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Falmouth University to get £1.5 million to design computer games
6:30am Tuesday 27th August 2013 in News
Falmouth University is set to become the focal point of a £1.5 million project to develop and market computer games.
The scheme is to be funded by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund, even though the university does not yet have a department to oversee the project and the number of students involved, at the moment, is zero.
The university hopes to launch the project, formally, next spring when it seeks to recruit managers. It also plans to go into partnership with the Newport-based Alacrity Foundation, a charity which seeks to help selected students to exploit the commercial potential of their academic efforts.
Both the university and Alacrity declined to comment on the deal, as contracts have not yet been signed. It is not clear how much of the £1.5 million will be spent in Falmouth and how much will go to Newport, although the project will be based at the university’s Innovation Centre.
The Alacrity Foundation Graduate Entrepreneurship Training Programme was launched in 2011 and is designed to teach engineering and business graduates how to build successful technology companies.
The Foundation says it tries to create commercial relationships with industry sponsors. “Together they will form a new technology company, with continuing support and funding assistance to give the graduates an invaluable head start to an entrepreneurial future.”
A confidential email written by the university vice-chancellor, professor Anne Carlisle, seen by the Falmouth Packet, says she is “delighted” by the deal, which “marks another important step in the university’s journey as a creative innovation hub. Alacrity Falmouth is designed to create a new generation of Cornwall-based companies in the high value digital games sector. Graduates will enter the ‘Alacrity Boot Camp’ and leave as part of a new company.
“Alacrity Falmouth will be based in the Academy for Innovation & Research and the programme will commence in late Spring 2014. It will generate a number of new posts to form the Alacrity delivery team, as well as opportunities for existing staff to contribute to the project.”
The project aims to create, in its first year, four new high growth businesses based in Cornwall and 16 new graduate employment opportunities.
A spokesman for the European Union’s Regional Development Fund said: “This is a Falmouth University project which has been endorsed but is not currently contracted by the ERDF Convergence programme. As a result we are unable to make any comment at this time. Contracts are arranged directly between the project beneficiary and the managing authority (DCLG) so it is not possible to say when the contracting stage will be completed. Once the contract has been agreed, we will be able to provide further information.”
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