A female entrepreneur and academic has been appointed as the new head of digital innovation at a Midland university’s research and knowledge transfer arm.
Professor Irene Ng, has been made director of the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI), the newest building for Warwick Manufacturing Group, part of the University of Warwick.
IIPSI will allow businesses to access the latest product and service design technology and hopes to “create or safeguard” more than 200 jobs through a support programme for SMEs that will run until the end of June 2015.
Professor Ng joined WMG in 2011 and was chief executive of SA Tours, one of the largest tour operators in Southeast Asia.
She founded Empress Cruise Lines, a company with an annual turnover of around £153 million, which she sold in 1996.
The professor came to academia in 1997 and has had recognition for her work in value-based pricing and service systems.
Professor Ng said: “The future digital economy will be the convergence of connectivity, community, content and objects that would be more personal than ever before, creating markets for products and services that would serve individuals wherever they are, and on demand.
“This means we need much closer collaboration between manufacturing, computing, social science and business research.
“IIPSI will be a showcase of cutting-edge interdisciplinary research that works alongside businesses in a creative and innovative knowledge eco-system and can create real impact, from startups to established global corporations.”
Jonnie Turpie, a founder and former director of independent production company Maverick Television, has been appointed deputy director of IIPSI.
IIPSI is funded by the University of Warwick and the European Regional Development Fund.