A new report has highlighted the success of the Durham Internships & Collaborative Enterprise (DICE) Project and its transformative effect on businesses in County Durham.
The DICE Project is a collaboration between Durham University and Business Durham to provide an integrated package of business and enterprise support. It aims to improve business innovation, increase graduate retention, increase the number of scalable start-ups in the region, and facilitate collaborative, developmental partnerships through four strands of support.
*GVA measures the monetary contribution that an organisation adds to the economy through its operations.
As part of the project our Careers & Enterprise Team provided valuable work experience opportunities for our students by placing them in local SMEs. An independent report commissioned to evaluate the project found that almost 40% of our students gained employment as a result of their internship, and 94% felt more employable following their experience.
I think it’s a really good thing to do to increase your confidence and prepare you to get a job in the future.
Further findings from the report indicate that the DICE project has helped transform the University’s relationship with the local SME community.
The report also found that thanks to the DICE Project our student enterprise activity has increased by 165%, with a number of student start-ups choosing to stay in the North East of England.
Case study: Low Carbon Materials
Set up by three young scientists, Low Carbon Materials (LCM) is shaping the green construction sector with its science-based, lower carbon, new-age building material OSTO®.
OSTO is a carbon-negative lightweight aggregate for concrete produced out of waste and by-products. It is a game-changer for the construction industry, which currently makes up to 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The product works by making traditional carbon-intensive blocks carbon-zero, thereby reducing their environmental impact.
LCM accessed various support from the University and took part in the DCI accelerator programme. In 2022, LCM was named as one of three international finalists in the Fix Our Climate category, in the world’s most prestigious environmental prize, The Earthshot Prize.
“To have our low-carbon, waste-based building material recognised as a formidable solution that can be scaled to reverse environmental damage and to better protect the environment is truly game-changing. This is real independent verification from the highest authority that our product has the potential to help fix our planet.”
Durham City Incubator (DCI) is is an accelerator programme for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses in County Durham in partnership with Business Durham, Durham University and New College Durham.
The six-month, fully-funded programme is for businesses that have been trading for less than twelve months and are looking to develop a high-growth start-up.
Developed as part of a wider drive to grow the Durham City economy, DCI works with start-ups from Durham University and New College Durham and to offer high quality facilities and business support to establish and grow their ventures in Durham City.
Watch the video to find out more about how DCI is working with business owners with a vision to grow and scale up.
I joined DCI because I have a business and product but I recognised there were gaps in my skills and I didn’t know how to take it to market.
The structured training, networking opportunities and access to trusted contacts provided on the DCI programme has allowed me to learn from people with the knowledge and experience I need to take Lexoral to the next stage.
Orbit University Enterprise Zone (UEZ) is located at the North East Technology Park (NETPark) and is home to a thriving community of science and technology-based businesses.
Supported by Research England and the European Regional Development Fund we provide flexible office space, networking space, innovation facilities and tailored support and industry-specific guidance for SMEs and university spin-outs in the North East.
Download the full summative assessment report
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