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Strathclyde and Babcock forge new strategic partnership

Babcock, the international engineering company and the University of Strathclyde have established a new strategic partnership to develop and deliver innovation through world-class projects.

The alliance is a recognition of the growing importance of academic-industrial relationships.  Babcock and Strathclyde have been working together for more than 30 years. The formalising of the partnership will strengthen existing educational programmes for degree apprenticeships and industry placements and build on existing innovative research projects in nuclear, advanced manufacturing, space and security related technologies.

This includes projects such as the award-winning Prosperity Partnership, a five-year collaborative research project co-funded by the Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC). Nearly 30 researchers have worked to develop advanced inspection techniques, biotechnology solutions for infrastructure repair, operational intelligence and data science along with new products and processes for through-life management of complex nuclear assets. This has supported customers in delivering enhanced plant availability and extended operating life.

Other projects include an Executive Education programme, set up 2013, which includes the Babcock Senior Leaders MBA programme, with Strathclyde Business School.

One major collaboration between the two parties was the creation of Maritime Research & Innovation UK (MarRI-UK) in 2012 to tackle technology and innovation challenges. This is now an industry-led, Government backed initiative, partnered with Maritime UK. Hosted at Strathclyde, it has attracted research and industry partners from across the UK allowing the industry to co-ordinate activities with UK Government and successfully secure funding.

Babcock is also a founding Tier One member of Strathclyde’s Advanced Nuclear Research Centre and is leading an industry-academic consortium for the AWESIM – Automated Welding Equipment System Inspection and Monitoring project.

Successful collaboration

Dr Jon Hall, Babcock’s Chief Innovation & Technology Officer, said: “For Babcock, successful collaboration underpins so much of what we do. Being able to work with academic partners such as the University of Strathclyde means we can integrate and deliver real innovation that will make a difference to some of the most important engineering challenges facing us and our customers today and in the future.

“This isn’t just about technology though; this partnership will support training and digital skills as well as broader innovation and knowledge management – and will build upon our current successes. We have a range of new topics on our agenda and I look forward to seeing what our already successful partnership can deliver in the future.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde said: “I am delighted that we are formalising our enormously successful and rewarding partnership with Babcock.

“As a leading international technological university, we are proud of our strong relationships and connectivity with industry. Launching this strategic partnership with Babcock means we can now explore new areas of research and co-invest to accelerate the delivery of world-class innovation and technology-led products.

It also means we can offer students and staff valuable industry experience through internships, placements and secondments, as well as providing Babcock with a critical source of future talent that can not only respond to change but can drive that change.”

Watch Babock's Perspectives vlog with Dr Jon Hall and Sir Jim McDonald, talking about the partnership.