UCLan business innovation scheme nominated for national award

A programme to help Lancashire businesses by matching them up with academics and students to solve commercial challenges is in line for an award.

By Tim Gavell
Thursday, 21st October 2021, 12:30 pm

The Creative Innovation Zone, based within the Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries at UCLan, has been selected as a finalist in the Team of the Year category of the 2021 KE Awards.

Seventeen finalists have been confirmed for this year’s KE Awards, sponsored by UKRI, across six categories. The awards aim to reward high standards of UK Knowledge Exchange and hail partnerships and initiatives that generate world-class activity.

Emma Speed, director of enterprise within the Creative Innovation Zone, said: “This is fantastic news for the CIZ team and is indicative of how thinking creatively and working in an interdisciplinary way can make a big impact on industry, communities and our team.

UCLan's Creative Innovation Zone has been nominated for an award

“UCLan is a University which thinks differently and as a result delivers unique and dynamic knowledge transfer initiatives."

The CIZ team has a five-step process to triage employer challenges and match them with the right combination of academics and students.

Unusual pairings of courses working with contrasting industries is a feature of the UCLan initiative. Examples include:

Engineering and nursing students completing a gap analysis for BAE Systems.

Marketing and history students redesigning the high street.

Journalism and sociology students collaborating with Age UK.

Fashion promotion and business students diversifying product ranges for playground manufacturers.