SMS recruits Little to prepare for ‘Industry 4.0’

The University of Stirling Management School (SMS) has appointed its first digital entrepreneur in residence to help students and staff prepare for ‘Industry 4.0’.

Business engagement advisor and Stirling graduate, Joe Little (pictured), will help ensure SMS teaching and research meets future industry needs, as well as encouraging University spin-out and start-up businesses.

Mr Little spent 30 years at oil and gas company BP, building a network of Silicon Valley technologists and academics to create innovation and inform future business strategy. Since leaving, he has been making similar connections through the Scottish Business Network.

Mr Little said: “The world requires more digital skills. That means being able to collaborate remotely, being agile, and understanding and manipulating data, such as insights from artificial intelligence. It means making sure universities are solving real world problems through the skills they teach and the research they carry out.

“Industry 4.0 will require constantly evolving skills. We are going to see more of the gig economy, and people will need to be entrepreneurial. Employers may take over updating the skills of those they employ, even if that’s on a contract basis. They will also be deciding which tasks should be done by humans, and which by robots.”

Dean of SMS Professor Kevin Grant said: “As our digital entrepreneur in residence, Joe Little can support our staff and students to take their first steps in setting up a company or an organisation to provide new, digitally- enhanced, products and services – turning their ideas into digital reality.”

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