New role for university pioneer Peter

ONE of the key figures involved in developing University Campus Suffolk is today hoping his new venture will be just as successful.

ONE of the key figures involved in developing University Campus Suffolk is today hoping his new venture will be just as successful.

Dr Peter Funnell left his educational and leadership roles at UCS at the end of last month to become the chief executive officer of a new innovative company, IDEA Ltd.

At UCS he was the executive dean of the faculty of arts, business and social sciences, and director of Enterprise, which was set up to develop the university. Before those roles, he was assistant principal at Suffolk College, and he said this experience has been vital in the formation of his latest venture.

Dr Funnell is currently trying to establish the firm, which effectively acts as a broker between companies or colleges that need to develop their information and communications technology skills sector, and ICT providers. It was officially launched by prime minister Gordon Brown on his recent visit to Adastral Park in Martlesham.


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The founders of the joint venture are BT, University College London, University of East Anglia, University of Essex, UCS and Suffolk New College, which all saw a gap in the ICT skills sector.

Dr Funnell said: “ICT is everywhere. Much of our life is now determined by a functional use of technology. When we looked at the training requirements, we found a significant shortfall of people who met these.

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“We want to make it easy for individuals and employers to access skills on a whole range of levels. We act as an interface between the demand and those who can provide these courses.

“I was ready for a new challenge. I have left with an enormous amount of goodwill and enthusiasm.”

As well as heading up the new business, he is also director of Oakmere Solutions Ltd, a new consultancy business which provides a range of professional services like project design.

He has also become the chair of the Eastern Angles Theatre Company, a trustee of the Ipswich Town Community Trust, and established roles with the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and the New Wolsey Theatre.

Are you a key figure taking on a new role? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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