Manchester Met and Cisco launch IoT ‘makerspace’

The partnership will create a new digital innovation hub to enable hands-on learning

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), Cisco and the Foundation for Digital Creativity have launched a new campus “makerspace”.

The new Internet of Things (IoT) innovation hub, thingQbator, will enable students to learn hands-on skills and create technological solutions to local problems.

The newly launched digital lab will provide on-campus tools, training, mentoring and advice to encourage students’ creativity and entrepreneurialism.

We see that working more closely with business and creating project-based learning across discipline boundaries will be an important aspect of university teaching for the future.
– Paul Bason, MMU

MMU’s new design centre is open to students on all degree courses and is engaged with projects that aim to reduce social isolation, improve local air quality and create new wearable technology.

Cisco is opening thingQbators at partner universities as part of its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) strategy which it is delivering in partnership with government, industry and academia.

Maria Hernandez, head of innovation at Cisco UK, said: “We’re excited to be continuing our collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University as it cultivates the business ideas and entrepreneurs of the future. ThingQbator quite literally helps to bring the biggest and brightest ideas to life in IoT prototypes.”

Paul Bason, director of innovation at MMU, said: “We see that working more closely with business and creating project-based learning across discipline boundaries will be an important aspect of university teaching for the future.

At Manchester Met we are intending to grow our capacity in this area through our £35m investment in the School of Digital Arts (SODA) – this new school is due to open in 2021 and will teach the next generation of technologists and content producers.”