Nottingham Trent University will stage its first university-wide business showcase as part of its continued drive to forge stronger links between academia, enterprise and the public sector.
Researchers, lecturers and students from across the university will meet with businesses in a first of its kind networking event which will focus on skills, innovation and new talent. It has been organised in the wake of two Government reviews which examined the importance of universities and businesses working closely together.
A report by Sir Tim Wilson – A Review of Business-University Collaboration – found that universities must be “open and accessible to local businesses, particularly SMEs that do not realise the mutual benefits that are on offer”.
And the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills reported in its Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth that the strength of UK universities is a national asset and that innovation is essential to competitiveness and higher living standards.
The university, which already holds a significant number of workshops and events for businesses, will stage the showcase on 25 April at its Newton building at the City site.
Dr Jeremy Hague, business and regional development manager at Nottingham Trent University, said: “Working with businesses is the lifeblood of our research and teaching and we really want to encourage more employers over the threshold to engage with us.
“Innovation is crucial for economic growth and job creation, and by universities and businesses working together, innovation can really be allowed to flourish. “As a university we have got lots to offer business and the professions not only in Nottingham, but in the surrounding areas as well as nationally and internationally.
“We want business people to understand how research, student projects, internships and placements can strengthen their organisations. Our academics and our students really could be the raw talent that businesses are looking for.
“But not only are there benefits for businesses, collaboration with industry really aids our teaching as it helps keep us abreast of what’s happening in the business world.
“In research terms it helps us understand the real issues that need to be tackled and solved. But we can only do that with partners and we need them to bring in the problems so we can help solve them.
“We’re very keen for business people and professionals of all backgrounds to come along to meet us in what will be a very informal environment.”
The university has historically worked in partnership with a wide range of organisations including multinationals such as Rolls Royce and Santander, public sector bodies like Nottingham City Homes and sole traders like Elefair Giftware.
And the university – which has extensively redeveloped much of its estates across its three campuses during recent years – has a host of modern facilities available for technological innovation, design, scientific research, sport, conferencing, banqueting and more.
Among the areas of expertise on show during the showcase will be business development, retail, fashion, smart materials, health and wellbeing, public and third sector, digital systems and imaging, product design and creative services, sustainability in the built environment, culture and heritage, the rural economy and others.
The event, which will take place from 3pm to 7pm, will also include speeches from business people who have already benefited from working with the university.