Economic prosperity and wellbeing relies heavily on new businesses being created particularly those that embrace high tech and offer high value products and services. Such businesses need training, support and guidance in their early stage of development. Innovation, which is the ability to create new economic value and generate social benefit plays a key role in shaping an economy whether local or regional, thus ensuring its vitality and resilience against unforeseen factors – as for example experienced recently in the steel industry. Tyne Metropolitan College recognised the importance of innovation to large and small businesses as well as individuals in driving regional growth.
Last year, the College secured the prestigious accolade of Investor in Innovations – an award that demonstrates the impact of the college’s innovation initiatives on students and local employers. In its quest to strengthen economic development in the North East of England, the College has partnered with the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IKE) to establish the Northern Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange.
Jon Vincent, Principal and Chief Executive of TyneMet College said of the partnership: “TyneMet is widely acknowledged as a regional leader in delivering forward thinking and innovative strategies that fulfil economic demands. The establishment of the Northern Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange further cements our commitment to sharing innovative practices with employers on a local, regional and international scale. In the North East, we have a long established history as a region which pioneered and embraced industry, this unique heritage underpins our future and how we focus on skills that matter, by moving forward with current and emerging industries. By working with employers to collaborate on innovative practice, we can develop our curriculum to precisely suit the requirements of employers, skills in which they can harness, this helps to close the skills gap and provides our future workforce with the necessary qualifications industry demands.”
Prof Sa’ad Medhat, IKE’s Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with the Tyne Met College. We work extensively with businesses and we know that the common denominator in terms of capability-gap is in innovation. Some of the early offers the Northern Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange will be providing to the North East business community are specialist courses in innovation for professionals and business leaders to energise the region’s appetite for innovation”.
The dates for forthcoming innovation courses are 17-18 May and 15-16 June. In addition to supporting continuous professional development the Northern Institute will also offer consultancy services such as business innovation diagnostics, innovation culture development and accreditation services, as well as professional membership.
Hans Möller of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership said: “The partnership between Tyne Metropolitan College and NEF to establish The Northern Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange, will provide a key force in helping to drive innovation forward, here in the North East.” Colleges, such as TyneMet, play a vital role in helping businesses take maximum advantage of the opportunities innovation offers growing companies. By working with businesses to share information and respond to its wants and needs, they can help to provide the skills and qualifications that are required. This teamed with the expertise of NEF will help ensure that innovation is firmly on the agenda, influencing the inter-relationship between education, business, and government through research and collaborative networks.”