Birmingham Uni partners with Siemens to create ‘world’s smartest’ campus

They will combine digital sensor and analytics technologies, decentralised energy generation, storage and renewable energy to create a “Living Lab’

The Big Zero report

The University of Birmingham has partnered with Siemens to use cutting-edge technologies and transform its Edgbaston and Dubai campuses to become the smartest of their kind in the world.

They will combine digital sensor and analytics technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), decentralised energy generation, storage and renewable energy that help change users’ behaviours.

The so-called ‘Living Lab’ will capture data from the university’s building technologies, estates infrastructure and energy plants and use it for innovation, research and development activities as well as teaching.

The university is said to become the first institution of its kind in the world to roll out IoT at scale this year, with the first phase of its major energy efficiency project seeing the installation of 23,000 IoT sensors across its estate.

Earlier this year, the university also signed up to the UN Global Compact – the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative – as part of its commitment to reducing its environmental footprint and maximising the impact of its research.

Professor Tim Jones, Provost and Vice Principal of the University of Birmingham said: “Our goal is to deliver the campus of the future, using cutting-edge technologies to make our campuses in Edgbaston and Dubai the smartest globally. This will enhance our student experience, create new research and innovation opportunities, whilst significantly reducing our carbon footprint.

“As we approach COP26 in Glasgow this autumn, it is clear we are into the ‘decade of delivery’ for net zero targets. University-Industry strategic partnerships, such as ours with Siemens, are important for helping to identify pathways for turning targets into reality.”

Siemens will sponsor a team of PhD students at the university based in the UK and Dubai, with their research projects co-designed by the company and the university to address important challenges in data, technology, urban systems and the net zero goal.

It will also deliver a 10-year bureau for energy and IoT services to ensure the university reaps the full potential of both the technology and industry expertise.

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