Dundee-Mumbai video games education partnership signed on UK trade mission
Academic expertise for the video games sector will be shared between the UK and India following the signing of a key partnership agreement between two universities during an international trade summit.
Led by Abertay University and École Intuit Lab, the agreement signed at Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in India on January 10 contains a commitment to work towards collaborative R&D and innovation for the video games industries in Dundee and Mumbai, as well as joint degree programmes, student articulation, and cultural exchange opportunities.
The Memorandum of Understanding agreement was signed by Naman Merchant of Abertay’s School of Design and Informatics and Yan Garin, Country Head & Director at École Intuit Lab, Mumbai, during a special event at Vibrant Gujarat – an international forum for business networking, knowledge sharing and strategic partnerships, opened by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
The signing was witnessed by UK Government Minister of State for the Middle East and South Asia, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, as part of a trade visit with the aim of building closer trade and innovation partnerships between the UK and India.
Abertay’s School of Design and Informatics and École Intuit Lab will explore mentorship and work experience opportunities for students with local games industry partners and seek to collaborate on research projects that tackle problems being faced by industry in both countries.
Abertay University is based in Dundee, a city globally renowned as a hub for video games design with an established reputation for excellence as the birthplace of the Grand Theft Auto franchise and the home of the console and handheld editions of the best-selling game of all time, Minecraft. The Dundee games cluster has a mix of established studios, SMEs and start-ups and has more games developers per head of population than anywhere else in the UK, employing graduates from Abertay’s internationally leading games degrees. In August last year, A report from BiGGAR Economics showed the InGAME R&D project led by Abertay is expected to generate an estimated £84.7m GVA for the UK economy by 2032 and generate 115 jobs within the Tay Cities Region alone.
With campuses Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi and Bengaluru, École Intuit Lab is a leading provider of video games design education in India. The country has also enjoyed a major expansion in recent years and is now one of the world’s fastest-growing video games markets, with an estimated 400 million active gamers across the country.
During the Vibrant Gujarat summit, École Intuit Lab students presented a bespoke mobile video game to Lord Amad, themed around cricket and Indian ‘chaiwallah’ tea culture.
Lord Ahmad said: “This relationship between Abertay University and École Intuit Lab is a fantastic example of collaboration between the UK and India. As technologies revolutionise our lives, the video-games sector is absolutely integral to the success of our creative industries, so it’s important we share best practice in teaching and research, to keep nurturing the next generation of global games design talent as well as harnessing the incredible talent of our youth.”
Professor Liz Bacon, Principal and Vice-Chancellor at Abertay University said: “This partnership will add significant value to both Dundee and Mumbai as we build on the strong ethos of international collaboration fostered between Abertay and our overseas partners. We’re pleased to be working with École Intuit Lab and looking forward to exploring opportunities for future collaboration between our institutions and respective industry networks.”
Yan Garin of École Intuit Lab said: “The collaboration between École Intuit Lab and Abertay University marks a pivotal moment for Game Art students, as they get immersed in both Indian and UK educational environments. This unique alliance not only empowers students with a rich and diverse learning experience but also cultivates a new breed of professionals for the gaming industry. By providing these educational cultures, we are shaping individuals with a much broader cultural vision, poised to elevate the gaming industry with innovation and global perspectives.”