This stuff matters - seriously. We’re living connected, digital lives in a world that’s been radically changed by our use of technology. Many of devices, applications and services we rely on today, and the technologies that underpin them, were inconceivable to previous generations. What happens next will be driven by the next generation of researchers coming out of universities. I need this new generation of research leaders to understand the ICT industry they will be inheriting - because they will be shaping our world from now on, and we all need them to get it right!
I run the Tommy Flowers Institute (TFI) to bring together the ICT industry with the new generation of our universities' postgraduate researchers to understand the biggest challenges we’re facing. For me, this is an incredibly exciting opportunity. Sure, so academics publish papers, companies serve customers, the government implements public policy - but if we pulled together, just imagine the amazing things we could do!
TFI is making this happen.
Let's get together and nurture the next generation of researchers, because this stuff matters - seriously.
The Institute aims to:
Delivering world-class ICT research in the future will require a new breed of researcher. We need researchers who can collaborate confidently across multiple academic disciplines - and work seamlessly between academia and industry.
That's why we in BT, along with our partners from across the ICT sector, have launched the Tommy Flowers Institute. The Institute brings the ICT industry and UK academia together to produce the research leaders of the future. These researchers will be equipped to take on the complex challenges facing the ICT sector and help our nation to enrich its world-leading knowledge economy.
BT is a big company but we're not as big as the whole industry and that's why TFI isn't about any one company or any one university, it's about getting together for our common good. The whole thing is hosted at Adastral Park, for free, because this is the natural centre-of-gravity for industrial telecoms research in the country, so it's a no-brainer.
We have named the institute after the GPO (General Post Office) engineer Tommy Flowers who worked on the code breaking machines at Bletchley Park during the war and built Colossus. It was an academic/industrial collaboration that delivered real impact: Cambridge graduate Bill Tutte deciphered the Lorenz code, Professor Max Newman saw the potential for mechanisation, and Tommy Flowers created the working machine. We are building on this legacy, developing researchers from all over the country, from both universities and industry to tackle contemporary challenges.
If you want to make the most from collaborative technological research and really understand the ICT industry's challenges then you need look no further than the Tommy Flowers Institute. Join us and make amazing things happen.
Our latest conference on "Repurposed Innovation" held on 18/19th September at Adastral Park was a smashing hit. We 'mashed-up' ideas combining Drones, Soft Robotics, Blockchain, AR, Gesture Control and Satellites creating mindboggling visions of an inspiring future.
The next Tommy Flowers Institute Conference is on "The Future of Transport" on 5/6th March at Adastral Park and registration is open now.
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The Tommy Flowers Institute is a cross-industry initiative to develop ICT post-graduates to become better research leaders (both for industry and academia) by exposing them to industrialists and their real-world research challenges. We do this is with a conference series, pulling in over 120 attendees each time, including postgrads, academics, SMEs, vendors, BT, local and national government.
A couple of videos of recent conferences are available:
Conference briefings from previous events are linked below: