South West College recently hosted Arlene Foster MLA Minister for Enterprise Trade and Investment and Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive of Invest Northern Ireland (NI) at the Image Studio in its Enniskillen Campus. The guests were taken on a tour of the Image Creative Technologies Studio a bespoke Innovation Centre for Digital Animation and App Development. Some of the equipment on view during the tour included; a Motion Capture machine, Pre-incubation area, Sound Recording studio, 3D Development and Digital Compositing software.
The tour was followed by a series of presentations from the College’s senior management team detailing the on-going work with industry locally, nationally and internationally. Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said: “I welcome the level of engagement with industry and high standards being set by South West College in the Further Education sector. Strong evidence of the business engagement is the large number of Invest Northern Ireland innovation vouchers South West College has delivered, with a strong focus on new product development projects."
Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive of Invest NI added:
“I congratulate the college on the work they are doing within this region, specifically with the facilities in the CREST centre. The college’s work to forge strong partnerships in new and developing markets such as Brazil and China is helping to provide a bigger platform for business opportunities within these regions and their Confucius Hub programme takes this one step further by providing a Mandarin language course. I would encourage businesses with an interest in the Chinese market to take up the opportunity to gain an additional skill which will help to exploit and develop opportunities within this fast growing market.”
Malachy McAleer, Director South West College said; “I am delighted that the College has had this opportunity to showcase the excellent work on-going in the area of economic engagement and innovation in the South West region and beyond. Our Innotech team provide a much needed service linking government and University R & D to Private sector development through technology development and support at the early stages of idea/product development. Locally the team has supported over 175 SME’s in the areas of Innovation, Resource Efficiency and Engineering Design. Internationally, the team have 41 partners across 11 countries and has secured the first FP7 Project for any College in NI.”
Following the presentations the guests were treated to a Chinese Gourmet lunch prepared by Hospitality and Catering students in honour of the Chinese New Year. This complemented a subsequent presentation on the College’s widely acclaimed Confucius Hub programme, which highlighted that over the past two years over 1,300 pupils across Tyrone and Fermanagh have benefited from studying the Mandarin language as part of the programme.