So last night I was delighted to attend the launch of the TUcan digital studio at Teesside University. Anybody connected to the University will know how over the last few years there has been an emphasis shift. No longer is the aim of attending University ‘just to get a degree’, current students will find that their courses and support network are equally geared towards making that degree build into a career. This is happening across all of the schools but probably the best example I have seen is in the School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies. The quality of the courses, which already have international attention, are leading into student projects actually entering the market. The fantastic Launchpad has supported embryonic businesses resulting form student work for many years but this new studio allows students to apply for internships that work on commercial projects that the University has taken on. This allows that step between being a studying student and gaining vital experience in a real workplace. Many of the projects I saw last night such as a VR environment for training fire officer decision making or recreating a historic site in 3D with time linked layers are literally as good as you will see in any company in the World. And that opportunity exists here on Teesside. Understanding and resourcing the incestuous nature of digital animation, games design, VR, film making and sound design is at the core of the offer for Teesside University students and having seen it for myself, this is what is behind the quality of the graduates and the success post University that they are having.

Over the next few weeks I am going to be exploring a plan with the University to create opportunities for some of this inspiration to rub off on school aged children in the area so watch this space!