UCLan and BAE Systems sign agreement to further strengthens links between industry and academia in region

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The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BAE Systems enabling further collaboration on a range of business innovation initiatives to support Lancashire enterprises and the development of entrepreneurship training.

The MoU supports both parties’ ambitions to accelerate the pace of technology development by harnessing each other’s skills, facilities and connections as part of the process.

It also recognises the importance of the region in developing the skills and technologies that help Lancashire retain and grow its reputation as a technology provider and create regional prosperity.

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The MoU is helping to create new opportunities between the organisations, for instance UCLan’s Creative Innovation Zone is a leading example in the development and delivery of innovative business thinking, and as a result of close working, BAE Systems is sharing best practice and adopting UCLan’s approach to innovation training in the development and trialling of a new entrepreneurship programme for employees.

UCLan and BAE Systems have pledged to accelerate pace of technology developmentUCLan and BAE Systems have pledged to accelerate pace of technology development
UCLan and BAE Systems have pledged to accelerate pace of technology development

This is needed as the pace of technological development is changing the way sophisticated combat air systems are designed, built and maintained, meaning new skills and training processes are required for the combat air industry.

In a reciprocal visit to the BAE Systems Academy for Skills and Knowledge (ASK) at Samlesbury, UClan staff experienced a live demonstration of the company’s Virtual Reality classroom, a facility used as a virtual training environment for future engineers.

It has the potential to be used by UCLan as a highly sophisticated simulation facility to support it’s specialist drone technology research programme.

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Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin said: “Our University is passionate about helping to level up the north and this exciting partnership with BAE Systems will help accelerate economic growth for the region through innovation, enterprise and knowledge exchange activities. It will also provide our students with real-world learning opportunities to enhance their knowledge and develop their future careers.”

Dave Holmes, Advanced Projects, Technology & Manufacturing Director, BAE Systems, added “We’re delighted to be deepening our collaboration with UCLan to help us drive a critically important skills and technology agenda within the region. Working together we can help to guide each other by sharing best practice, research and experience that will keep us at the forefront of technology, something that we have a shared interest in delivering as we design the UK’s future combat air systems.”