Education-enterprise partnership set to bring talent and innovation to the region

29 November 2022

Vital investment in developing new opportunities for innovation and skills for the employees of the future is being demonstrated by a new partnership between the University of Derby and digital technology studio Bloc Digital.

Welcomed by the University’s Vice-Chancellor as a valuable showcase of education-enterprise collaboration, the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) will spearhead knowledge transfer between the two Derby-based organisations.

It will provide a framework for identifying joint research and development (R&D) opportunities, support the University’s vocational learning agenda, and ensure emerging talent is trained and retained within the region.

Bloc Digital is an award-winning leader in the use of digital visualisation and immersive technology in industry. As part of the partnership, it will harness its digital twin knowledge to drive engagement in connected technologies, such as Smart Cities, within the region. It will also utilise its expertise in pioneering innovative and immersive (Augmented and Virtual Reality) solutions to help develop a suite of industry-relevant and R&D-informed teaching programmes. Student-employer engagement and technology masterclasses will ensure students are equipped with the skills and knowledge required to meet next-generation workforce needs.

The University of Derby has a strong background in working collaboratively with local businesses such as Bloc Digital to deliver applied research and knowledge exchange.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby, said:

"We are delighted to have signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Bloc Digital.

"The University has worked closely with the company for a number of years, supporting its ambitions to scale up, providing a pipeline of student and graduate talent, as well as through research and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

"It is fantastic to see the success of Bloc Digital and to cement our relationship further through this partnership which will provide even more opportunities for us to align innovation and teaching at Derby with industry needs to make a real impact."

Co-Founder at Bloc Digital, Keith Cox, added:

"By harnessing our industry-leading capabilities in developing future-forward technologies, we are proud to be supporting state-of-the-art research and building skills for the workforce of the future. This partnership also strengthens our long and rich history with the university."

Together, the Derby-based organisations have already supported the successful East Midlands Institute of Technology bid and led numerous business outreach events. Bloc Digital has also been an established route to employment, with 15 of the University’s graduates starting their careers within the company.

Read more about the University's partnership with Bloc Digital.

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