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Durham University

Research & business

How partnerships help us make a difference

(10 July 2020)

At Durham, we know the value of partnerships. Why? Because they help us make a difference. And because they help to make sure our research makes changes to the way we live, solve complex industry challenges, and even help our graduates find jobs.

A strong seven years

One of our longest partnerships is with global technology company, IBM. In a partnership spanning seven years, we’ve worked together on areas such as research, teaching and learning, and other outreach activities.

IBM’s support was vital to our Mathematical Sciences and Sociology researchers as part of their work to help regional health services respond to Covid-19.

The research, led by Dr Camila Caiado and Professor Brian Castellani, involves sharing a data report with local NHS and councils to support the planning of health and social care services.

IBM stepped in to host the data dashboard on their cloud storage system, something which was set up within 24hours and enabled the NHS and councils to access the report and data safely and securely.

The information hosted on the IBM cloud has also been used by local resilience forums in the North East of England (UK). The forums, which include the NHS, emergency service, and local authorities, are responsible for planning and responding to major incidents.

Positive partnerships

As well as strategic partnerships with global companies such as IBM and Procter and Gamble, we also work closely with those based in the North East of England, including Durham County Council, Northumbrian Water, Stanley Black & Decker, and online bank, Atom Bank.

Our researchers are working with these organisations to apply their expertise across a diverse range of areas, from flood management and economic development to data science and mathematics.

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