Sheffield Hallam has today (29 April) launched a campaign to highlight how the work of the University is having a positive impact on the economy, at the heart of the region and beyond.
The week-long campaign will outline how the University is a key driver of economic growth; attracting investment, improving productivity, narrowing skills gaps and supporting business through innovation and enterprise.
Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Chris Husbands, said: “The twenty-first century workplace needs advanced skills. One of the major challenges for us all is to find ways to close the gaps between innovation and implementation, between academia and industry.
“Sheffield Hallam is a university at the forefront of addressing these challenges. Our work includes technology transformations in some critically important parts of the economy. We work with companies, from small to large, to collaboratively develop new processes, products and innovations.
“These partnerships feed through to every part of the way we work, in research and teaching.
“Successful economies increasingly depend on successful universities, and universities able and willing to drive future economies by linking their research, innovation, teaching and entrepreneurship. This campaign showcases some of what we do – and we are keen to do more.”
As part of the campaign week, the University is holding a skills breakfast briefing with a panel of experts including Sheffield Hallam graduate and BBC Apprentice contestant Jade English; Karen Tyrrell from Sky Betting and Gaming and Julia Bloomer from AESSEAL.
Discussions will focus on the creation of a Global Innovation Corridor to act as a magnet for people, industry and innovators – and how this bold ambition depends on attracting and developing people and new opportunities to produce, attract and retain more talent.
Julia Muir, founder of Gaia Innovation and board member of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, will also be on the panel.
Julia said: “In order to achieve economic growth and improved productivity in the region we need a positive, interdependent ecosystem between employers, academia and schools to develop a pipeline of highly skilled workers.
“Sheffield Hallam University plays a critical role in this network by nurturing and developing a rich pool of higher level business, enterprise and leadership skills at the UK’s largest modern business school. It provides access to a high quality university education for thousands of local students, many of whom stay in the region to contribute to the economy.
“Research and consultancy provided by Hallam also plays an integral role in boosting innovation in the region, which is fundamental to achieving the transformational business growth we need.”
Sheffield Hallam graduates benefit from a focus on work based learning – they undertake over 25,000 placements with employers every year and many offer skills to local businesses through free consultancy during their studies.
Furthermore, the University is one of the UK’s leading providers of degree apprenticeships, working with over 270 employers to train hundreds of new apprentices within sectors including digital, construction, health and engineering.
Research tackles global challenges including technological and digital advancements, energy, climate change and the future of work – ensuring future economies can grow and prosper.
Key examples of this include the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering – the centre of an expanding network of business, industry groups, academics and engineers, working together to solve specific business challenges within the food and drink sector. There is also the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, which is undertaking world-leading research on health and physical activity in collaboration with the private sector, with a focus on taking services and products from concept to market.
Also, the Sheffield Innovation Programme (SIP) is a Sheffield City Regional Local Enterprise Partnership funded regional initiative which aims to stimulate business growth and promote the development of long-term relationships between SMEs and researchers. The programme has enabled more than 300 SMEs to access academic expertise and facilities for free.
Over the last five years, the number of SMEs in the Sheffield City Region has grown by 18.7 per cent, adding nearly 8,700 new businesses to the region. The SCR ranks in the top third of 38 LEPs for SME growth.
Sheffield Hallam also focuses on enterprise, offering business incubation services to the region, a sector leading Masters in Entrepreneurship, growth space for our graduate entrepreneurs and a bank of talented freelancers. The Hallam iLab acts as a focal point – offering facilities and incubation support to encourage business start-ups from students, graduates and others.