A brand new multi-million pound start-of-the-art landmark building housing modern business accommodation and innovative support programmes is set to welcome its first tenants in the coming weeks.

Based at the entrance of Keele University’s renowned Science and Innovation Park, the Smart Innovation Hub, which has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund*, offers a collaborative working environment which blends Keele’s knowledgeable staff, talented students and expert academics with local business leaders and entrepreneurs, thanks to the Hub’s unique co-location alongside the University’s Business School.

Offering 7,500ftof lettable modern workspace comprising of private offices, shared spaces and co-working environments, the Smart Innovation Hub has been designed to support the creation and growth of innovation-led businesses, alongside major new facilities that will enable the University to grow its established programme of collaborative research, development and innovation support to local enterprises.

By 2021, and as a result of the new Smart Innovation Hub facilities, the University will grow its established programme of business support accessed via its dedicated Business Gateway by an additional 300 business collaborations, leading to the creation of at least 80 new high-value jobs in the local area. An independent appraisal signals that investment in the facilities and a programme of business-collaboration will contribute an additional £50million to the local economy by 2033.

Among the first tenants confirmed to move into the new building are an international producer of sustainable green energy battery storage, a public service transformation specialist, a disrupter of the digital online price comparison industry, and a leading software research and development company.

Dr Nick Gostick, Director of the Smart Innovation Hub, said: “We are delighted that the Smart Innovation Hub will be providing unique growth opportunities for innovative businesses and entrepreneurs, thanks to collaboration with Keele University’s sector-leading academics and students.

“Our initial group of tenants are exactly the type of entrepreneurial and knowledge-intensive organisations that will thrive in the business ecosystem that we’re creating here at Keele, and we look forward to officially welcoming them to their new home in the coming weeks. 

“By providing collaborative workspaces alongside modern offices, meeting rooms and social spaces, we believe that the facilities will stimulate a new, more intuitive approach to business and innovation development.  Coupled with the growth of our business support and incubator programmes, Keele’s capacity to contribute to the growth of the local economy and business community has never been greater.”

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “We’re pleased to see the Smart Innovation Hub open for business and that it’s already attracting innovative businesses and high value jobs.

“We have a close working partnership with Keele University and the Science and Innovation Park is one of the county’s key sites for these sectors. The Smart Innovation Hub will enable them to grow and thrive in a suitable environment. This further strengthens Keele’s international reputation as a leader in research and development.”

For more information about the accommodation and support opportunities available at Keele University, please visit www.keele.ac.uk/business

BDP, one of the UK’s leading design practices in higher education and research, has just completed the Smart Innovation Hub building for the University of Keele. Capitalising on their global experience of sector trends, the Smart Innovation Hub creates an environment that fosters the efficient and effective sharing of ideas, knowledge and expertise between businesses, academic researchers, the public sector and consumers to promote innovations in key areas such as social, environmental, health and medical technology. In keeping with Keele University’s green ethos, the facility is very sustainable with a BREEAM Excellent rating.

The three-storey building forms a new landmark at the entrance to the Science and Innovation Park, one of the largest sites in the UK. BDP provided architecture, acoustics and landscape architecture services. 

For more information go to http://www.bdp.com

Submitted on 18/09/2019