Teesside University is to receive a share of a multi-million pound national funding initiative aimed at developing new courses to teach the skills of the future.

Universities and colleges across the country are set to benefit from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund programme.

In total, £6.1 million has been awarded for institutions to develop new and enhanced higher education courses. Working with employers, the projects will help provide the skills needed in the future economy and support the aims of the Industrial Strategy.

Teesside University will receive upwards of £160,000 for a project to help grow the bioscience sector. The project will be delivered through the National Horizons Centre (NHC), a new £22m University-led centre of excellence for the bio-science sector due to open in Darlington in early 2019.

Under the working title ‘ Powering Growth in the Bioscience Sector’, the project will see the University work collaboratively with employers from bioscience and associated industries to develop formal and informal learning opportunities, meeting the skills needs of larger companies and enabling bioscience SMEs to scale-up and contribute to regional and national economic growth.

Using the NHC, it will bring together the expertise, facilities and people to meet the training innovation needs of some of the most rapidly expanding UK technology sectors.

Professor Mark Simpson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) at Teesside University, said: “We are committed to working with employers across all subject areas to ensure our students are equipped with the skills they need to flourish in their chosen sector.

“We are delighted with this successful funding bid and believe the project will generate explicit economic benefits for the Tees Valley and wider North East by addressing recognised skills gaps within the bioscience sector.”

Over 30 universities and colleges are benefiting from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund programme. HEFCE’s investment aims to enhance graduate outcomes and employability, and upskill the workforce – providing the key skills that industry and employers will need and contributing to UK productivity in the longer term.

HEFCE Chief Executive, Professor Madeleine Atkins, said: “We were delighted with the quality of proposals received for this funding call and particularly the impressive levels of engagement between higher education and industry.

“This investment represents important support for the government’s Industrial Strategy. The funding will provide new courses and vital skill developments in key industrial sectors across the country, from which students, the workforce and employers all stand to benefit.”