Trade body wants closer ties between industry and academia to support new studios

Tiga wants regional game incubators at universities

Tiga has proposed the formation of regional and national game development incubators at universities across the UK in a bid to provide a platform for more start-ups.

The UK trade body envisions the network will consist of 12 universities, one in each of the nine English regions and one in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Other plans could see the scheme consist of a consortium of universities working cooperatively within each region.

Universities in the program would be selected as incubators by the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments, as well as the Northern Ireland Executive, based on criteria relating to infrastructure, industry links and regional and national demand.

Under the plans, the game development incubators would be open to both student and non-student start-ups. The fledgling companies would also be encouraged to seek external funding as well as taking advantage of the resources the university has to offer.

The scheme is aimed at supporting the large number of game start-ups in the UK, with 44 per cent of game companies in the country having formed in the last two years.

Tiga hopes a scheme will boost local connections between tech start-ups and academia. So far ten Tiga university and college members have backed the proposals.

“The formal designation of twelve regional/national game development incubators could help to produce new and more sustainable companies,” said Tiga CEO Richard Wilson.

“The reputation of UK higher education would be enhanced, with participating institutions demonstrating strong support from the game industry and to the wider economy. This could serve to strengthen the appeal of the universities involved to overseas students as well. The reputation of the UK as a centre for game development would be given an important boost.”

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