University College London and SAP have partnered to launch a Next-Gen Lab.
Starting immediately at the UCL School of Management the program will focus on digital, financial services, and insurance sectors in order to provide students with access to executives, visiting lecturers, training courses, conferences, and commercial products.
Initially 150 UCL studies are participating in a Design Thinking workshop that focuses on an interactive challenge set by the Lloyds Banking Group, in collaboration with SAP and UCL.
David Chapman, Deputy Director at UCL School of Management, said: “This is the kind of collaboration that is a win-win for all involved: students get a brilliant learning experience, the industry gets more skilled graduates, and UCL is able to expand its world class education offering.”
The digital skills gap has long been cited as a major problem facing both the IT industry and businesses in the UK. The issue has been raised by the like of techUK and others in calls for more action to be taken by the government.
Typically it has been technology companies that have driven the action on addressing the problem by collaborating with partners such as UCL and other universities across the country.
SAP said that the lab will act as a hub for its University Alliances activities across London and the rest of the UK, and will also work in coordination with other University alliance Next-Gen Labs in locations such as New York and Palo Alto.
Aneet Morar, Head of Digital Partnerships at Lloyds Banking Group said: “With the rise of digital devices changing the way we all interact with our banks, the financial services sector is increasingly looking to digital innovation to find new tools and applications that can deliver for customers.
“The opportunity to collaborate with the new Next-Gen Lab launch will help nurture that next generation of talent by allowing us to share the insights of the challenges and opportunities that come with scale, and an engaged customer base to provide a deeper understanding of the market.”