As we look to the future after the impacts of COVID-19 on the UK’s cities and regions there is no doubt collaboration is going to be critical. Across our regional economies we won’t maximise our opportunities or solve the problems we face, working in isolation. So KPMG is embarking on an exciting series of new collaborations with universities in the UK, combining our thinking, talent and resources to amplify businesses growth and regional prosperity.
I am delighted that the first of what will be a number of strategic collaborations are with the University of Leeds and the University of Nottingham.
These and future collaborations will focus on different specialisms, from a market, sector, or issue, reflecting strengths within each university. Working together we’ll deliver commercially useful insights that bring new value to businesses, as well as exploring joint initiatives around skill building, learning opportunities and the sharing of collaboration space.
The University of Leeds collaboration will initially focus on entrepreneurship and scaling-up, through the university’s innovation hub, Nexus. New initiatives that KPMG and Nexus will develop include the creation of a joint incubation space for entrepreneurial businesses that could particularly benefit from the combined knowledge and expertise of the two organisations.
The focus of the University of Nottingham collaboration is advanced data analytics. Specialists from the University’s Data-Driven Discovery Initiative (3Di) and KPMG will develop new research and provide insight to enhance data and analytics services for businesses. There will also be support for the innovative ideas of small and medium sized enterprises in the East Midlands Region and data skills training to help close the digital skills gap.
We have an award-winning community programme but are keen that our collaborations help to deliver more social value. Our aim is to strengthen the place-based approach of our community engagement, for example undertaking 30 percent of our skills-based volunteering in government-identified social mobility coldspots by 2022.
The higher education sector is indisputably a critical driver of the talent and innovation on which businesses depend in our cities and regions. Strengthening the bond between these parts of our economies has long been on our agenda. We have already developed relationships with UA92 and the Institute of Technology in Milton Keynes, which are helping to make a real difference in terms of skills.
At KPMG we are proud of our heritage in the UK’s regional markets and our position within them remains one of our greatest strengths. So, to collaborate with institutions that form the cornerstone of so many cities is absolutely compelling, while the fields of entrepreneurialism and data analytics represent exciting opportunities to drive innovation and productivity in our regional economies.
Please contact us at EducationPartnerships@kpmg.co.uk if you would like further information.