Plans for a new computing and artificial intelligence centre at the University of Buckingham have been announced.
Four new courses and a training centre will be unveiled at the facility, which will be located on the university's Hunter Street campus.
The new school of computing and centre for AI will offer new undergraduate and masters programmes in artificial intelligence, cyber security, immersive technologies and data science.
It will also house specialised labs for augmented and virtual reality and an innovation hub for the university's students and local businesses to use for exploration and research.
For up to one year after completing their course, graduates from the school of computing will be able to use the innovation hub to start up their own technology company.
The new AI centre has been funded by a £2 million grant by the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership.
This amount will be matched by private investment with the whole development costing £6 million.
It is hoped the centre will open in spring 2021 ready for students to begin academic programmes in September of that year.
The university estimates that student numbers could treble in related curriculum areas from 100 up to 300.
The university's interim dean of computing Harin Sellahewa said: “The demand is extremely high and it is outweighing supply.
"The new centre could help to plug a skills gap and triple our computing student numbers.
“The centre will train a generation of specialists and doctoral students in artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, computer vision, data science, internet of things, machine learning and mathematics - embedding cultural awareness, ethics, enterprise and leadership skills in all its graduates as core competencies necessary to work in industries of the future.”
Vice-chancellor of the university and author of the Fourth Education Revolution Anthony Seldon said: “We are enormously grateful to Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership for this extremely generous grant for the centre for AI.
“The university is committed to taking a leading role in training the next generation of leaders in these sciences, supporting the UK to realise its industrial ambitions.”
It is hoped that the project could create around 10 new teaching research jobs at the university, indirectly creating up to 100 new high value jobs and training 75 AI data science specialists a year.
Andrew M. Smith, chair of the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership said: “Buckinghamshire’s creative sector is world-renowned and we want to do everything we can to support and continue its growth and links through new digital technologies.
"Funding these three major projects will help to unlock long term impact for the local economy and support the delivery of the Government’s industrial strategy.