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Pitch-in to support regional IoT innovation

The University of Sheffield is developing a LoRaWAN network and is inviting businesses to get involved.

As part of the Pitch-In programme, the University of Sheffield is offering paid internships to undergraduates to help develop a LoRaWAN network in the South Yorkshire region. The University is asking the Sheffield Digital community to get involved with the project by engaging with students, setting challenges for them and to share knowledge and expertise on the Internet of Things (IoT).

What is Pitch-In?

The Pitch-In project is a collaboration between the Universities of Sheffield, Newcastle, Oxford and Cambridge, funded through Research England’s Connecting Capabilities Fund. Working with industrial and commercial partners, the universities will show how they can deliver benefits by enhancing Internet of Things (IoT) innovation.

In each region, the Pitch-In programme is creating a sustainable IoT innovation ecosystem, building strong relationships between the universities and local businesses. This summer’s internships are a key part of this work. Students will develop their skills whilst creating innovative solutions in partnership with industry.

The internships

The University of Sheffield is setting up a LoRaWAN network in the South Yorkshire region. Computer Science and Engineering undergraduates are being asked to help develop prototypes and code that showcase the network’s potential to the university campus community and local businesses. The 10-week paid internship programme runs from 22 June -28 August and has been adapted to take place remotely, whilst still delivering engagement and mentoring for the students.

Students will create code and electronic design files for the basic network functionality, and be involved in the subsequent testing. There will then be scope to continue in different ways, such as building demonstrators for the University’s LoRaWAN network (e.g. building Arduino-based air quality or energy monitors), to develop their own ideas or to respond to projects set by regional businesses and organisations.

The code produced will be made available under Open Source licences at the end of the project to help businesses, and particularly start-ups, that could benefit from some proven technologies to kick-start their own developments.

The Pitch-In project is a collaboration between the Universities of Sheffield, Newcastle, Oxford and Cambridge.

How can you support this work?

The University is keen for students to speak to businesses in the region about what they are working on and for businesses to set challenges that the students can address during the 10 week programme.

Challenges will focus on the use of sensors for monitoring workplace and building conditions, or the urban environment for temperature, humidity and air quality. Or, they might explore the performance and energy usage of equipment.

Experts from digital businesses and organisations are invited to give talks on topics such as IoT networks, use of sensors and data analysis, offering a tech and business perspective that will be valuable to the students.

Students may have sound start-up ideas that they develop throughout their internship, so any support or contacts that you can share to help take these ideas forward will be useful.

If you want to discuss opportunities to engage with the internships, you can contact: Ceri Batchelder, IoT Internships Project Manager, on:

More from Pitch-In

The programme funds a variety of collaborative mini-projects with regional and national partners to support the development and adoption of IoT technology. Its work primarily focuses on four sectors: Energy, Health and Wellbeing, Manufacturing and Cities.

Pitch-In also hosts the Sheffield IoT Meetup with local cybersecurity start-up, Ioetec. You can find out more by attending – virtually – the next meet-up on Thursday 4 June, which is focused on ‘IoT for Connected Care’.

For more information about Pitch-In, visit the website.