Nigel Babb has taken up the new post of Director of Strategic Developments. He will develop stronger industry and academia links to increase the skills base and innovation of the West Midlands.
He will support the University in realising its objectives as an educational hub supporting the economy through employment, entrepreneurship, creativity, knowledge transfer, research and employer engagement activities.
Nigel will work on major, long-term development projects with regional and national partners. He will be examining the needs of the region to see where the University can make a significant difference.
"This is an exciting opportunity to build upon the excellent work achieved to-date by the University and to make further sustainable and positive impact upon the social and economic prosperity of the region," he said.
Nigel will prepare concept proposals and business plans for a range of high profile projects involving the University and its public and private sector partners.
He will be developing projects such as the University’s involvement in i54, encouraging collaborations between academia and industry, which has the potential to transform Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire into significant players in the global knowledge economy.
Another potential project is i-Central, a joint initiative with City of Wolverhampton College to facilitate the progression of students into college and then higher education, as well as encouraging and providing continuing professional and personal development services to the existing workforce in the region
Nigel has spent the past five years as a Business Development Manager at the University and is also a Director of the UK IT Association, who last year awarded him their ‘Best of Branch’ award for his work as Chairman of the Black Country Branch.
“In terms of competing in the knowledge economy, technology is central for up-skilling, both in terms of the methods deployed to help people acquire the higher level skills and the subject matter in question ” he said. “We need to train people to have these skills and to encourage them, along with employers, to use them in the workplace; not only to increase productivity but to encourage innovation in all areas of activity.
“We’re hoping to be able to develop an environment where industry and academia will work together and benefit each other, ultimately helping the region to increase it’s performance levels.”
Nigel also took a leading role in the development of the University’s successful e-Innovation Centre, a business incubator for newly formed firms based at the Telford Campus.
For more information please contact Emma Kilvert in the press office on 01902 322003.