UCL and Worldline agree collaboration to develop Mobile APP Ecosystem
14 November 2013
UCL and Worldline, Atos subsidiary in e-payment and transactional services, have agreed to work together researching and developing new digital enterprises and apps. This is the first collaboration of its kind between the university and the information technology service company.
The agreement will see Worldline in the UK utilising intellectual property that has been developed by Worldline’s Spanish division, to provide UCL with software to run an internal app store. This will enable student and graduate entrepreneurs – as well as staff and small businesses – to test their products and services prior to releasing them to the market.
The app store forms part of the ERDF-funded UCL DECIDE project intended to be the world’s largest ‘living lab’ for digital and media projects. As part of the project, UCL will utilise its staff and student body of 32,000 as a closed community for testing and evaluating digital products in pre-commercial development. It will enable both the technical and commercial testing of a product and rapid market research feedback from a diverse body of users. This is believed to be the first time that a university has taken on the codebase for a commercial product of such scope to use with students and researchers to develop their skills and, at the same time, providing the product owner with enhancements and ideas for new features.
The collaboration complements existing cooperation and engagement between the institutions, with Worldline staff at the highest levels having completed the UCL Mobile Academy pre-accelerator programme, and teams from the university having competed in the Atos Global IT Challenge for the last two years.
Commenting on the new partnership, Timothy Barnes, Director of UCL Advances – the university’s centre for entrepreneurship and business interaction – said: “This collaboration is a win-win for both UCL and Worldline. For UCL and the businesses we support it means access to software enabling large-scale product testing before release onto the market, meaning more technically refined and appealing services for the public.
“This new relationship will dramatically increase the scale of their collaboration in mobile technologies.”
Dominique Rerat, CEO at Worldline in the UK, added: “To be collaborating with UCL on an initiative of this nature is truly exciting given the significance that app stores already play in our personal lives and their undoubted evolution into the working environments. We look forwards to a fruitful and hugely beneficial working relationship together on this project.”