Tiga announces partnership with Nesta to ease skills shortages and promote innovation in the UK games industry

July 7th 2008

Tiga, the only national trade association representing the interests of games developers throughout the UK, aims to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We are delighted, therefore, that Nesta has chosen to launch today its£450,000 Raise the Game initiative to support innovation and growth in the video games industry. Nesta will be working in partnership with Tiga, Dare to be Digital (The University of Abertay) and Crossover Innovation Labs.

Raise the Game will involve four strands:

a mentoring programme - which teams experienced business people up with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in games to help them grow their businesses;

a shared resources pilot to ease skill shortages and aid knowledge transfer– this will help SMEs to find talented recruits, share personnel and facilitate job swaps between complementary industries;

nurturing new innovative talent– which will provide intern placements in SME development studios, drawing from graduates of the international games competition Dare to be Digital; and

Crossover - a series of‘innovation labs’ fostering new collaborations and ideas for cross platform content– designed to bring games SME’s to commissioners from beyond the traditional games sector.

Tiga naturally has an interest in all four strands of Raise the Game but we will be most closely involved in the sharing resources pilot. This project will last for 12 months. It will aim to:

• help games developers find and recruit talented staff;

• help games developers share staff resources; and

• facilitate cross-collaboration between the games industry and other complementary industries, such as animation and television, through job swaps.

The pilot could ease skill shortages, aid knowledge transfer and encourage innovation in the games industry. To deliver the project Tiga will create a resource sharing model contract and best practice guide to help facilitate inter-company / inter-industry activity. There will also be a database driven online portal, accessible to the entire video games industry, and to other industries such as television and film to advertise for recruits and indicate whether they are interested in sharing / exchanging staff. The portal will launch in stages and be fully operation by January 2009.

Tiga will also organise a series of networking events around the UK to support and promote the online portal. Additional events will focus on generating interest from industries with connections and interests in the games industry to encourage the transfer of skills and knowledge across different sectors.

Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, said:

“Skill shortages are a major problem for games developers. I am delighted, therefore, that Nesta will be supporting Tiga in providing a range of human resource solutions for the games industry, including the recruitment of staff, job sharing and job swapping. Tiga’s project will help to ameliorate skill shortages, encourage knowledge transfer and facilitate innovation and so enhance the competitiveness of games businesses throughout the UK.

“I want to thank Nesta on behalf of the entire games industry for the“Raise the Game” programme. The UK video games industry faces important challenges: we need a more favourable tax environment and we need to tackle skills shortages. Yet the UK’s video games industry is a success story; we have the fourth largest industry in the world in terms of revenue generation and we have the biggest games industry in Europe, employing over 22,000 people, including 10,000 in development. Nesta’s partnership with Tiga will help perpetuate our industry’s achievements.”

End

Notes to editors:

1. Tiga

Tiga is the national trade association that represents games developers in the UK and in Europe. We have 155 members, the majority of whom are games developers, but we also have outsourcing companies and technology businesses as members who provide services to games developers. Tiga vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business.

2. NESTA

www.nesta.org.uk

NESTA is the National Endowment for Science, Technology&the Arts. Our mission is to transform the UK’s capacity for innovation. We do this in three main ways: by working to build a more pervasive culture of innovation in this country; by providing innovators with access to early stage capital; and by driving forward research into innovation, with a view to influencing policy.

3. Abertay University / Dare to be Digital

Abertay University was first to offer taught courses in software engineering for computer games development in the 1990s and is now the only UK university with two Skillset accredited programmes in Computer Games Technology and Computer Arts. Abertay’s research and knowledge transfer activities in this area are characterised by their proximity to market and their use of innovation technology which will be at the heart of preparing Dare to be Digital participants for the Dare internships launched today. Abertay University also founded Dare to be Digital, the competition for prototype game development that has become the exclusive pathway to a BAFTA Ones to Watch Award and now runs in five UK and Irish universities with international participation from India and China, in association with Channel 4.

www.abertay.ac.uk / www.daretobedigital.com

4. For further information, please contact: Dr Richard Wilson, Tiga CEO on: 0845 0941095; Mob: 07875 939643; or: Email: richard.wilson@tiga.org


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