WE at Teesside University are proud to support and be part of this initiative to recognise and celebrate technological innovation in the region.
Teesside University has a long tradition in innovation stretching back to its initial foundation by local industrialists as Constantine College in 1930, through to today’s successful and thriving international university with over 28,000 students drawn from five continents, and the recipient of two Times Higher Education awards, namely University of the Year and Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative in the last year.
The university’s School of Science and Engineering has a particular interest in supporting the technological innovation and industries of the future on which this publication focuses. With a mission and focus on “developing the problem solvers, innovators and leaders of the future”, our role is to provide the next generation of skilled and talented people who will contribute to the creative and engineering teams which make companies like those celebrated here successful.
We have a particularly distinctive approach to the way we design our courses, which has been developed in consultation with employers, professional bodies and students.
All our courses are designed around a core of real world problem solving activities in which students integrate, develop and demonstrate their learning through interdisciplinary, industrially derived projects.
These run throughout the course, building in complexity, with a growing allowance for innovation and exploration, culminating every semester with a project week, in which self managed student teams bring together the knowledge they have acquired in taught modules in problem solving, design and development.
Essentially our students are tasked with demonstrating their understanding of the technical knowledge they have gained by applying it in context, solving problems with innovative solutions, working effectively in teams, managing and allocating tasks and budgets, meeting deadlines and delivering outputs. These courses are very different from the traditional model of university education, however like the successful companies in this list, we know that innovation and the willingness to be different and distinctive is the key to success.
Of course the links between academia and industry are a key element of maintaining an environment of technological innovation and go far beyond the education of undergraduate students.
It should come as little surprise that the large majority of the innovative companies represented here have established good partnerships with universities, either our own or elsewhere, and it is appropriate to take this opportunity to offer a reminder of the wider range of facilities that we in the university sector can offer to business. The days of the ivory towers are long gone, and universities have enthusiastically embraced the challenge of working with business and industry to apply their research, transfer knowledge and help find solutions to technical and economic challenges, as well as updating and supporting skills and knowledge development within the workforce by a range of approaches.
We look forward to helping more companies achieve the technological innovation and competitive edge that these relationships bring, and to helping to sustain the future of the region’s industry and technology companies, and contributing to the economic success of our region.
:: Professor Simon Hodgson is Dean of the School of Science and Engineering at Teesside University