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Teesside University’s role in Growing the Future

21 September 2011 @TeesUniNews


The important role Teesside University plays in the economy is highlighted in the University Alliance’s Growing the Future national report.

University Alliance has published Growing the Future: universities leading, changing and creating the regional economy, which looks at the central role which universities must play in the government’s growth strategy.

James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce, explains in Growing the Future how Teesside University is playing a critical role in helping to drive the region’s economic future.

He said: 'Teesside University – recently named University of the Year for its engagement with business – has capitalised on its digital media and technology expertise to create a thriving cluster of digital and creative businesses in the Tees Valley through the Digital City project.

'The Institute of Digital Innovation (IDI) provides specialist facilities, mentoring and financial support for graduates to make their digital or creative business ideas a reality. By engaging with industry, the IDI can target knowledge and skill gaps identified by employers as well as providing a regional, national and international network to help new businesses form contacts and grow.

'Their other delivery organisation, DigitalCity Business, aims to make the North East the best place for digital media, technology or creative businesses by promoting the benefits of location in the Tees Valley to all enterprises, from entrepreneurs to established business.'

He added: 'Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are also used by Teesside University to work collaboratively with businesses towards achieving specific workplace objectives. This collaboration allows businesses to access university skills and expertise via a graduate.

'To meet business requirements Teesside has developed more flexible Knowledge Exchange Internships, which provide a route for SMEs to benefit from university expertise in a more flexible package.'

Growing the Future illustrates, though a series of opinion pieces, that universities have a central role to play in realising the government’s plans for growth. Universities encourage investment, exports and a more balanced economy; create an educated, flexible workforce; and are key to making the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business.

Teesside University Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Henderson, CBE, said: 'I am very pleased to see the publication of this important report which provides very clear, practical, real-world examples of the contribution that universities can make to economic growth. I am very grateful for the very positive comments from the North East Chamber of Commerce featured in the report.

'I am sure that the report will be enormously useful in helping Ministers to understand the role that universities can, and do, have in this critically important area, and I look forward to discussing its contents in my own meetings with partners and stakeholders.'

Libby Hackett, Director of University Alliance, said: 'The evidence is clear, universities are no longer just part of the education system. They are central to the economic and social prosperity of our nation. As growth figures continue to look worryingly bleak, we urge the Coalition Government to look closely at the role of universities in the second phase of their growth plan. We will be discussing new ideas and approaches at party conferences where we are doing fringe events with Vince Cable, David Willetts and other leading commentators.'

University Alliance is a group of 23 major, business-engaged universities committed to delivering world-class research and a quality student experience around the UK. Find out more about University Alliance

In the News

Report demonstrates universities role in business
Northern Echo, 22/09/2011, p.45
The University Alliance's Growing the Future report has highlighted the important roleTeesside University plays in the region's economy. James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive of the North East Chamber of