Skip to content

University forging ahead with new cyber facilities and connections

University of Gloucestershire is rapidly expanding its cyber facilities and connections, forging ahead with new facilities in Cheltenham and launching a new partnership with CyNam.

Funded by a £5.8million grant from the Office for Students (OfS), new cyber and computing facilities and equipment at Park Campus are being developed in consultation with CyNam, Hub8 and Plexal.

They reinforce the University’s commitment to working with Cheltenham Borough Council and other partners to maximise the opportunities offered by the Golden Valley development and the region’s strategic emphasis on cyber and security for the future.

The new facilities, which will be delivered in the 2024-25 academic year, will help ensure that students can simulate real-life experiences, connect with industry and the business community, and graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to drive the sector forward regionally and nationally.

They include a Cyber Control Centre, a Virtual Reality facility, a digital lounge, enhanced teaching and learning facilities and spaces designed to support collaboration with businesses.

These will be equipped with the latest technology, including photogrammetry equipment – new capability to capture 3D objects in different locations – and Internet of Things kit.

Recently appointed DP Designs are now working with staff and students to bring the University’s vision for the facility to life.

Alongside developing new facilities, the University has recently agreed a strategic partnership with CyNam – the Cheltenham-based not-for-profit connecting almost 5,000 diverse stakeholders to drive the growth of the cyber and technology ecosystem in Gloucestershire and prosperity for the region.

The partnership, which is being made possible by funding from the UK Regional Innovation Fund, will drive knowledge exchange and development aimed at enabling innovation and addressing the skills gap in cyber, critical technologies (such as artificial intelligence) and future technologies.

It will also enable a programme of community-building events for academia, including schools, the public sector and the cyber tech industry, equipping them with knowledge and connecting them with resources and opportunities.

This includes University of Gloucestershire supporting CyNam to deliver the EmPowerCyber event – which will bring together 1000 Year 8 schoolgirls from across the region later this year.

The event aims to ignite curiosity and empower young girls to explore opportunities in the world of cyber security, opportunities they may not have otherwise considered. This works towards addressing the UK’s digital skills gap and striving for better female representation in the cyber workforce.

Growing connections with cyber and tech community

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost at University of Gloucestershire, Professor Jackie Labbe, said: “We’re excited by the wide-ranging possibilities offered by our new facilities at Park Campus and our growing connections with the cyber and tech community in the region.

“Together, these developments will strengthen our community, digital and employer connections, open the door to new research and development and see us play a leading role with our partners in addressing the skills gap in cyber and emerging tech in the county and beyond.”

CyNam Director, Chris Dunning-Walton, added: “We are thrilled to announce a new strategic partnership for the next two years with University of Gloucestershire.

“Together, we will be able to supercharge networking, collaboration, and innovation in Gloucestershire’s cyber and tech community to drive growth and prosperity for the region.”

Senior lecturer in Computer Science, Gareth Nelson, will have also have a dual role across University of Gloucestershire and CyNam to support with the development of the partnership and its aims.

It will be officially launched at CyNam and University of Gloucestershire’s first headline event of 2024 – CyNam 24.1 – taking place at Oxstalls Campus on 19 March 2024. This event is a deep dive into the transformative power of AI, showcasing its potential for innovation alongside important ethical considerations. You can book a ticket here.

Image: A CyNam networking event