Central England Co-operative has signed a memorandum of understanding with Birmingham City University to collaborate on a new programme to develop skills and improve regional productivity through research, projects, and closer cooperation between business and academia.
The partnership aims to help support efforts by the society in embracing the growing influence of the digital sphere on the retail and funeral care industries, alongside business development.
Together with Birmingham City University, Central England Co-operative aims to grow and nurture talent in the local area, and extend digital skills across all communities in the region.
Birmingham City University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor, Julian Beer, said: “We are a university that puts regional transformation at our heart, but we can only do this through forging strong, strategic partnerships with organisations that share our ambition and values, such as Central England Co-operative.
“This agreement paves the way for us to explore new ways of better serving the region and, in turn, we hope it will inform our own teaching through practice-based learning opportunities.”
The collaboration will also include the creation of a digital hub, called think:digital, based in an office on Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus.
John Armstrong, Head of Information Technology at Central England Co-operative, is leading the collaboration. He said: “The partnership will allow us to become a more digitally-enabled society. This is an exciting link up and we look forward to working closely together to innovate, develop and roll out exciting and advanced digital ways of working, to help and support the businesses sectors the Society operates in.”