Kingston University is setting up a Pounds 700,000 animation research centre to address a shortage of creative animators in film and television.
Called White Space, the centre will also run short courses for animators in virtual reality, 3D modelling, digital video and electronic marketing.
Penny Hudd, White Space's creative director, said the centre was set up after talks with the BBC, BSkyB, Channel 4, Pearsons and others. Games firms will also be contacted.
"Firms said to us they want individuals with a high level of technical skills but even more important to them is creativity, intelligence with open mindedness, and determination to explore and challenge norms. We aim to provide multi-skilled creative thinkers," she said.
A link-up with Createc, the National Film and Television School's centre for digital technologies, is also in the pipeline.
Harri Ap Rees, project leader at White Space, said that the centre plans to offer a degree in animation in two years' time. Kingston students study animation as part of the existing film and television courses.
The government's Skills Challenge Fund has awarded Pounds 600,000 and the university is contributing an extra Pounds 100,000.