Published on March 9, 2023

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland officially opened our new Stevenage Innovation & Technology Centre (SITEC) facilities at the North Hertfordshire College Stevenage campus on 9th March 2023!

SITEC is a new venture created in partnership with the College, Stevenage Borough Council, and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Hertfordshire LEP). It aims to make the most of Stevenage’s position in the Golden Triangle of Research and Development between Oxford, Cambridge, and London, providing a space for local people to the skills and knowledge needed for success in the many STEM businesses in the area.

The project, part-funded by Hertfordshire LEP, is the first phase of NHC’s project to develop and deliver an exciting range of new T Level and Apprenticeship qualifications across Science, Engineering, Digital, and Sustainable Technologies subjects. These programmes will be delivered at a variety of levels starting from post-16 through to degree-level.

During his opening speech, Stephen McPartland MP emphasised the opportunities SITEC brings to the local area. He said: “It is absolutely brilliant to be at North Hertfordshire College opening SITEC. This is an excellent example of how NHC is such an innovative educational establishment at the heart of Stevenage, helping to give all young people great opportunities. We’re working to reduce the gap between education and employment, and with the courses and the facilities available here at SITEC, we will give those young people the opportunity to go out and get brilliant jobs in life sciences.

“North Hertfordshire College is the place to be; it’s got great innovation and great opportunities for young people to be able to complete their education and get out there and get a job.”

The launch event brought industry and education partners together with key local visitors for a showcase of the exciting activities and technology available through the new facilities. Featured activities during the launch included:

  • The Omni Vista system, providing a sensory learning experience for our Supported Studies learners
  • Industry-standard laboratories and clean rooms, where Science students gain practical experience of procedures and process for clean room areas and DNA extraction and analysis
  • Immersive Reality space, a collaborative virtual space which provides teachers with new tools to enhance their teaching methods
  • FourPlus Virtual Reality experience, enabling students access to unique experiences and soft skill development opportunities in a safe space
  • HumanTrak Technology and Perform Better Pro, movement analysis equipment which enables NHC’s Sports, Coaching & Exercise Science students to better understand physiology and the ethics of technological developments in sport and exercise science
  • Training workshop delivered by industry partner Autoscribe Informatics, an exclusive opportunity for our Science students to learn the Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) software used in industry to manage samples and associated data

Launch event photo gallery

Kit Davies, Principal of North Hertfordshire College and CEO of the Hart Learning Group, said: “We are thrilled to be officially opening the SITEC project today and to welcome so many local employers to our facilities. One of the main aims of the project is to educate parents and young people about the possibilities of careers in STEM; by providing education pathways and opening access to high-tech equipment, SITEC seeks to raise aspirations and encourage local residents to see STEM-related careers in the Stevenage area as accessible and achievable for all.”

Adrian Hawkins OBE, Chairman of the Stevenage Development Board, Incoming Chair of the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of the Skills & Employment Board, said: “The launch of SITEC epitomises levelling up in practice and ensure that students are provided with the opportunity to engage with local employers when they complete their training.

“SITEC opens doors and minds to future opportunities in STEM by harnessing the latest in digital and virtual reality technologies to enhance the student experience. This cutting edge approach to training and development brings to life future career opportunities in ways which never seemed possible before. It’s another small step forward for Stevenage and a giant step forward for our future workforce.”

Stephen Ward, Chief Manufacturing Officer at the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, said: “Stevenage is being very proactive in developing a joined up education and training system in core STEM skills, including life sciences. Through the fantastic new labs and digital training spaces unveiled today, SITEC North Hertfordshire College are leading the way in delivering this on the ground and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult is very pleased to be part of it.”


A key aim of our new SITEC project is to raise aspirations and skills in our local area, providing accessible opportunities in life sciences and advanced manufacturing – sectors which have been identified as key growth areas and opportunities.

We’ve worked with a range of industry partners to develop the SITEC project, including FourPlus LifeArc, UCL Vax-Hub, Autolus, and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. This has led to a number of new facilities being added to the campus, including:

  • Simulation life sciences laboratory
  • Immersive technologies spaces
  • Digital training suite
  • Virtual reality training capabilities in a virtual environment.

Find out more about the SITEC project on our SITEC page!

Discover SITEC