By Claire West
With the government calling for academic institutions to support enterprise in the UK, the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) has launched a service which offers businesses, organisations and individuals around the world access to its enviable catalogue of creative experts and state-of-the-art facilities.
Edge utilises the world-leading experts that are based at UCA to offer consultancy, knowledge transfer, creative sector speakers and bespoke in-house training, plus access to technical facilities at one of Europe’s leading specialist arts institutions.
The project is the brainchild of the university’s Research & Enterprise department, offers creative expertise and services within a wide range of in-demand industry sectors: from 3D Digital Design, Architecture, Film, Media, Marketing, Fashion Design, Fine Art, Product Design and much more.
Uwe Derksen, Assistant Director of Research & Enterprise at UCA, said: “We have a huge pool of highly qualified and very talented people at UCA who have a great deal to offer outside of our five campuses.
“Their expertise reaches across a wide variety of creative sectors, while the technical facilities we offer match or exceed the current industry standard, so we really believe we can give our clients the Edge they are looking for no-matter what they require.
“Edge also offers the university another source of income, which is particularly important at the moment with the huge cuts to education funding that we are facing over the coming months.”
UCA, which has campuses in Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester, has collaborated with businesses in the past but consultancy enquiries have increased rapidly in recent months, so a database of staff who wished to share their expertise was created to meet demand efficiently.
Edge’s earlier projects, which included the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Kent County Council’s 2012 Olympics campaign and new clothing manufacturer, Funzee, have already proved successful both abroad and in the United Kingdom.
Mark Heselgrave, owner of Funzee, said: “Edge helped me with a sizing issue that was stalling the company’s growth - too many of the all-in-one suits we manufacture were being returned. The consultant helped me make my sizing more scientific which has led to fewer returns and an increase in profits and, of course, more happy customers.”
Edge’s website, www.ucaedge.com, contains the full list of services Edge offers plus case studies from recent projects.