New lab to test the Internet of Things

Students at work at the joint facilities in Leeds.

Students at work at the joint facilities in Leeds.

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A FTSE-250 company has launched a new electronics laboratory with a Yorkshire university to give students a head start in emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things.

Premier Farnell, the global electronics distributor, has partnered with Leeds Beckett University to develop the initiative at its headquarters in Leeds.

Twenty students have started using the joint facilities for project work as a key part of their studies with experts from Premier Farnell providing input on the latest technology.

It is hoped this will provide students with a valuable insight into leading trends.

These include the possibilities presented by connected devices to manage the environment – known as the Internet of Things – and the wide-ranging applications of £25 micro-computers such as the Raspberry Pi.

Premier Farnell benefits by being able to test new technology and by posting student reports on its 270,000-strong online community of electronic engineers, Element 14.

The partnership developed after Steven Webb, company secretary, became a lay governor at the university two years ago.

He said: “One of the things I have learned is just the breadth and depth of the expertise that is available within our universities. In Leeds we have a very strong university higher education presence and I think there is a great opportunity for Yorkshire businesses to cooperate more closely with universities.”

Premier Farnell plc is lead by Lawrence Bain.

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