A highly innovative games company based in the Tees Valley has entered into a partnership with Teesside University to deliver more opportunities for graduates in the region.

Double Eleven has signed a memorandum of understanding with the university which pledges that the two organisations will work together to encourage and develop collaborative activities.

The Middlesbrough-headquartered games studio which has worked on best-selling titles including Crackdown 3, Prison Architect, Lego Harry Potter and Goat Simulator, employs approximately 84 people, a significant proportion of whom are Teesside University graduates including its CEO and founder.

As well as accessing graduate talent, Double Eleven has worked closely with the University on a number of different projects since it was founded in 2009.

The two-year memorandum of understanding will formalise that relationship with both parties committing to work together in a range of areas including knowledge exchange activities, research projects, course development, graduate placement and internships, bespoke training and staff exchanges.

“Given Teesside University’s track record for forward-thinking and innovation, it only made sense to formalise that relationship.”

Mark South, Chief Operating Officer of Double Eleven, said: “Year after year as we continue to push our business forward, the scale, technical and commercial complexities of our projects continue to increase and we need to be well equipped to handle it. We are constantly in a state of learning and evolution, never believing that what worked last year will work this year; be it due to changing consumer preferences, industrial organisation or other factors we can’t yet see in the games industry. Given Teesside University’s track record for forward-thinking and innovation, it only made sense to formalise that relationship.

“On a broader scale, I believe that both ourselves and the University have a more significant role to play, in both raising an awareness of the great things already happening here in our sector as well as raising aspirations for the next generation. We need to stand up and be noticed. I see the University as central to all of the things that make this region a clear choice for people who want to work in technology to live and join the community. We, with them, will make a visible contribution to that.

“I’m looking forward to helping our two organisations become more integrated. The University is one of the Tees Valley’s biggest employers known for its strengths in computing and computer games, and we are a highly specialised games publisher and developer working on some of the best games in the industry, so I’m very excited to be working together more closely.”

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) Professor Jane Turner OBE DL added: “We’ve always enjoyed an excellent relationship with Double Eleven and this memorandum of understanding will undoubtedly strengthen and formalise that while helping to enhance the digital cluster in this region.

“We’ve identified a whole series of activities that we will work collaboratively on, and I am particularly keen for our students to better understand the amazing talent that resides in regional digital businesses like Double Eleven.”