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UCLan’s Creative Innovation Zone (CIZ) is a programme that pairs businesses with local academics and students to tackle commercial and business based problems with innovative solutions. This is based within the Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries at UCLan, and has been selected as a finalist in the 2021 KE Awards, within the Team of the Year category.

For this years KE Awards, 17 finalists have been confirmed across 6 different categories. By celebrating partnerships and initiatives, these awards are designed to recognise high standards of UK Knowledge Exchange. Speaking on the matter, the director of enterprise within the Creative Innovation Zone, Emma Speed, said:

“This is fantastic news for the CIZ team and is indicative of how thinking creatively and working in an interdisciplinary way can make a big impact on industry, communities and our team. UCLan is a University which thinks differently and as a result delivers unique and dynamic knowledge transfer initiatives.”

The CIZ uses a five step process to ensure that an employer will be matched with the academics and students that are most suitable for the challenged faced. Some of the most unusual and highly innovative pairings have included:

  • Engineering and nursing students completing a gap analysis for BAE Systems.
  • Marketing and history students redesigning the high street.
  • Journalism and sociology students collaborating with Age UK.
  • Fashion promotion and business students diversifying product ranges for playground manufacturers

By thinking outside of the box, and applying knowledge and expertise from different areas to real world problems, innovative solutions can be found.

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