Issue date: 08 April 2003

ISSUE DATE: 08/04/03

Fifteen centuries after the Vikings were first attracted to Britain’s shores, a return invasion of a much more peaceful kind has just taken place. Then, finely worked jewellery and armour were among the design skills that influenced both nations. This time, internet-based digital media knowledge was being shared when the University of the West of England led a creative industries study tour to the East Jutland peninsula.

Bristol is well known in Britain as a hub of activity in digital media, and among the organisations represented on the tour were the Wildscreen Trust; Aardman; several small new media businesses; Watershed and the South West RDA. As well as UWE, representatives from the Universities of Bristol and Bournemouth joined the delegation.

Paul Deane, Head of IT at Aardman, commented:

“The tour was interesting on many levels. It gave a good insight into both technology and business. It also showed the subtler aspects of collaboration and the cultural environment which Denmark is trying to foster to link pure research with new business incubation.”

During the tour, delegates visited an IT-city in Katrinebjerg, a run-down suburb of the city of Aarhus, to see how new companies have been supported and joint projects set up between higher education and established companies.

“The reason we chose Aarhus is because it is similar in many ways to Bristol, with lively business, cultural and educational activities,” said Nick Markovits, Enterprise Manager from UWE’s Centre for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies. “The Danes have strong support from local government and industry to promote the transfer of technology from Universities to create young, thriving media businesses of the future.”

Other visits were made to a science park, the University of Aarhus, a media collective known as MG50, The Innovation Lab and to the Centre for Pervasive Computing at the Alexandra Institute.

“We were delighted to take such a strong team from the region,” said Linda Skinner, director of UWE’s Centre for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies. “The tour presented a positive view of our own media industry, and enabled us to bring back and apply the best ideas that can be learned at Aarhus.”


Editor’s notes

1. List of participating organisations:
UWE Centre for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies:
UWE Faculty of Art, Media & Design:
Bournemouth Innovation, Bournemouth University
Bournemouth Media School
Bristol Enterprise Centre, University of Bristol
E3 Media
Socket Media (Europe) Ltd
3SIXTY Internet Ltd
Nameless UK
Submerge/OKSO Ltd
The Wildscreen Trust

2. The tour was partially sponsored by a grant from UK Business Incubation, an independent body (with government backing) that promotes and supports business incubation in Britain.

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