World-leading research and development centre inspires University of Northampton visitors

Senior leaders from the University of Northampton had a glimpse of the future on their recent fact-finding visit to BT’s main research and development centre.

Senior leaders from the University of Northampton had a glimpse of the future on their recent fact-finding visit to BT’s main research and development centre.

The group of professors and lecturers were at the BT Labs, Adastral Park, Suffolk, to find out more about how technology is changing the world in which we live and work.

They were given an insight into how a high-tech approach is making a difference to things like travel and transport, supply chain management, the connected home and improving access to fibre broadband and mobile connectivity.

Paul Bimson, BT’s regional director for the East Midlands, who arranged the visit, said: “It was great to be able to show the university team around Adastral Park. Our people are at the forefront of developing new technology and their work is internationally recognised. We were able to see how it can be used to simplify and improve everyday tasks. It was a good opportunity to show that BT’s influence in Northamptonshire and the benefits it provides extend far beyond just our fibre broadband rollout.”

Adastral Park opened in 1975 and has been responsible for many of the pioneering innovations since, which have transformed our digital world.

Professor Simon Denny, executive dean for research, impact and enterprise at the university, said: "The University of Northampton is working with its partners to help transform public services, including wellbeing and travel. The work that BT's researchers are doing at Adastral Park clearly demonstrates the ability and potential of digital technology to improve essential services, and the ways they are delivered and accessed. The Northampton team was inspired by our visit."

From developing the first commercial single mode optical fibre link in 1984 to leading the way in live 4K TV broadcasting, BT’s research & development and technology teams –14,000 strong today - have been behind some of the most significant breakthroughs relating to broadband, optical fibre, mobile, network security and TV.

BT invests around £500 million annually in research and development, making it one of the largest investors in the telecoms sector of any company in the UK and globally.

Locally, an independent report last year highlighted that BT has given a massive £130 million boost to the Northamptonshire economy in the previous 12 months.

The report, by Regeneris Consulting, highlights the huge local impact of BT’s activities including its takeover of EE, and reveals that the company supports around 9,900 jobs in the East Midlands – of which around 1,700 are in Northamptonshire - through direct employment, spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of employees.

BT’s also playing a significant role in the rollout of fibre broadband across Northamptonshire. Its commercial programme and partnership with the county council has helped more than 94 per cent of premises get access to superfast broadband.

For more information about BT’s work at Adastral Park visit golbalservices.bt.com.