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Centre for Digital Entertainment

Universities of Bath and Bournemouth launch £6.3 million doctoral programme.

13th August 2009. Bournemouth & Bath, UK. Announced today, the Centre for Digital Entertainment (CDE) is a new and unique collaboration between the University of Bath, Bournemouth University and a host of industry partners across the computer animation, games and visual effects industries. The CDE has been awarded £6.3 Million initial funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to fund 50 doctoral studentships in digital entertainment beginning in October 2009 and spread over eight years.

The CDE's purpose is to train the next generation of leaders in the computer animation, games and digital effects industries by offering a unique doctoral program that places researchers directly in companies to work on real projects. Under academic supervision students' work will form the basis of an Engineering or Professional Doctorate.

David Walsh, Managing Director of Frontier said, "This is an excellent programme which will benefit our industry significantly. The Centre will allow us to increase the number of highly skilled people we can bring to bear on the exciting technical challenges we are addressing by blending the best of academia with top quality commercial organizations in an effective, focused way."

Andy Lomas, Head of Computer Graphics at Framestore CFC added, "I believe that in the UK we are missing out in the type of close connections between academic research and the animation and visual effects industry that happens in North America. The proposed Doctoral Centre could have very significant impact in addressing this gap."

Prof Phil Willis, Head of the Computer Science Department at the University of Bath said, "This high-level of EPSRC investment offers a wonderful opportunity to put leading-edge researchers into our national and world-class companies in the digital media sector. This is exactly the right time to put skills investment in place, ready for the economic recovery. The complementary skills of Bournemouth University and the University of Bath, and the demonstrated willingness of both universities to work closely with industrial partners, maximise the value we can deliver to our partner companies."

The program lasts 4 years with 75% of student's time being based in a company working on real projects with support by access to options from a suite of Master's programs from both universities. The taught program will be negotiated by the student, academic supervisors and the host company allowing bespoke tailoring to particular research needs.

Bournemouth University is recognised worldwide as providing one of the best digital arts degree courses with alumni obtaining prestigious posts at Frontier, DreamWorks and may other world leading companies.

*Doctoral studentships are fully funded providing fees, a tax free stipend and dedicated funding for international conferences.

For more details see information for applicants or information for companies please visit: http://www.digital-entertainment.org/ or email cde@cs.bath.ac.uk

Media enquiries to:

Alison Beasley, Lincoln Beasley PR. E: Alison@lincolnbeasley.co.uk

T: + 44 (0) 1608 645756 M: +44 (0) 7966 449130

About CDE

The Centre for Digital Entertainment is part of Britain's biggest ever investment of £250 million aimed at training the scientists and engineers Britain needs for its future. Over the next five years, some 2,000 PhD students will be recruited to 44 centres across the country to tackle some of the biggest challenges currently facing Britain.

The CDE will focus on providing research-level skills as well as technical and management expertise to people heading into the specialist industries of computer animation, games and visual effects.

The CDE is grateful for the ongoing support of our industry partners.

Aardman Animation; Bizarre Creations; CIS; Codemasters; Framestore; Frontier Developments; Harman Technology; HP Labs; Incredible Sims; Lionhead Studios; The Moving Picture Company; Microsoft; NaturalMotion Ltd; Rare; Relentless Software; Sony Computer Entertainment Europe; Zoë Mode; South West Screen; Skillset

About Frontier www.frontier.co.uk

Frontier employs over 200 people, based in Cambridge, UK and is one of the games industry's leading independent developers, having built upon the innovative creations of founder David Braben, co-author of the seminal 'Elite'. Frontier is currently making games for all leading games platforms.

The studio has received several prestigious BAFTA nominations (e.g. for 'Dog's Life' and 'Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo') in addition to an Academy of Interactive Arts Institute nomination for it's US PC No. 1 hit 'RollerCoaster Tycoon® 3', Thrillville was the #1 kids game in USA in 2006 and LostWinds® won the 2008 Develop 'Best New IP' award.

Frontier is working on the eagerly anticipated Xbox®360, PlayStation®3 and PC action thriller 'The Outsider®' as well as other exciting, but as yet unannounced, projects.

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