A partnership between Teesside University and a specialist industrial automation systems engineering company will realise greater opportunities both for graduates and Tees Valley businesses looking to tackle the industry challenges of the future.

The University and Middlesbrough-based Industrial Technology Systems (ITS) Ltd have entered into an initial two-year agreement in which the two organisations have pledged to work with each other to develop collaborative activities.

ITS Ltd is a specialist automation systems developer and integrator which operates out of offices in Middlesbrough and Warrington with many clients in highly-regulated industries including life sciences, chemicals and energy.

The company has already worked with Teesside University on several projects and this memorandum of understanding will see the two organisations developing this relationship further into areas including:

  • Identifying training needs and knowledge transfer requirements and developing bespoke solutions.
  • Identifying opportunities for joint funding bids and research opportunities.
  • Guest lectures and masterclasses by ITS.
  • Curriculum development and work placements/internships with ITS.

Key Teesside University facilities will also be of enormous benefits to ITS Ltd as it looks to help its own clients tackle the challenges of Industry 4.0 and automation.

In particular, founder and Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Knott said he was particularly excited about the potential of the University’s Industrial Digitalisation Technology Centre (IDTC) and the Tees Valley Hydrogen Innovation Project (TVHIP)

The IDTC is a £1.8 million collaborative workspace featuring a range of cutting-edge digital technologies for businesses to sample.

TVHIP supports local SMEs to accelerate the development of business opportunities within the hydrogen and decarbonisation economies.

These initiatives will provide key support for ITS Ltd and its clients for innovative automation and other digitalisation projects.

In much the same way, the University’s National Horizons Centre (NHC), a £22.3 million centre of excellence and learning for the bioscience and health industries, is already working closely with ITS Ltd, with its staff members leading training sessions at the NHC in advanced process control to employees at bioscience companies throughout the region.

Mr Knott added: “We have a fantastic relationship with Teesside University and we’re delighted to formalise this even further.

“Several Teesside University graduates have come to work for us and through this partnership we want to provide opportunities to students and the necessary skills training to ensure that there are even more opportunities for talented individuals to come and join our company and retain skills within this region.”

Siobhan Fenton, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange) of Teesside University’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies, added: “We are delighted to continue our work with ITS Ltd.

“Having such a forward-thinking and innovative global business as a key partner will be a massive benefit to our students.

“We look forward to sharing our expertise in areas such as Industry 4.0 and decarbonisation and working together to find solutions and opportunities to these challenges.”