“This is one of our most exciting initiatives,” said Dscoop global chairman Chris Petro.

The university is headed up by former Dscoop member John Tenwinkel as director. Tenwinkel began his career as an Indigo 3050 operator, working his way up to head up production at a number of US print businesses and holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in graphic communications management.

Over the course of Dscoop EMEA2 this week Tenwinkel will be canvassing members on what sort of resources they would like the university to prioritise.

Initially the university will focus on pulling together an online repository of information from a variety of sources – not just Dscoop – such as webinars, research analysis and white papers, grouped by disciplines such as management, production and sales.

However, Tenwinkel hinted that in the future the university had grander ambitions and could ultimately offer qualifications and structured training delivered via webinars, face-to-face events, online resources and exams that could result in formal qualifications.

Tenwinkel is in very early discussions with a number of educational institutions on their involvement with the university. He stressed that it was very early days and the focus at this stage was simply delivering valuable content to members globally.

“We’re looking at qualifications, but we have to understand where the demand is first. When we talk about certifications we have to look at the whole industry and identify where there are overarching gaps. But at this stage it’s too early to talk about formal qualifications, this is just the start of the university’s incredibly exciting journey,” said Tenwinkel.

The university is currently pulling together an advisory board to help identify the content needed and also advise on potential content partners from within print and also outside, as well as being ambassadors for the university.

The university, which is sponsored by HP, plans to launch its online delivery platform around March 2014, in time for Dscoop9 in Orlando, Florida.

As part of the soft launch at Dscoop EMEA2, the university will live stream seven sessions today and tomorrow (7 and 8 November), accessible to Dscoop members and colleagues within their organisations. The service will also include exclusive interviews with speakers and delegates and the streamed sessions will be archived post-event.

The sessions featured will include keynotes from high-profile speaker Barrie Bramley on leaving the past behind and focussing on the future and Karim Rashid, a leading industrial designer, on how the future of design is digital.

Other streamed conference content will include sessions on customer relationship management, taking personalisation to the next level, transitioning from offset to digital to cross media, building your business in the new economy, imaging trends and financial performance.

“Nothing can replace actually coming to the conference, but this will give our EMEA members the opportunity to engage with the conference and the great education on offer here. It will also benefit members from outside the EMEA,” said Tenwinkel.