Dr Noordin Shehabuddeen has been appointed Director of the newly created Bristol Business Engagement Centre at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

Dr Shehabuddeen has worked at the interface between industry and academia, at Cambridge and Liverpool universities and had a stint as an advisor to two cabinet ministers on innovation and knowledge transfer. A Mechanical Engineer by training, he later ventured into innovation and entrepreneurship, completing a masters and doctorate at Cambridge University.

His most recent role was at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, where he played a founding role in the development of a multi-million dollar initiative called the Innovation Precinct – which brought together various innovation infrastructure and activities across the University under a single industry-facing umbrella.

He also led the development of an incubation/acceleration facility for start-ups, has authored a practitioner handbook and developed a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on innovation – which has seen over 21,000 students going through it from around the world.

Speaking about his new role at UWE Bristol, Dr Shehabuddeen said,

“The scope for extending our engagement is tremendous. Regionally, Bristol is a happening place in terms of sectors such as creative and digital media, music and events, professional and financial services, and new technologies generally. It is also an exciting start-up scene.

“UWE Bristol has an important role to play in all aspects of business support and creation, be it around our entrepreneurship initiatives, or student advice clinics for business, or indeed through cross-disciplinary offerings.

“One of our first projects will be the launch of a business club facility – a sort of business class lounge with co-working spaces to create a strong ecosystem of industry stakeholders and practitioners. Some of the benefits of club membership will range from discounted access to our short courses to accessing student talent, relevant research expertise, and specialist facilities.

“We have a superb new building with state-of-the-art lecture theatres, innovative training suites, Bloomberg trading room, and moot courts. We would like to see businesses of all sizes and sectors making use of our facilities and engaging with our staff and student body. The future looks very exciting for us.”

Donna Whitehead, Executive Dean of Bristol Business School, said,

“We are delighted to welcome Dr Shehabuddeen on board. He has an outstandingly strong track record and will help us to shape some exciting new projects that take UWE Bristol’s business engagement activities into a new stratosphere.”