University College London (UCL) and payment services provider Atos Worldline have announced they are going to build a mobile app store together in a bid create the next generation of digital enterprises and applications. 

Under the partnership, Worldline will provide UCL with software to help the university run an internal app store. 

The duo claim the app store 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 will form part of the UCL DECIDE project, which is backed by the European Regional Development Fund and intended to be the world’s largest ‘living lab’ for digital and media projects. Through the project, UCL is using its staff and student body of 32,000 as a closed community for testing and evaluating digital products in pre-commercial development.

In return for using Atos Worldline's software, which was developed by the firm's Spanish division, UCL will suggest how the organisation can enhance the product and come up with ideas for new features. 

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.” 

This is not the first time that UCL and Worldline have partnered.

Indeed, a number of Worldline staff have completed the UCL Mobile Academy pre-accelerator programme, while teams from the university have competed in the Atos Global IT Challenge for the last two years.