STEAMhouse wins international competition on the future role of universities

STEAMhouse is continuing to make waves globally after beating numerous international stakeholders in a competition in which participants had to prophesise the role universities will play in the future.  

Posted 29 June 2022

STEAMhouse recently won a competition at the Future Role of Universities workshop in Amsterdam.

A fresh concept for education and collaboration  

Sophia Tarr, Business Partnerships Manager at STEAMhouse, took part in an international, interactive workshop in Amsterdam, in which participants – representatives from institutions across the globe – designed concepts for what they envision future universities will be like.

For their concept, STEAMhouse used the same approach they have successfully implemented in the creation of their innovation centres.

“Our concept, building on UIIN’s university-industry engagement challenge, was all about a space focused around the ecosystem, wellbeing, collaborations and inventing ideas,” explains Sophia.

“I envisioned a garden area where people could come together and share ideas, then move into another space where they could collaborate with other members, industries and students. It was all centred on talking, sharing ideas and working together.” 

Similarly to STEAMhouse’s spaces – which include a 3D printing lab, VR facilities and meeting rooms for collaborative sessions – Sophia pitched different ‘hubs’ where businesses and students would complete modules together, develop new ideas and seek new  investment opportunities. 

“The idea was that businesses or students would complete a minimum of three of those hubs (which involved working  with industry, SMEs and academics), then would go back into the collaboration space and share those ideas,” she explains. “Essentially, proposing something that is circular and connected.”  

After other attendees pitched their concept, STEAMhouse proved victorious in their concept. This felt especially rewarding considering it is a model that is already being explored and used by the team.  

“It’s always good to have that real-time feedback and to discover that the concepts you’re putting into place have long-term potential and huge benefits,” Sophia explains.  

“It could also open the door to future collaborations with international partners, which is a big part of our STEAMhouse ethos and principles.”  

Showcasing STEAMhouse internationally  

STEAMhouse’s competition win was part of their time spent in Amsterdam, after being invited to the tenth anniversary of the University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN) Conference. 

The conference provides attendees to delve inside the minds of renowned leaders via hands-on learning and practical workshops.  

STEAMhouse attended in order to the communicate the STEAMhouse model, highlight its achievements, celebrate putting BCU’s transdisciplinary research on the map and explain the value of having a strategic commercial model in place before EU funding expires. 

While there, STEAMhouse showcased the innovation centre’s partnerships and community, services and programmes, and BCU’s strategic vision and mission. 

The team also showcased the work of its STEAM Fellows, BCU academics who are conducting a project that demonstrates how the Arts and STEM can be combined to generate new knowledge.  

STEAMhouse proved to be well received, with stakeholders from Germany, Spain, South Africa and the United Kingdom all keen to further assess STEAMhouse’s commercial module, products, services and partnerships.

It has been a celebratory month for STEAMhouse, with their member Simon Caulton recently picking up the Rising Star Award at the 2022 National StartUp Awards.