FVC innovation on display at fund launch

FVC team at WCS

FVC innovation on display at fund launch

Two exciting projects developed by Forth Valley College staff and students were shown off as best practice examples at the launch of the new College Innovation Fund recently.

West College Scotland’s campus in Paisley was the venue for the launch of the £500,000 fund on Tuesday 29 May. Set up by the Scottish Government to support innovation in Scotland’s economy, it was announced on the day by Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy.

Students and staff from FVC’s Connect Forth, the multimedia platform run by media students and the ‘I am the Machine’ back warm up initiative to reduce injuries in the workplace, attended to showcase their skills.

FVC Creative Industries Curriculum Manager Fi Milligan Rennie, said: “Connect Forth students behaved as consummate professionals, responding to an ever changing live situation. We are very proud of them all.”

Managed by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the College Innovation Fund will establish new and dynamic links between colleges and innovation centres throughout Scotland.

SFC has already established FUTUREquipped, a pilot project involving colleges and half of Scotland’s eight current innovation centres. The pilot will see innovation centres and colleges working collaboratively to demonstrate a new approach to skills training for the future needs of industry – led by industry itself. The money is also being invested in a pioneering College Innovation Accelerator Fund and in further support for the College Innovation Voucher Scheme.

Fi, who has responsibility for support the Innovation Fund and making links with industry, continued: “We are delighted to have a pot of money to help us work closely with small to medium sized enterprises in the Forth Valley area.  We are currently actively looking for companies with interesting and creative ideas to contact us as soon as possible, to see if we could work together to develop them through the Innovation Fund.”

At the launch the Minister visited the exhibition area at the Abercorn Conference Centre and spoke to staff and students from Forth Valley College, West College Scotland and Dundee and Angus College.

Mr Wheelhouse, said: “Scotland’s economic success has been forged on innovation – it is intrinsic to our culture and we want to extend this to all aspects of our society and economy, with a strong ambition to broaden innovation activity within our SME community.

"I am delighted to launch the £500,000 College Innovation Fund, which arises from cross-portfolio work between economy and education Ministers within our CAN DO Business Innovation Forum, and which will support future job creation and skills needs, by increasing innovation and engagement between colleges and businesses, recognising the strong links colleges have with local businesses.

“The fund will establish dynamic links between our colleges and our innovation centres helping us drive increased productivity, competitiveness and growth, playing a vital role in creating the jobs of the future.”

Mike Cantlay, Chair of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Colleges across Scotland already play an incredibly important role in helping businesses to be innovative. This funding takes things to a new level, especially in helping to exploit the very exciting opportunities being created through the innovation centre programme.”

Any small or medium sized company in the Forth Valley area interested in working with Forth Valley College to develop an innovative idea which supports developing a process, product or service for their business, should e-mail fiona.milliganrennie@forthvalley.ac.uk by 21 June 2018.

Interviewing the Minister

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