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Business boost for South East Interactive Media and Games Companies

New Business Development Scheme for the region launched by Skillset

A new Company Development Scheme for South East based Interactive Media and Computer Games businesses was announced today by Skillset, Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries. The industry-led scheme, to support the employment base in the sector which has seen substantial growth in recent years, focuses on business, management and leadership issues as well as creative ideas and technical skills. Small and medium sized companies in the region will benefit from a tailored package of support to add business skills and commercial awareness to their creative and entrepreneurial talent.

Ian Livingstone, Creative Director at Eidos, and Chair of Skillset's Computer Games Skills Forum, said:

"The initiative will ultimately improve the competitiveness of the sector as a whole through demonstrating the benefits of business orientated thinking to the games industry"

Andrew Chitty, Managing Director of Illumina Digital, and Chair of Skillset's Interactive Media Industry Forum, said:

"The scheme aims to address the need to combine both entrepreneurship and creative talent with business development and management skills and highlight the importance of this blend to the future of the interactive media industry"

In the South East the Interactive Media and Computer Games sectors have seen substantial employment growth in recent years with research showing them to be the largest sub-sectors in the region. Including all their sub-sectors, they now make up 60% of all audio visual employment in the area, playing a significant role in the South East's economic development and productivity.

The scheme, which is funded by SEEDA, South East Media Network, the Department of Trade and Industry and industry investment via Skillset, includes expert business consultancy advice and will focus on developing companies, when and how to invest in technology, raise necessary capital, plan projects properly and be aware of new markets and available resources that can help businesses. Delivered for Skillset by Wired Sussex, the support involves bespoke suite of individual mentor sessions, workshops, masterclasses, networking events and online resources developed specifically for participants.

There are two separate strands within the scheme recognizing the specific differences and needs of both interactive media companies and those specialising in computer games, but both will enable the participating companies to receive a tailored package of support which may include skills development in the following areas:

  • Business Management and company development
  • Asset exploitation and Management
  • Problem solving and understanding concepts
  • User awareness and understanding the different audiences and marketplaces for products
  • Marketing and Brand awareness
  • Pitching and preparing/making presentations
  • Risk Management
  • Outsourcing and Partnership Management
  • Change and growth management
  • Human resources and training expertise
  • Collaborative working and team building
  • Mergers and acquisitions and legal awareness
  • Technical expertise in digital security, anti-piracy technologies and ability for companies to build systems that seamlessly integrate these functions
  • Availability of resources from Government in relation to training skills and company development

For more information visit: www.skillset.org/businesssupport

- ENDS -

SKILLSET PRESS OFFICE: Eve Ragout 020 7520 5752 / 07968 010 325 eve@skillset.org

1. Skillset is the Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries. Audio visual industries in this context means, Broadcast, Film, Video, Interactive Media and Photo Imaging. Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) are independent, UK wide organisations developed by groups of influential employers in industry or business sectors of economic or strategic significance. SSCs are employer-led and actively involve trade unions, professional bodies and other stakeholders in the sector.

2. Computer Games Skills Forum Membership: Chair: Ian Livingstone, Product Acquisition Director, Eidos - www.eidos.co.uk; Deputy Chair: Orla Byrne, Group HR Director, Activision - www.activision.co.uk; Chris Keegan, Development Director, Climax - www.climaxgroup.com; Geraldine Randle, HR Manager, Blitz Games - www.blitzgames.com; John Broomhall, Audio Director & Consultant, Broomhall Project Ltd - www.johnbroomhall.co.uk; John Duthie, HR Manager, Visual Science - www.vissci.com; Louisa Steensma, HR Manager, THQ - www.thq.com; Mark Johnston, Academic Team, Microsoft - www.microsoft.com; Mary Timlin, Vice President, Human Resources, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe -www.scee.com; Richard Gale, Rare - www.rareware.com; Sarah Seaby, Marketing Director, Take Two - www.take2europe.com; Simon Prytherch, Head of Internal Development, Empire Interactive - www.empireinteractive.com; Sheila Kettle, Human Resources Manager, Kuju Entertainment - www.kuju.com; Stephen Harrison-Mirfield, Director of Human Resources, Codemasters - www.codemasters.com; Susan Eilfield, HR Director and Jenny Brown, University Relations Manager, EA - www.europe.ea.com; Tanya Kennedy, HR Manager, SEGA Europe - www.sega.co.uk; Fred Hasson, CEO, TIGA - www.tiga.org; Mike Rawlinson, Deputy Director General, ELSPA - www.elspa.com;John Kroeger, Head, Computer Games Publishing, DTI - www.dti.gov.uk

3. Interactive Media Skills Forum Membership: Chair: Andrew Chitty, Managing Director, Illumina Digital - Illumina Digital; Benet Northcote, Head of Interactive Media, CTN - www.ctn.co.uk; Bill Daring, Director, KMP - www.kmpassociates.com; Bill Skirrow, Managing Director, Intelfax - www.intelfax.co.uk; Damian McConnell, Head of DVD Production, Picture Production Company - www.theppc.com; Denise Turner, Marketing Director, Cimex - www.cimex.com; Dr Philip Rhodes, Director of Research, fhios - www.fhios.com; Ian Thomas, Head of Software Development, B-Dag Cyf - www.prodplay.co.uk; Illana Abrahams, Media Director, iTraffic - www.itraffic.com; Jon Hirsch, Hirschworks - www.hirschworks.com; Martin Freeth, Managing Director, Red, Green & Blue Company - www.rgbpost.com; Martin Ross, Interactive Media Producer, The Edge Picture Company - www.edgepicture.com; Peter Button, Chief Executive Officer, Wireless Information Network - www.winplc.com; Peter Cowley, Director of Interactive Media, Endemol UK - www.endemoluk.com ; Sandra Agnew, Head of Training, BskyB - Sky; Simon Gunning, Celador - www.celador.co.uk; Stef Brammar, Operations Director, Node - www.nodeexplore.com; Claire Scally, Interactive Media Executive, PACT - Producers' Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT); Wayne Drew, Chief Executive, IVCA - International Visual Communications Association (IVCA); Lynne Kilpatrick & John Kroeger, Digital Content and Publishing Unit, DTI - www.dti.gov.uk

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