The project on the University’s Knowledge Gateway research and technology park is aiming to drive growth in the north of Essex and is being backed by £2m from Essex County Council and £2m from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.
More than 50 innovative businesses will eventually make the Innovation Centre their home and the completion of the frame shows the scheme is on-track to be completed early in 2019. The building project is being overseen by Kier Construction.
The Knowledge Gateway is seeing very strong interest from companies who want to move to the Knowledge Gateway to benefit from being part of a thriving business community and connecting with world-leading researchers, high-quality students and graduates, and excellent campus facilities.
A total of £50m have been invested so far in creating the Knowledge Gateway which brings together great infrastructure, talented academic researchers, space for start-ups, and opportunities for anchor tenants to establish new regional centres.
The long-term vision is to create more than 2,000 high-value jobs within 15 years by offering a home to more start-ups, SMEs and global businesses looking to benefit from being located at the Colchester Campus.
The University’s Start-up Hub, based at the Knowledge Gateway’s Parkside Office Village, will move across to the Innovation Centre after already helping establish 20 registered businesses in the past 12 months. The Innovation Centre will also include a state-of-the-art digital suite which will help showcase Essex’s expertise in technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.
Alongside the Innovation Centre the next phase of Parkside Office Village will be completed this autumn. More than 20 ambitious hi-tech businesses are already based at Parkside Office Village alongside Essex Chambers of Commerce, the Haven Gateway Partnership, the Institute for Analytics and Data Science, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Business and Local Government Data Research Centre.
Essex is one of the leading universities in the UK for working with business through Innovate UK’s flagship Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme. It is working with more than 20 companies based across London, Essex and Suffolk – including some Parkside companies. The projects allow forward-thinking businesses to connect with research expertise in artificial intelligence, machine learning and virtual reality.
For more information, please visit: Innovation Centre at University of Essex