Friday, 29 July 2011

Two steps forward and a quick look back

It has been a busy week of looking forward here at MCC International with a big new client win that we cannot wait to start working with bright and early on Monday morning and securing a regular monthly column for one of our clients in their key publication. In other news, we have been busy putting together a very exciting new business proposal for a really interesting technology, so all fingers are tightly crossed for the go ahead soon.

On Tuesday, Agency Director, Graham Thatcher, attended his first (well first official!) CIPR committee meeting in Southampton and was delighted to hear that the Wessex region certainly has a thriving PR community. The CIPR is putting on a lot of events between now and the end of the year that will be ‘must attends’ for PR professional is the area.

Whilst some of us have been looking forward, others have been taking a peek in to MCC’s past, recalling our launch of Segway in to the UK market way back in 2005. In fact, they have been dusting off the two-wheeled transporter that many visitors to Winchester House have admired in our reception, with Simon modelling it for our Twitter profile, take a look at:

Monday, 25 July 2011

NanoKTN Awards Additional EPSRC Studentships for Innovative Research Projects

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, is pleased to announce that after initially awarding three EPSRC studentships in May 2011, it has allocated an additional three Awards to exceptional projects at the Universities of Birmingham, Oxford and Sheffield. The research projects will focus on polymer based dye-sensitized solar cells, additives to improve the adhesion and performance of inks, and anti-microbial agents in nano-hydroxyapatite coatings for titanium implants.

The NanoKTN had an exceptionally high number of applications this year, all of which were of a very high standard. The NanoKTN therefore highlighted these projects to the EPSRC for consideration and funds became available recently which enabled the NanoKTN to award 3 additional studentships.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Future of PR

On Monday afternoon I had the privilege of taking part in The Future of PR debate, hosted by Bournemouth University (an institution with a well deserved reputation for churning out high calibre PR graduates), as part of an ongoing CIPR initiative.

For the seven of us sat around the table - a mix of senior in-house, agency and academia - it was like being back in the classroom.

Fuelled with a lot of coffee, as every PR person I know tends to be, we enthusiastically took part in a two-and-a-half-hour scenario planning exercise, where we considered what PR practise would likely look like in the year 2020, along with our hopes and fears.

Of course, placing a group of PR people in a room together and asking them for their opinion it never going to be difficult to get a debate raging and sure enough we were soon tackling issues of diversity, career progression, respect, evaluation, use of research and the broader public perception of our profession as a whole and the need for positive role models and advocates of good PR.

Undoubtedly, one of the most hotly contested topics was whether PR will still be known as PR in the next 10 years. Some could envisage it becoming absorbed under a broader integrated marketing communications banner, driven in part by the calls for new and emerging digital channels to be ‘owned’ by the PR function. Meanwhile, others could see a clear split emerging between those delivering high-level strategy becoming branded as Management Consultants, and the more tactical end adopting the moniker of Publicist.

One area of unanimous agreement was the fact that whatever it is called the need for PR is here to stay. There are many great PR practitioners doing a lot of great work and it is the responsibility of those of us who have chosen this as our career path, whether in-house, agency or those educating the next cohort of PR undergraduates, to continually promote best practise and extol the benefits of our profession.

Author: Graham Thatcher

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Nanotechnology Mini-Innovation and Growth Team (Mini-IGT) Announces Skills Report

The Nanotechnology Mini-Innovation and Growth Team (Mini-IGT) is pleased to announce the availability of a report following the ‘UK Manufacturing needs nanotechnology – Closing the Skills Gap’ event that was held on the 11th May 2011. The Nanotechnology Mini-IGT Secretariat prepared the report and sent it to Rt Hon David Willetts MP.

The report provides supporting information and detailed proposals based on the evidence from an industry survey and conclusions from the event. The report also summarises the issues, recommendations and the responsible departments for ensuring appropriate skills are available in support of the growth of the UK’s manufacturing industries.

The survey and event identified a number of key issues articulated in this report including recommendations on how to tackle the current gap in the provision of appropriate skills and the responsible departments for ensuring these skills are available.

Monday, 18 July 2011

ramsac adds Apple support to its suite of IT services

IT specialist offers all-round, multi-platform support for business technology needs

Leading IT solutions consultancy ramsac has launched a dedicated Apple business unit and been accredited by the Apple Consultants Network. Combined with nearly 20 years’ of providing PC support, and as a Microsoft Gold Partner and Citrix Silver Partner, ramsac now offers clients full business IT support and expertise across the major IT platforms to provide a comprehensive package of support from one supplier.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

NanoKTN Support Leads To First KTP Between University of Surrey and Plasma Quest

The NanoKTN is pleased to announce the success of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Surrey and one of its members Plasma Quest. The twenty-four month project which finished in March 2011 has enabled the UK SME to increase profitability, improve capabilities and develop its products to an even higher standard.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are designed to help UK businesses improve productivity through the use of expertise and technology found at academic bases, helping to deliver significant increased profitability for the companies involved. There are currently over 1,000 national partnerships in place throughout the UK, helping UK businesses improve operations and ultimately increase sales.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

NanoKTN Announces Second BlueSkyNano Award Scheme to Assist Product Development in Advanced Materials

The NanoKTN is pleased to announce a partnership with ANSIN in launching its second BlueSkyNano awards scheme. ANSIN is an advanced materials research and development centre set up as a collaboration between Queen’s University Belfast and Seagate Technology based in Northern Ireland who manufacture 2 million read-write heads per day and provided the £9M starting resource.

BlueSkyNano was established by the NanoKTN in 2010 to fund feasibility studies aimed at new product development or product enhancement, and the awards aim to encourage interaction between industry and academia. Focused primarily on innovation in nanomaterials, it covers application areas in ICT, sensors, environment and energy, medicine and high value manufacturing, and aims to establish a recognisable brand for UK industry.

ramsac recruits its latest IT apprentice

Innovative scheme gives young IT professional a front line position at Surrey IT solutions consultancy

Leading IT solutions consultancy ramsac today announces that it has recruited Josh MacKinnon to the position of First Line Support Consultant, following his successful completion of its innovative IT apprenticeship scheme. During his apprenticeship the company provided dedicated training, funding and support to help him achieve industry-recognised professional qualifications. He is now based full-time at ramsac’s head office in Godalming, Surrey.


Caption: Josh (sitting) with Support Manager Jonathan Dobsonat ramsac's office.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

TDSi tempts new business through scrappage scheme

Access Control specialist offers incentive to upgrade to the latest EXSeries in exchange for old hardware

Poole, 6th July 2011 – TDSi, a global leader in access control systems for all sizes of businesses and organisations has announced the launch of its EXchange scrappage scheme. The EXchange scheme is designed to make upgrading from its S-Series controllers to its new EXSeries controllers easier and more cost effective.