A Hotbed of Digital Talent
Teesside University has established itself as one of the UK’s leading universities for business, producing world-class graduates in engineering, computer games design, animation, media, design and health.
It has seen enormous growth over the last decade, with multi-million pound investments in state-of-the-art new buildings and equipment, and over 28,000 full and part-time students, including a growing number from overseas.
During 2009, it won several prestigious accolades and was named the Times Higher Education’s University of the Year. The University also won the Times Higher’s Outstanding Business Engagement Award for its work with employers.
Well known for its work with digital technologies, Teesside University is leading the drive with Middlesbrough Council to build a super-cluster of high-tech creative industry companies through the DigitalCity initiative. The Teesside University’s £12m Institute of Digital Innovation (IDI), a key part of DigitalCity, is the engine for the creation of high-growth companies and leading-edge digital research and development. It has attracted generous financial support from the European Union and regional development agency, One NorthEast.
The IDI brings together an exciting mix of research centres pushing at the frontiers of digital media and technology, together with specialist labs for its DigitalCity Fellows - talented postgraduates who are supported with grants, expertise and mentoring, to turn their business ideas into commercial reality. In the last few years, the Fellowships have generated over 90 new digital companies in North East England.
The Institute also offers rented accommodation for digital businesses wanting to benefit from close proximity with the University’s researchers and talented graduates coming out of the academic schools of Computing and Arts & Media. A short distance away is the DigitalCity Boho Zone, an exciting new town centre development by partners Middlesbrough Council, providing business acceleration, networking and accommodation for a fast-developing cluster of indigenous and inward-investing digital companies. It’s a fantastic environment for ambitious, creative businesses.
Among the innovative teams based in the Institute is Teesside University’s Centre for Design in the Digital Economy (d-lab) which is putting the finishing touches to an on-line expo-space that aims to become a virtual creative-quarter for the region.
The Centre for Construction Innovation and Research, led by Professor Nashwan Dawood, has a 10-strong research team that has won major international collaborative contracts from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme, with projects such as the IntUBE – the Intelligent Use of Buildings’ Energy Information –improving the management of energy in buildings without reducing user comfort or performance. Academic and business partners from nine countries are working together on the project
The EU’s Framework Programme has also supported research by the University’s highly rated Intelligent Virtual Environments Group led by Professor Marc Cavazza, which has been pushing the boundaries in using virtual reality type applications and interactive artwork for work such as the group’s emotional tree project.
As the catalyst for research-business collaboration in all things digital, the IDI is playing a key role in nurturing exciting talent, creating new business opportunities and driving innovations in one of North East England’s most rapidly growing sectors. Together with the Boho Zone, It provides real opportunity for new and expanding digital businesses to benefit from a unique offer, says its director, Dr Jim TerKeurst.
“With our strong links with major regional partners and Teesside University’s commitment to enterprise, we are making a mark not just in the North East region of England but on the European, and the international stage,” he says.
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Added the 09 March 2010 in category Profile