The University of Abertay's White Space project - an area of its campus worth some £2.5m - has officially opened today to support its computer games and computer arts interests.
White Space, 'a unique learning and knowledge-creation area', is designed as a place for the computer science department's students, PhD researchers and lecturers can work alongside business people, artists and broadcasters.
The facility is also home to part of the BBC Innovation group, the planning group for Creative Scotland - and also the planning team for Dare to be Digital, plus Abertay's White Space Solutions company which is dedicated to supporting local industry with digital business ideas.
Abertay Principal, Professor Bernard King, commented: “White Space is a learning environment like no other that gives Abertay graduates an extra edge in the global knowledge economy.
“The White Space concept surrounds our students with the buzz of a real working environment allowing them to share real-world knowledge and experience. Within White Space, industry interfaces with students, students interface with researchers, researchers expand horizons for future exploitation.
“Those who use White Space find it is the ideal environment to support the development of creativity and build confidence while learning about team work, cross-disciplinary co-operation and the significance of research, enterprise and entrepreneurship.”
The new facility has been praised by UK independent game developer association.
Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, said: “Scotland has some great video game developers, including Realtime Worlds, Denki, Dynamo Games, Black, Outerlight, 4J Studios, Black Company Studios, Tag games and Rockstar North. Abertay’s learning centre and the Dare to be Digital projects should help these and other games developers.
“The new White Space learning and knowledge creation centre will further strengthen Scotland’s competitive edge in video games. We hope that other UK universities will continue to develop knowledge sharing facilities and opportunities, particularly in those parts of the country where there are already clusters of games developers."
Abertay's Dare to be Digital competition has also been guaranteed more support from the Scottish Executive, with the provision of £56,800 to sponsor the competition during the summer.
Commented Wilson: "“The Dare to be Digital programme is a fantastic scheme, with a great reputation in the games industry. It encourages promotion and learning about making video games, it gives students a chance to work with some first class game development businesses and and it gives developers an opportunity to work with graduates before hiring them. This is a scheme that deserves further expansion.”