London Colleges win £5m for overseas business network

A pioneering scheme to help UK creative businesses forge links with foreign markets has been awarded £5m of launch funding by the Government.

The Creative Capital – World City initiative will be run by a consortium of London colleges led by the University of the Arts London, together with London Business School, the School of Oriental and African Studies and King’s College London.

According to Keith Bardon, Pro-Rector for Research and Enterprise at UAL, the scheme will launch with five overseas Creative Business Centres, in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Delhi. It will also create partnerships with foreign businesses, including Indian conglomerate Tata Group and global consulting firm Deloitte. It aims to help UK businesses ‘secure a larger slice of the $1.3trn (£690bn) global market for creative industries’.

‘This is core to our operations at the university and follows work we’ve already done with the creative industries,’ says Bardon. ‘We are not prescriptive about [the businesses] we will work with, although it is likely to be small-to-medium-sized companies.’

UAL will also set up The Observatory, a research and intelligence office based at the London College of Communication, and a project headquarters at UAL.

The £5m award was allocated by Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling through the Higher Education Innovation Fund.

It will fund the project for two years, after which it will be ‘self-sustaining’.

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  • November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Sadly, this project lost hundreds of jobs I think and was cancelled in shame.

    One of the low points was an email to me, after it closed, asking who these “Creative Connexions” people were who advocated more export of Chinese antiquities than the usual norms or laws allowed in China.

    Another low point was for me, in trying to sell products which I claim are more ethically made because they are made in the UK where there are courts, votes, and a welfare state. They are also vegan. A growth market fit for state encouragement? No. The same weekend that my wallet supplier, JJ Blackledge of Manchester went bust, Creative Connexions funded a free seminar called “making it ethically in china”, encouraging UK manufacturers (correction: designers) to get their stuff done in an autocratic state which subsidises its factories and exchange rate, while having no national insurance system or welfare state. Obviously, the MP who made-up this £5m grab from the higher education budget was not aware of the differences that humann rights, education, universal welfare sytems or national insurance can make in life.

    The story gets even more depressing. Now that “Creative Capital – World City” and later “Creative Connexions” has died, and some of the money taken from the till may go back to higher education in the UK, the MP who staked his repuation on it – James Purnell – has got another job. He is to become “director of strategy and digital” at the BBC. So we are still paying for the person who has cost each of us so much in unemployment, unfair competition, government confusion and cuts to higher education.

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