Students shine under venture to get creative experience

A pioneering scheme to give creative industries students commercial experience has generated more than �100,000 since its launch.

The Ideas factory@NUCA, which was set up by Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA) two years ago is a venture where students pitch for work with companies and organisations across the region on a fully-fledged commercial basis, receiving support and advice from academics.

Students have already worked on a range of projects designing the successful Celebrate Age campaign for Age UK Norfolk, as well working with Startrite Shoes on a new childrens' shoe design, Saffron Housing, as well as undertaking a re-imagining of classified advertising pages for Archant, publishers of the Eastern Daily Press.

Ed Walker, business director at NUCA, said the work ranged from providing corporate creative work such as logos, advertisements and websites to developing original approaches to enhancing businesses such as documentary film making, public art sculptures and computer games.

'Ideas factory@NUCA is a commercial outlet for students' innovative thinking and talent, led by staff with significant experience of the creative industries,' he said. 'Businesses that work with the consultancy benefit by harnessing the creative power of up to 1,800 students and 200 staff at NUCA.

'Students gain real-world experience and the University College is able to commercialise some of its intellectual property, thus providing an important revenue stream, which is re-invested in the overall student experience. Our clients have already included Archant, Hopkins Homes, Norwich Cathedral, Start-rite Shoes, The Forum Trust, Unicorn Press and the BBC. We also choose one charity to support each year with pro bono work such as our projects for Age UK and Break.'

Max Little, who graduated in BA Graphic Communication last month said the experience had helped him secure a 1st Class degree.

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'Before I worked with the Ideas Factory I was a middle of the road student, but after I did it, I got much more into the work ethic and started looking at my studies much more like a job.'