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Business-student scheme aims for innovation

skyscraperBusinesses across North East England have a chance to take advantage of a unique scheme offering them new ideas from the region’s postgraduate students.

The North East Studentship, or NESt, will fund postgraduate students to work with companies on new and ground-breaking projects while they are studying at one of the region’s universities. The programme is funded by Regional Development Agency One North East and features postgraduate students from the universities of Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside.

The scheme helps firms work with new employees who can offer forward thinking and innovation to their business, while nurturing the talent emerging from higher education in the region.

Students who have taken part in the programme will present the ways in which their work has helped North East companies at the North East Industry and University Interaction Showcase on 3 September. Set to take place at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Hotel, the event will feature a selection of presentations both from companies that have benefited from working with innovative students, and from students themselves.

Session topics will include Design and Innovation, Energy and the Environment, Health Sciences and Healthcare, and Process Industries.

Tony Sarginson, Engineering Employers Federation, will be keynote speaker at the event, and will also feature on an expert panel to discuss the campaign and other Knowledge Transfer and Collaborative Innovation Partnerships.

The panel will also include David Way, director of knowledge exchange and special projects at the Technology Strategy Board; Jane Atkinson, assistant vice president of Semcorp Utilities; and Alan Welby, director of strategy at One North East.

“The North East Studentship programme has been very well received by businesses across the region, which have been able to tap into the creativity of some of our best young minds,” Welby said. “For their part, postgraduate students get an excellent insight into the private sector and see how their ideas can be applied into real-world business situations.”

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