I commissioned the Allen Consulting Group to carry out a study on how important the development of a strong Creative Industries sector would be to the Newcastle region and how its university supports this initiative. The report said it's time for partners to move forwards along this path. I'm delighted that we have launched this new centre of Creative Industries and Technology to support the emergence of a lively Creative Industries Hub in our region.
Vice-Chancellor Caroline McMillen, Earth Room, Newcastle Museum, Saturday 25th May.
The Vice-Chancellor invited a small number of senior Newcastle and Hunter guests to the Earth Room of Newcastle Museum on Saturday to seek from them their views about our new Centre and how it could best serve the Hunter. We have a gallery of Michael Meany's photographs from the night (many thanks Michael).
Very simple questions were put to the guests for the night:
- What is your response to the idea of the Centre?
- Which areas of opportunity do you think the Centre might focus on to benefit the region?
- What are the things that might stop us? (e.g. IP arrangements, commercial contracts, governance models)
- What sort of things could we do together?
- What haven't we thought of?
Professor Mario Minichiello's presentation was well received, in it he invited the assembled group to consider the nature and content of the centre.
He asked on behalf of the University:
"What can we do to help you work with us to ensure a better future for the region and the city?"
Professor Minichiello briefly outlined the historical changes in the global economy and the resulting employment trends.
He went on to explain how knowledge and intellectual capital were now the drivers of the world economy but that real change arose through a combination of creative disruption and innovation.
One of the definitions of 'Creativity' that Prof Minichiello offered was:
Seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.
He said: "We have to adapt to reflect the fact we are living in an increasingly sophisticated knowledge-intensive global setting where smart adaptable thinkers get the jobs, the best university schools get the research funding, and the most attractive regions get the inward investment. Governments around the world now recognize that the creative industries are essential to the economic diversity of regions and that the research conducted in partnerships between industry and a leading university such as UoN is key when facing the challenges of the future."
The event highlighted the talents and abilities of the staff teams in DCIT as well as the wealth of talented graduates some of whom are now engaged in business start-ups in the city. Projects in partnership with the City are a priority for Professor Mark Balnaves including the development of 'Digital public space'.
Those attending were enthusiastic and expressed their intent to work with the centre and UoN.