Creative Innovation Zone

Students responding to business challenges with creativity and innovation.

Our Creative Innovation Zone (CIZ), which won the Business/Industry Collaboration-University Sector award at the Educate North Awards in 2022, generates dynamic, student-led projects by placing creative thinking at the heart of employer engagement and students at the forefront of innovation and enterprise.

We empower students to deliver interdisciplinary problem solving to diverse industry sectors. Through dynamic ideations with employers and the pitching of ideas,  

Benefits to business

  • A bespoke product or service
  • Access to students’ fresh ideas and academic expertise
  • Nurturing the talent of the future

Benefits to students

  • Industry experience
  • Expand their commercial awareness
  • Gain confidence


  • Concept Design
  • Consultancy
  • Ideation Facilitation
  • Project Management
  • Research & Development

Work with us in five simple steps

  1. Outline your challenge to our Creative Innovation Zone project team
  2. We match your challenge to the talents, skills and resources within the University
  3. Our students explore creative ideas with academic support
  4. Collectively we agree your preferred options
  5. Our students deliver solutions for your business and gain valuable industry experience working for you.

To sustain our programme, we ask for employer contributions, often using Corporate Social Responsibility funds to cover the cost and to enable us to continue to provide this direct access to the next generation of talent for your business or organisation.

Our work

  • eic-building-external

    UCLan has signed an MoU with BAE Systems enabling further collaboration on a range of business innovation initiatives to support Lancashire enterprises and the development of entrepreneurship training.

    Monday 27 June 2022
  • The award winners with the trophies

    Educate North Awards celebrate excellence and best practice in the education sector

    Friday 8 April 2022
  • Students in one of the Ease Zone sessions

    UCLan receives £100,000 grant for engineering entrepreneurial scheme

    Tuesday 5 April 2022
  • Photo of King Street, Wigan, around 1902.

    UCLan fashion and promotion students are working with Wigan Council on a £1.2 million high street improvement scheme funded by High Streets Heritage Action Zone

    Tuesday 18 January 2022
  • four people with filming equipment

    Wigan-based InstaSmile UK were delighted with the video production support they recently received from UCLan students.

    Thursday 2 December 2021
  • image3

    Cumbria-based Playdale Playground, a true timber manufacturer, benefitted from a team of students working on their industry brief to create a new range of playground equipment to sit alongside their existing range.

    Wednesday 1 December 2021
  • A rainbow flag flying in blue sky

    UCLan is among a select group of institutions which have been chosen by the Government to deliver mental health programmes to support students. Read more here.

    Wednesday 10 November 2021
  • three people in the creative innovation zone chatting

    A forward-thinking initiative at the University of Central Lancashire which helps businesses meet their challenges through academic and student-led problem.

    Wednesday 20 October 2021
  • A videocall screen showing a selection of UCLan, Tashkent Institute of Textile and Light Industry and Uzbekistan government representatives

    The University of Central Lancashire has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Tashkent Institute of Textile & Light Industry (TITLI), Uzbekistan.

    Monday 23 November 2020
  • nro71tf-ageuk-banner

    University to work with the charity to develop online initiatives to help the elderly

    Wednesday 22 April 2020
  • gcs122-waterways-visit-image-2

    A group of interior design students developed conceptual schemes for an outdoor play area at the National Waterways Museum.

    Monday 3 June 2019

"Age UK Stockport's experience of working with UCLan's Creative Innovation Zone has been fantastic. Collaborating to develop a solution to our brief we have been so impressed by the quality of ideations, creative thinking, and final outcome."

Lee Speed, Age UK Stockport

Meet the team

"It was a great experience for us to collaborate with UCLan Fashion Promotion students – a real breath of fresh air to work with young people who can apply their creativity so easily. The group had a dynamic approach and their passion shone through. The findings from the project have already been used within the business."

Karen Cooper, Blackpool Transport

Contact us

Creative Innovation Zone


Tel: +44 (0)1772 895995