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Meeting of worlds: universities and small businesses

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 1 Apr 2012, 07:58

Back in 'civvy street' having left the OU after a year in Milton Keynes I got chatting with someone now at the University of Brighton who had 20 years at th OU; he laughed at the degree of truth in my calling it (with love) as 'the priesthood' not least because onarrival for interviews in February 2011 I felt as if I was visiting the Vatican.

There were five others from the University of brighton st this evening event at The Skiff in Brighton's ubber trendy North Lanes.

Phil Jones the MD of Wired Sussex did the introductions.

This was to be a shared conversation on how Brighton and Sussex Universities could work with the 'wired' Brighton sector.

Miltos Petridis, New Head of School, Computing, Maths & Engineering. Brighton University gave the presentation.

I was lucky to spend a goid 15 minutes with him before the presentation and heard some fascinating ideas on how algorithms are used to look at vast quantities of email and social media conversations.

Miltos is from the University of Grenwich where he developed an interest in AI, essentially doing clever things with v. large amounts of data.

He said that Universities tend to thrive in times of recession; I should have asked him why?

More people seing security in a qualification?

There is a desire to hook up with alumni long term, especially as so many choose to stay in the area. I liked what one contributor described as 'fine-grained collisions', sandwhich courses and internships for example where undergraduates with desirable niche skills cab put them to good use' in industry'.

Miltos made the point that 'What we are calling clouds a few years ago used to be mainframes'.

Another contibutor with a music degree said that this taught him the value of collaboration, a skill too many graduates lack. I wonder if proof of collaborating online couldn't be offered in evidence?

  • There was talk abput apprenticeships.
  • Being mentored.
  • Creating a sense of accomplishment over a week.

I plan to attend Wrired Sussex events in Brighton regularly, also IVCA meetings in London; networking online isn't enough, it is relationships made face to face that lead to something. So I've rejoined the Institue of Swimming and in constract, the Royal Academy.

(I have always thought the the sides of swimming pools would make a fantastic gallery for art; has anyone to your knowledge done this outside the private home of the very wealthy?)

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