University opens its doors for firms in partner link-up

Pro vice-chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, Prof Pal Ahluwalia, speaking at the University 2 Business Conference     Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Pro vice-chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, Prof Pal Ahluwalia, speaking at the University 2 Business Conference Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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THE University of Portsmouth was ‘excited’ to open its doors to businesses in the region to help forge successful partnerships and maximise potential in the years ahead.

The new University 2 Business event is seeking to help start-ups and entrepreneurs tackle their business challenges by showcasing the outstanding facilities, groundbreaking technologies and expertise offered by the university.

Pro vice-chancellor Pal Ahluwalia addressed a packed conference at the inaugural event to share his passion to delegates with him declaring it as the ‘beginning of an exciting journey for the months and years ahead’.

Attendees had the chance to view and experience equipment, products and services, as well as meet university staff to find out more about the work they do.

Mr Ahluwalia said: ‘It is an exciting day and the first time we’ve opened our doors on this scale to local businesses.

‘We want you all to see exactly what goes on here and all the great things that happen.

‘The university has a massive economic impact on the local economy with us affecting over 9,000 jobs in the Solent area.

‘We hope this is only the beginning and by working with our partners it will help our students. Our success means more success for our students.

‘Having a partnership with businesses means we can work closely together and do things seamlessly.

‘It offers people who don’t know what goes on here to see what we do.’

A variety of live sessions and workshops were put on by experts which included an introduction to dispute resolution training to prepare companies for small claims courts and employment tribunals as well as integrating new technologies into business to manage operations and customer relations.

Delegates were given a taste of how the facilities and expertise could help business succeed as well as having the chance to discuss opportunities and learn about the university’s previous successful business partnerships.

The conference heard about some of the university’s impressive achievements which included being ranked as a top 25 UK university in the Guardian League Table, being one of the top 100 young universities in the world and for boosting graduate salaries for its students that come from 130 countries across the globe.

Strong reference to the university’s focus on research, business analysis and humanities was highlighted. ‘It is an opportunity to see staff and see their methods and look at the way things might go next,’ Mr Ahluwalia said.

The university also works actively in the community with businesses over conferences and lettings which boosts funds and raises its profile. ‘We work closely with a number of businesses, organisations and overseas groups where we manage events for them and provide accommodation. It generates revenue and puts us on the map,’ said David Goodwin, commercial manager for sales and lettings.