MultiTech Systems announces IoT program for US schools and universities

MultiTech Systems announces IoT program for US schools and universities

Connected technology company MultiTech Systems has announced the first nationwide IoT program for schools and universities in the United States.

The project, which is being called ‘University IoT Program for LoRa Connectivity‘, will give students the tools and education needed to learn about and develop new connectivity technologies.

This first-of-its-kind program is focusing on low-power, wide-area networks (LPWAN), using LoRaWAN. The latter is a type of network to support these kind of IoT communications.

Commitment to education

MultiTech’s announcement comes after the recent success of an event it co-hosted at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), which provides conformance solutions for the networking industry.

The one-day event was brought together by UNH students, faculty members and the industry to identify common tech-related problems and solutions using IoT sensors and LoRaWAN gateways.

The low power wide area network market is lucrative. According to analyst firm Research and Markets, it’s set to grow at an estimated compound annual growth rate of 50 per cent between 2017 and 2021, so this area represents a big opportunity for those with relevant skills.

Unique opportunity

Academic institutions that sign up to this program will receive a range of benefits, primarily working with a proven market leader in the LoRaWAN industry.

As well as this, they’ll receive integrated, standards-based product kits, discounted products for education, access to a website portal and promotion through case studies and workshops.

Gregg Zastrow, senior manager of programs and partnerships at MultiTech, said investing in the next generation of LPWAN specialists should be a core focus of the industry.

“The size of the LPWAN market and the opportunity it affords for the next generation is significant,” he said on the announcement of the program.

“By providing education and cutting edge IoT products, we provide an enormous opportunity for students and further promote new IoT ideas and applications. We are excited by the student’s enthusiasm, creativity and designs.”

Read more: BBC’s micro.bit becomes IoT device, get kids interested in tech

Supporting the next generation

Adam O’Neil, an electrical engineering student at UNH, believes that this is a unique opportunity for students. “Given the infancy of the large-scale IoT revolution, many schools have yet to effectively incorporate these new ideas into their curriculums,” he said.

“Therefore, the opportunity to work alongside an IoT-based company, such as MultiTech, was a rare chance to obtain hands-on experience with emerging LoRaWAN technologies.  

“Attending this event provided valuable insight into the use of these devices, which would have been unavailable through my standard coursework. I will continue to advance my knowledge of these technologies and their endless list of potential applications.”

Erica Johnson, director of UNH-IOL, said: “We are excited to join MultiTech’s University IoT Program as it exemplifies our mission to offer students hands-on, real world experience working with the latest technologies.

“Our students are eager to let their imaginations run as they explore new ideas working with leaders in LoRaWAN technologies and growing their knowledge base here at UNH.”

Read more: Schools and students get smart with the Internet of Things