‘We want to help the community’s businesses to grow’

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE Alistair McDermott, of the University of Portsmouth's business school
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE Alistair McDermott, of the University of Portsmouth's business school
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MY university does more than teach. We are innovative, we work with companies to help create products and new software, we cultivate ideas and start new initiatives for the city.

Since arriving at the University of Portsmouth in October 2012, I have been on a mission to show people what the university is doing for businesses in the region.

I attend meetings and am frequently asked: ‘Could the university help businesses with this?’ Two things spring to mind: ‘Yes, we are already doing it!’ or ‘Why aren’t we doing that already?’.

I am passionate that as a director at the university we want to deliver services that help the community’s businesses to grow and to take new directions that are sustainable and that build an economy that can withstand economic pressures now and for the long haul.

More recently I have been passionate about providing a space for businesses to work inside the university.

When conversations began late 2012 about converting the university’s Halpern House on Hampshire Terrace, I jumped straight on board and the institution was right behind me.

In April we opened Innovation Space, a new concept building designed for businesses that want to work with us.

Our major partner in the project, Innovation Warehouse, brought their successful London project to Portsmouth and are helping entrepreneurs set up new businesses as we speak.

I hope this is just the beginning and that we can do more in the future.

We are also exploring the possibility of bringing Innovation Space to the Historic Dockyard to support the creative industries. See innovationspace.org.uk.