A new British Council programme, launched by Baroness Emma Nicolson, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy, will fund 35 partnerships for UK universities and creative institutions as part of the Creative Spark programme, announced the British Council.
Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Programme is a five-year initiative to support international university and institutional partnerships to develop enterprise skills and the creative economy across seven countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan), South Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia) and Ukraine.
The programme has been developed in response to an underdeveloped creative sector and a demand for entrepreneurship training in these countries, supporting wealth and job creation.
Creative Spark will fund 35 partnership projects led by UK Universities and creative institutions in the first year of the programme with peer institutions in seven countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Each partnership will be granted a maximum of £50,000 and representatives from the UK and all programme countries will meet in Tbilisi, Georgia for the first time on 20-21 November for a conference to kick off their partnership plans.
The partnerships will focus on three areas to give young people in those countries improved access to international networks, markets and resources by:
Development of the funded partnerships between universities and creative institutions in the UK and those in programme countries;
Delivering enterprise skills training packages to students and creative entrepreneurs, ranging from pitching ideas and starting a business, to protecting intellectual property and securing financial support – this will be further developed through a ‘video pitch’ competition, open to 100,000s of students across the programme countries next summer, with UK based professional development courses as prizes
Delivering an English Learning Programme with a range of new digital language learning content. This will include onlinelearning packs on the English Channel platform, online courses and new Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) focused on English for entrepreneurship.
Richard Everitt, Director Education and Society, Wider Europe, British Council, said: ‘We received over 100 applications from UK Universities, so will be offering a package of support for those who wish to keep engaged with the Creative Spark programme and did not receive grant this year.’