The IET is a world leading professional organisation sharing and advancing knowledge to promote science, engineering and technology across the world. A professional home for life for engineers and technicians, and a trusted source of essential engineering intelligence
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Leading the development of an international engineering and technology community, sharing and advancing knowledge to enhance people’s lives
To build an open, flexible and global knowledge network supported by individuals, companies and institutions and facilitated by the IET and its members.
03 December 2014: Today’s Autumn Statement included measures to support innovation but a long term package of support is needed according to the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
Paul Davies, IET Head of Policy said: “Innovation is important to the UK as it affords an opportunity to create new high value jobs to contribute to an improved UK economy. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of the role Government plays in successful innovation in business.
“The extra finance announced will help the UK lead the next generation of technologies such as printable electronics, robotics, and carbon fibre composites here in the UK.
“This investment will help around 250 more UK companies get new and better products that they need to go to market faster in key manufacturing sectors like aerospace and automotive. This is expected to generate an additional £745 million to the UK economy.”
But longer term support is needed. The IET believes that the next Government will need to act in five different areas in order to achieve innovation success in the period 2015 to 2020.
1. A stable and supportive business environment.
Businesses of all sizes and from all sectors need a framework to enable them to plan their innovation strategy for long term success.
2. Increased innovation investment support.
Businesses require an increased level of support for investment so that ideas and concepts can be proven, solutions developed and scaled up for commercial success. The investment opportunities should be considered as a UK wide approach to include better procurement, logistics and location.
3. Improved home grown skills developed to support innovative businesses.
The Perkins Review of Engineering Skills identified a range of recommendations for joint action between the Government, business and the wider engineering profession. Investment by government should be aligned to the needs of innovative businesses so that there is the long term goal of having UK apprentices, graduates and existing employees skilled in the required areas.
4. Enable more SMEs to access and exploit the available resources and investment in innovation.
It is recognised that many SMEs do not have the broad awareness and specific expertise to submit applications to access the range of initiatives available in the UK. More regionalised awareness and assistance hubs in cities and localities should be provided to support local businesses that could operate within relevant communities to ensure they are accessing the correct expertise and investment opportunities.
5. Government departments working together to support innovation.
It is important that all government departments are aligned, coordinated and contribute to an innovation strategy. This means areas such as tax incentives, procurement, intellectual property, export promotion and inward investment are all geared towards supporting business innovation across all sectors of industry.
To coincide with the release of its new action packed animation adventure Big Hero 6, the Walt Disney Studios has joined forces with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Bechtel to champion the 2014/15 FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) competition, which is designed to encourage more young people to study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects at school and develop skills for employment.
The new season of the annual FLL competition, which kicked off last week, tasks 9-16 year olds with building and programming robots, using LEGO MINDSTORM robots, to perform a range of challenging tasks, including shooting a ball into a small goal and unlocking a hoop from a trap.
Disney’s Big Hero 6, which hits cinemas on 30 January 2015, showcases the world of robotics in a new and exhilarating way. The film tells the story of the special bond that develops between Baymax, a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada. When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.” The film is inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and is directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”).
Gareth James, Head of Education at the IET, said: “It’s great to have Disney on board for this year’s FIRST LEGO League competition as it will help to grow awareness of robotics and engineering among a much wider audience – and hopefully get the message to young children that studying STEM can lead to fascinating and exciting careers.
“The UK is currently facing a significant skills gap in engineering and technology. It is predicted that we will need 87,000 new engineers each year for the next decade. With help from Disney, we want to attract more and more young people to things like engineering and robotics, so that they consider pursuing careers in these areas in later life.”
There will be a special video message from the directors of Big Hero 6 highlighting the importance of developing engineering skills at a young age and Disney will be presenting a unique Baymax trophy to the overall winner of the Core Values Award at the UK and Ireland FLL final in February 2015.
The winner of the UK and Ireland final will then go on to St Louis, USA to represent the UK and Ireland at the FIRST® LEGO® League World Festival in April 2015.
The IET is FLL’s UK operational partner. Supporting the competition is part of the IET’s commitment to show young people the benefits of careers within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). For the second year, FLL will be sponsored by Bechtel – one of the world’s most respected engineering, construction, and project management companies.
FIRST LEGO League helps young competitors to develop skills in design and technology, programming and control, mathematics, research, strategic thinking and teamwork. For more information visit: www.firstlegoleague.co.uk.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has launched a new guide, Code of Practice: Cyber Security in the Built Environment, to help building owners develop more effective cyber security management to protect their building management systems and information from cyber attack.
With a focus on practical advice, the new guide explains how to protect a building’s systems from hackers and other unavoidable incidents, as well as how to improve their business continuity processes. It also covers personnel security advice as today’s building management must also consider threats from disgruntled staff or contractors.
The premise for the Code of Practice is that building owners, operators and occupiers need to understand cyber security and promote awareness to a building’s stakeholders. This includes giving appropriate briefing to the design, construction and facilities management teams.
Hugh Boyes, IET Cyber Security Lead and author of the Code of Practice, said: “It’s common practice now for all parties involved in building construction and management to operate in line with stringent health and safety practices. Failure to address cyber security risks could have just as dire consequences as neglecting health and safety, such as serious injury or fatality, disruption or damage to building systems and loss of use of the building, and yet awareness of the issue is markedly lower.
“It’s tempting to think that hackers attacking buildings and their operating systems are the reserve of science fiction movies, but these kinds of attacks are already starting to happen in real life. Hackers have attacked building management systems governing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. There is also the example of a cyber-attack on the Target group of stores in the US, which was initiated using remote access credentials from one of the company’s contractors. In this example, the hacker was able to gain access to the corporate network, resulting in the theft of card details for over 140 million credit cards.
“While hacker attacks of this kind remain relatively rare, building owners and managers can’t afford to be complacent.”
Buildings are becoming increasingly complex and dependent on the extensive use of information and communications technologies. The Code of Practice explains why it is essential that cyber security is considered throughout a building’s lifecycle and the potential financial, reputational and safety consequences that may arise if cyber security threats are ignored.
It provides clear user-friendly guidance to help people from a wide range of technical and non-technical backgrounds understand how managing cyber security applies to their job roles – and outlines their personal responsibilities in maintaining the security of the building.
For more information, visit: http://www.theiet.org/resources/standards/index.cfm
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