Digital Innovation services and facilities

Cranfield University is host to a range of digital innovation opportunities, supported through its Research and Innovation Office and several domain-specific digital innovation centres including:

Furthermore, it supports SMEs through its ERDF Innovation in Manufacturing, Aerospace and Green Economy (IMAGE) grant. It offers data engineering testbeds supported by a range of state-of-the-art digital design, modelling and simulation tools, IoT-enabled physical testbeds, as well as the latest augmented reality and visualisation technologies, and a recently-launched digital control centre, making it the first digital air traffic control tower in the UK.

Cranfield benefits from high performance computing platforms, namely Astral and Delta, with the latter distributed computing system offering 18 Tflops across its 1280 cores, equipped with 2.4GHz memory, 4x NVidia K80 GPUs for accelerated computer capabilities, accessed via its PBS pro-scheduler, and using EDR Infiniband networking (100Gbps), 117TB of usable scratch storage, with applications software stored on separate redundant BeeGFS file store. Data-driven innovation is a key activity across a large spectrum of Cranfield University's activities, directly benefiting industrial members of its centres, associate members, clients and partners of the above.

Digital Innovation Hub centres

  • DARTeC: the £67m centre with strong funding from industry (Thales, SAAB, Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited, Aveillant) and a strong focus on connected systems presents new opportunities for digital twin technologies across the spectrum of activities supporting the digital aviation technologies of the future.
  • IVHM: members/clients such as Boeing, BAE Systems, Thales and Meggitt are involved in cutting edge development and innovation on data-driven vehicle health management services, strongly linked to digital twins.
  • IMEC: together with MUEAVI offer a strong innovation environment to boost the impact of digital twin technologies on connected and autonomous vehicles.
  • AIRC: jointly funded by Rolls-Royce and Airbus, a central hub for aerospace research and innovation, including facilities with visualisation screens, flight simulators, air traffic management simulators, drawing on the capabilities of the on-site Cranfield Airport, National Flying Laboratory Centre (NFLC), large-scale gas turbine test area, offering opportunities for digital twin technologies.
  • Cranfield Innovation Centre, Technology Park (hosting, among others, the Nissan Technical Centre), Cranfield Eagle Lab for aviation technology supported by Barclays, along with the IMAGE initiative, offer thriving innovation hub opportunities which, alongside Cranfield’s links with National Innovation Hubs (Digital Catapult, Transport Catapult and High Value Manufacturing Catapult) in various contexts, will offer interfacing and innovation diffusion opportunities.