyber Security (CY). By integrating these technologies into the region’s industries, Salford Business School aims to make them accessible, relevant, and ready for practical application.
Prof Janice Allan, Dean of Salford Business School, emphasized the school’s commitment to technological excellence and inclusivity in the North West. As the digital landscape evolves rapidly, embedding digital proficiency into the educational framework becomes crucial. Salford Business School is leading the charge by equipping its graduates with the necessary skills to meet the ever-changing demands of the digital age.
The allocation of the £100m Innovation Accelerator funding to the CDI consortium highlights the government’s confidence in Greater Manchester’s innovation ecosystem. According to Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, the projects supported by the funding are undertaking world-leading research to address significant challenges.
The CDI consortium’s ambitious plan to bridge the digital skills gap and establish a transformative supercluster of digital innovation in the North West is a significant step towards positioning the region as a key player in the digital landscape. By equipping SMEs with the necessary knowledge and resources, the consortium aims to ensure that businesses in the North West can navigate the digital era with confidence and expertise.
With its collaborative approach and focus on driving digital innovation, the CDI consortium is set to make a lasting impact on the region’s economy, empowering SMEs to thrive in the digital age. The University of Salford and its partners are playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of the North West, fostering technological excellence, and driving economic growth through digital transformation.