VIDEO: University celebrates groundbreaking partnership
By Sarah Wood
University of Gloucestershire celebrated the one-year anniversary of its groundbreaking digital partnership in Germany, by welcoming partners from Duren to explore opportunities to make new cyber connections in the county.
Regional partners were invited to Gloucestershire Business School to find out more about the programme of digital skills bootcamps being delivered by University of Gloucestershire in partnership with the Institute for Cyber Security and Digital Innovation (ICDI) in Düren, Germany.
The ICDI is a collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences Fachhochschule des Mittelstands (FHM) and the Düren Landraat (district council).
Volker Wittberg, vice rector for research and development at FHM University, has been working with University of Gloucestershire since 2008.
He said: "In my role, I'm travelling all over the world and Gloucester and Cheltenham have always been top of my list of favourite destinations. It's about the partnership, the people, the opportunities, but it's also about the region and the business environment.
"The city of Gloucester and the town of Cheltenham are absolutely beautiful and I'm always looking forward to coming."
Recognising the need for the North Rhine Westphalia region to lead on digital innovation and address the cyber skills gap to support its SMEs in a fast-changing world, Düren Landrat invested funding of 4.23 million euros over five years to establish a new facility.
Replicating the sector-leading technologies accessed by students at University of Gloucestershire, the multi-university facility features a cyber attack and defence room and digital lab. It will employ escape room models and offer collaborative events for local business, cyber awareness classes for schools, a cyber summer camp for children and after work sessions.
Student enrolment targets for both the BSc (Hons) cyber and computer security and MSc cyber security programmes have been exceeded, and a high-quality team of academic and business professionals are supporting the ICDI development.
To celebrate the anniversary and look ahead to the next phase of the partnership, a delegation of civic and business leaders and senior members of FHM visited Gloucestershire to explore new opportunities for collaboration with the cybertech sector in the region.
Stephen Marston, vice-chancellor of University of Gloucestershire, said: "There is a huge amount of common ground and shared ambition between what we're all trying to do here in Gloucestershire and in Cheltenham at Golden Valley.
"We thought it would be interesting to get everybody together and say what are we all trying to achieve, in terms of driving cyber and digital for economic growth and development.
"It's very exciting times. In the UK and in Germany, people are really thinking about how do we reinvent our economic future? We've both got industries of the past and what we're all trying to do, through innovation in cyber and digital, is create that economic future."
Presentations were also shared about the exciting future of the Golden Valley Development and the work of Cynam - a cyber cluster involving 4,000 people from more than 150 companies.
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