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Microsoft UK CEO visits University of Leeds during city’s Digital Festival

Microsoft’s UK CEO praised the University’s innovation partnerships during a campus visit last week.

Clare Barclay took part in a tour and expert panel discussion at Nexus, while the Microsoft leadership team previewed HELIX – the University’s digital learning space which launches next week.

Ms Barclay is responsible for all of Microsoft’s product and service offerings in the UK and for supporting the success of commercial customers and partners.

Regarding her visit, she said: “Leeds is well known as a creative, vibrant and innovative city and all of those characteristics come together at Nexus. It was great to meet with ambitious entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders and hear about the partnerships they have formed and the exciting businesses they are building. Microsoft are committed to the region and look forward to doing all we can to support the digital ecosystem.”

During the visit, Ms Barclay and her leadership team learnt about the community of innovation-driven businesses at Nexus, including Edge Analytics, experts in defensible demographic evidence and forecasting, and SatSense, which focuses on ground and structure movement risks, using satellite radar.

Dr Martin Stow, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business Engagement and Enterprise at the University of Leeds, said: “Innovation is thriving in Leeds, and we were delighted Clare was able to visit us to learn about all the innovative digital ecosystems work taking place here.”

The visit, which took place on the 19 September as part of Leeds Digital Festival, included a panel discussion chaired by Eve Roodhouse, Chief Officer – Culture & Economy, at Leeds City Council. The panel showcased the Leeds Innovation Ecosystem and included key stakeholders and leaders from across the ecosystem.

Tom Riordan CBE, Chief Executive at Leeds City Council, added: “It was great to be able to welcome Clare and her senior Microsoft colleagues to Leeds in the middle of the brilliant Leeds Digital Festival – one of the most successful in Europe with over 250 events this year.

“The Team Leeds ethos shone through strongly, and we discussed our partnership work on innovation that is transforming the economy and helping our organisations navigate a period of such rapid technological change.”

HELIX is the University’s new digital learning space for students, staff, the local community and business.

It is a multi-use space providing a home for all digitally focused activity at the University and a dedicated space for students to collaborate across facilities on creative, innovative and entrepreneurial projects based on their own initiatives and creative ideas.

Jo-Anne Murray, Pro Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation at the University of Leeds, said: “We are always keen to open the space to industry partners and the wider Leeds community and therefore it was a pleasure to welcome the Microsoft team to see this innovative space at the University and how we are advancing our digital experience for all.”