Digital evolution drives new university partnership

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One of the region’s most successful digital enterprises, which started life as a Teesside University graduate business before carving out a global client list, has pledged to work even closer with the university to help drive forward the digital cluster.

Animmersion, based in Middlesbrough’s Boho One, was originally set up 13 years ago by Teesside University graduates Dominic Lusardi and Sam Harrison with the help of a DigitalCity Fellowship.

It has gone on to establish itself as one of the country’s leading digital visualisation companies and it supplies a range of immersive technology solutions, including virtual reality, augmented reality and holograms, as well as the more traditional animations, dashboards and apps.

The company now has a 20-strong team, made up primarily from Teesside University graduates, and works with regional, national and international companies from sectors ranging from engineering to retail.

Since graduating from Teesside and helping his business grow, Dominic has kept close links with the university, not only recruiting graduate talent, but sitting on the DigitalCity board, delivering guest lectures and providing internship opportunities.

Now, to strengthen the already successful relationship, Teesside University and Animmersion have signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding and pledged to work together even closer in the future.

The Memorandum of Understanding is a joint commitment from both parties to collaborate and share experience and expertise.

It will provide joint research opportunities, live projects for students, masterclasses and an additional graduate recruitment drive.

Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley has been highlighted by Tech Nation as a hive for the UK’s digital and high-tech economy with a burgeoning digital cluster which continues to thrive and expand.

As a proud Teesside graduate, that is something Dominic is keen to see continue and he believes that strengthening the relationship with the university can only bring additional opportunities to the region.

He said: “Middlesbrough has been the perfect location for our business to flourish and grow and we have heavily bought into the digital cluster in the Tees Valley.

“We made a conscious decision 13 years ago that this is where we wanted to set up a digital organisation and we wanted to prove that it could be successful here.

“Teesside University has been instrumental in our success – from the initial support we received as a fledgling graduate enterprise, through to today when 85% of our staff are Teesside University graduates.

“It is a fantastic university which I continue to be passionate about and the formal Memorandum of Understanding will enable us to continue to work together for our own mutual benefit and also to support the growth of the digital sector in this part of the world.”

Professor Jane Turner OBE DL, pro vice-chancellor for enterprise and business engagement at Teesside University, said: “We have a long-standing relationship with Animmersion who are an incredibly innovative and successful business, operating at the heart of the region.

“We are extremely proud that one of our graduate businesses is succeeding on the international stage and the team have established a global reputation as pioneers in their field.

“It makes perfect sense for us to formalise our relationship and continue to work together to establish Middlesbrough and the wider Tees Valley as a leading area for digital technology and a hub for innovation and growth.”

DigitalCity, which is part of Teesside University, are the joint headline sponsors for the inaugural Tees Tech Awards, being held next April – click here for more details.

 

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