Global infrastructure services firm, AECOM and Nottingham Trent University have launched a new partnership agreement focused on innovation, with the aim of developing new products, processes and services for the industrial sector.
AECOM and Nottingham Trent University (NTU) are expected to jointly pursue research and development opportunities in areas that could include offsite manufacture and the modularisation of production facilities, process optimisation, Industry 4.0, and energy and water use in production processes.
With the long-term goal of jointly bringing new products, processes and services to market, the organisations will look to create new business opportunities from their research and development outcomes, including the registration of Intellectual Property (IP).
With research aligned to industry needs, the partnership aims to focus on innovations that will help drive forward the UK’s industrial agenda.
Under the new partnership, AECOM and NTU will also collaborate on other key areas of activity, including teaching and learning, placements and employment. AECOM will work with NTU’s School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment to develop new curriculum content that is attractive to industry and tailored towards accreditations with professional bodies.
AECOM employees will also participate in teaching and mentoring to provide students with a practical view of current industry thinking. AECOM has a large office in Nottingham and will offer work placements to NTU students, alongside actively promote opportunities for higher level apprenticeships and graduate recruitment to NTU’s undergraduate and graduate students.
Chief executive – Resources & Industry, Europe, Middle East, India and Africa at AECOM, Frank Thiesen explained: “With the rise of digitalisation in the industrial sector, our clients face a range of challenges and opportunities in their quest to improve efficiencies and drive up productivity.
“Greater collaboration between academia and the private sector can therefore play an important role in developing products and processes that will be of most value to industry. The AECOM and NTU partnership will focus research on innovations that will be of true benefit to the sector, while also helping to develop the next generation of engineers.”
Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, Professor Edward Peck commented: “This partnership will ensure our students are participating in teaching which is directly relevant to industry and will also gain practical experience from work placements.
“We will also be able to ensure the University’s significant research experience is concentrated on shaping the UK’s industrial future.”
The partnership follows AECOM’s announcement earlier this year that it has signed a research partnership with the University of Salford aimed at improving understanding of how major infrastructure programmes interact with the natural environment.