Centre for Digital Innovation Manchester Metropolitan University

The Centre for Digital Innovation (CDI) will deliver an Innovation Accelerator for digital technologies that will make a significant contribution to Greater Manchester's development as a fairer, more prosperous leader in digital technology and innovation.

The challenge

The CDI’s unique, innovation-led approach is grounded in world-leading research coming from an established partnership of four leading Greater Manchester universities in conjunction with the 10 Greater Manchester further education colleges and leading industry stakeholders.

This enables it to embed proven expertise in commercialisation, ideation, and sustainability, supporting businesses to understand challenges and identify opportunities for exploitation. The consortium provides access to industrial and academic expertise, state-of-the-art industrial software and hardware, along with dedicated teams to drive innovation, conceptualisation, and commercialisation.

The project

The CDI will operate across four technology strands: Artificial Technology (AI), Cyber, Industrial Digitalisation (ID) and Immersive Technology (IT) with a portfolio of activities:

  • Technical R&D: providing access to cutting-edge technical expertise which addresses the key challenges holding back innovation in AI, Cyber, ID and IT.
  • Business model and innovation capacity building: by supporting SMEs in the translation of knowledge gained from R&D.
  • Skills uplift: by developing an online digital skills platform that provides 24/7 access and removes barrier to skills development in the underrepresented areas and communities.
  • Community outreach to reach all boroughs of Greater Manchester through inclusive engagement and empowerment, via a mobile showcase, to all citizens, groups, communities, SMEs and organisations.

The CDI will directly address two of the four Greater Manchester frontier sectors: advanced manufacturing and digital and creative. In addition, due to the cross-cutting nature of the technical and digital domains, it will also impact all four to differing degrees.

The future

The CDI recognises the need for a diverse and skilled digital talent pool to enable businesses to maximise impact of the innovation process and outreach activity will work across both innovation and skills development. It will engage with businesses, groups and individuals across the region and proactively address the levelling up agenda and Greater Manchester's strategy to create a fairer and more prosperous society.