£15m for four UK University technology Enterprise Zones

£15m for four UK University technology Enterprise Zones

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

The Zones in Bradford, Bristol, Liverpool and Nottingham will all have a different technology focus and follow a pilot scheme in January.
The £16.5m zone at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol will be aimed at businesses specialising in robotics, biosciences, biomedicine and other high tech areas.  It has been developed in collaboration with the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and the University of Bristol with strong support from South Gloucestershire Council, the University of Bath and the West of England Academic Heath Science Network. It will use buildings recently vacated by HP Labs.
The £12m zone in Bradford will develop a digital health hub, while the University of Nottingham is building a £2.6m Technology Entrepreneurship Centre for big data, advanced manufacturing and aerospace, and energy that will open in 2016.
The University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University have won £5m as part of a £15m ‘Sensor City’. “Creating a new space where ideas from our sensor research laboratories can be transformed into new start-ups is a very exciting prospect for both universities and provides great opportunities for our students and staff,” said Provost Professor Stephen Holloway, who led the bid from the University of Liverpool. The aim was to use the Zone to showcase the technologies for inward investment, he added.
The Bristol Zone has £4m of funding from the government and is expected to generate over 500 new jobs, and generate more than £50m for the local economy.  The 11,000 square meter building will provide laboratory space, offices and workshops, share start-up ‘studio’ space, communal space for networking and meeting, access to specialist equipment and technical support and business services.
“This will be much more than just a building," said Martin Boddy, pro-vice chancellor for research and business engagement at UWE. "It will provide access to the sorts of facilities and expertise that would otherwise be out of reach for new and growing businesses, it will provide ‘wet labs’ – currently a real gap in the market, it will promote collaboration and networking between businesses, university researchers, students and graduates and there will be dedicated business support and services from the University, Bristol Business School and partner organizations.
He denies it will compete with existing incubators such as SETsquared which last week was rated the number one university business incubator in Europe and number two in the world after Rice University in Houston, Texas.
"It will complement Bristol and Bath Science Park, the LEP Enterprise Zone and Enterprise Areas and the Engine Shed Incubation Centre at Temple Quay and Bath Innovation Centre – together these provide a fantastically rich and fertile ecosystem to support business growth and innovation across the whole city-region,” said Boddy.

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