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Academy aims to provide universities with LoRaWan teaching tools

Steve Rogerson
November 29, 2017
IoT technology companies have launched the LoRaWan Academy, a global standards-based LPWAN university programme that provides university campuses with a set of LoRaWan tools and an IoT curriculum for protocol-based programming skills and research.
The programme aims to connect upcoming engineers with LPWAN technology for applied learning and research. Collaborating on the project are Kerlink, LoRa Alliance, Microchip Technology, MyDevices, Semtech and The Things Network. The academy programme includes an online course library, as well as LoRaWan network packages and an IoT network infrastructure for hands-on training and design.
“Giving the next generation of developers an understanding of LPWAN technology and the foundational skills for the real world offers them a solid start in their professional life,” said Charles Paumelle, co-chair of the LoRa Alliance marketing committee. “The LoRaWan Academy will deliver this, giving students and professors access to a vibrant and dynamic professional network. It will also offer participants the opportunity for mentoring from the 500+ members of the fastest-growing IoT standards alliance.” 
The mission is to equip universities with out-of-the-box, LoRaWan networks, and educate hardware and software engineers and computer scientists so they can imagine, develop and operate real-world IoT applications. The academy also wants to advance LoRaWan standard-based IoT research and involve top university scholars in real-world problem solving using the latest technology.
The programme provides established university engineering programmes with the coursework, network equipment, development kits, software and other tools to teach students and other participants about LoRaWan protocol-based LPWANs and applications. Coursework is developed with support from Semtech and other members of the LoRa Alliance that scaled the international adoption of the LoRaWan protocol.
“The global LoRaWan open standard is regarded by many as the de-facto standard for IoT applications, and by establishing LoRaWan Academy with our co-sponsors, we are providing universities the tools to effectively prepare their campuses and their students for IoT,” said Jaap Groot, vice president of Semtech and acting director of the LoRaWan Academy. “The LoRaWan Academy programme will give way to a new generation of engineers prepared to tackle the world’s toughest challenges with IoT technology and equip universities with the infrastructure to conduct LPWAN research.”
The programme includes ten weeks of self-paced online classes that include video lectures, supplemental reading materials, hands-on assignments and access to peers in a global LoRaWan forum. At the end of the programme, students can use the LoRaWan hardware kits and network infrastructure to build real-world IoT applications to apply what they have learned.
Kerlink is contributing outdoor Wirnet iBTS Compact gateways and indoor Wirnet iFemtoCell gateways. The LoRa Alliance offers universities free membership and access to the global open LoRaWan standard.
“Kerlink is excited to join this initiative to make LoRaWan technology accessible to top universities worldwide,” said Stephane Dejean, corporate marketing officer of Kerlink. “Students and future engineers will directly experience the ability to imagine concrete and innovative use cases, in various domains, leveraging IoT LoRaWan-based LPWAN networks. As a specialist and global leader in network solutions dedicated to the IoT, Kerlink will provide its best-in-class, indoor and outdoor gateways to ensure high-performing, reliable and evolutionary lab networks that enable the best connectivity experience.”
Microchip Technology is supplying development kits for students and researchers. MyDevices is making available Cayenne, an IoT prototyping and builder platform enabling faster integration plus visualisation of LoRaWan connected devices.
“The LoRaWan Academy fills a void for students and teachers that want to learn about IoT and LPWAN technology from the ground up,” said Kevin Bromber, chief executive officer of MyDevices. “The coursework and tools provided by the LoRaWan Academy enable hands-on learning that is critical for preparing students for a career in IoT.”
Semtech will oversee the curriculum and coursework development and its technical experts are contributors to the content about wireless RF technology. Additionally, the company is hosting the LoRaWan Academy web site and sponsoring associated learning portals.
The Things Network gives the universities access to a highly secure, cloud-based, private LoRaWan server and built the curriculum as well as created and curated the coursework.
“We're in the advent of a global shift towards long range, low power networks of connected things,” said Wienke Giezeman, chief executive officer of The Things Network. “Strengthening the international developer ecosystem will be a major driver for innovation and broad adoption of technology.”