The University of Birmingham, in partnership with Siemens, is combining digital sensor and analytics technologies as well as artificial intelligence, with the aim of transforming the University’s Edgbaston and Dubai campuses into smart campuses.
The “Living Lab” will capture data from the University’s building technologies, estates, infrastructure and energy plants and use it for innovation, R&D activities, as well as teaching.
Under the terms of the agreement, Siemens will sponsor a team of PhD studentships at the University based in the UK and Dubai. Their research projects will be co-designed by Siemens and the university to address important challenges in data, technology, urban systems and the NetZero goal.
This year, the University of Birmingham will become the first university in the world to roll out Internet of Things (IoT) technology at scale. Starting in Autumn 2021, the first phase of this major energy efficiency project will include the roll out of 23,000 Enlighted IoT sensors across the University estate.
Matthias Rebellius, managing board member of Siemens AG and CEO of smart infrastructure, said: “Partnerships like this are extremely important for gathering new insights, testing and developing new technologies and creating efficient and sustainable energy infrastructure. The university’s campus in Dubai will be a global example of sustainability at the rescheduled Dubai Expo 2020.”
Professor Tim Jones, 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 NetZero targets. University-Industry strategic partnerships, such as ours with Siemens, are important for helping to identify pathways for turning targets into reality.”
In addition, Siemens will deliver a 10-year bureau for energy and IoT services to ensure that the University reaps the full potential of both the technology and industry expertise. The University said it has already made significant progress in making its operations more sustainable, including achieving its 2020 target of reducing carbon emissions by 20% and is constantly looking to improve the environmental performance of its buildings including a reduction of 2,856 tCO2 annually, equivalent to 5% of the University’s current emissions.