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Bangor University collaborations with businesses nominated for three awards

Bangor University has been nominated for three awards in publishing company Wales Business Insider’s Business and Education Awards, to be held in Cardiff on 3 November. The awards shine a light on collaborative work between Wales’ education institutions and the nation’s economy.

In addition to being nominated for both Best University and also the Partnership Award for the University’s partnership with Horizon Nuclear Group, the University has also been nominated in the New Process category, following a successful collaboration with a company that produces and distributes Welsh music.

Dr Steffan Thomas, a lecturer at the University’s School of Creative Studies and Media, worked with Sain Records Ltd as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) and a Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) – both national programmes that seek to promote the transfer of valuable academic expertise into the economy by working with local companies and businesses.

The aim of the KTP project was to lead Sain Records Ltd into the e-commerce market and, under the guidance of Dr Thomas, a new dynamic website was developed and links were established with digital distribution partners across all major digital stores, such as iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. As a result of a data structure overhaul conducted by Dr Thomas on the company’s digital catalogue of music – totalling over 18,000 tracks – content can now be exported to all major digital distribution companies within 4 days of an album’s release.

Working as part of the KESS project with the company, Dr Thomas conducted extensive research into various aspects of Sain Records Ltd, including e-marketing, consumer behaviour, copyright law, piracy, emerging business models as well as reviewing other media industries’ practices. After collecting and analysing the survey responses of 1,500 people, a new business model was developed, one that suited a production company working within a minority language.

The main outcome of this collaborative work between Bangor University and Sain Records Ltd was the development of a new website and a new digital distribution store. These developments have resulted in the company seeing a 70% rise in digital sales in the first 12 months and a further 15% increase year on year thereafter.

Dafydd Roberts, Chief Executive at Sain Records Ltd said:

“This relationship with Bangor University and Dr Steffan Thomas has enabled us at Sain to venture confidently, transfer our content and services to the digital formats and launch a new subscription based streaming service called Apton. These developments are crucial if we are to secure a sustainable future for the music industry in Wales.”

Looking forward to the awards on 3 November, Professor David Shepherd, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Bangor University said:

“Being nominated for these awards is a clear indication of the impact our academic expertise can have on the local and national economy. By working with businesses and showing the real-world applicability of our research, we’re playing a key role in the region’s development as a hub of innovation and enterprise.”

Publication date: 31 October 2016