New Innovation Hub at our University
A multi-million pound centre to foster and accelerate the next generation of innovators and innovations is being established in Leicester at our University.
The Leicester Innovation Hub, a £5.1m dedicated creative incubation and innovation space in the heart of the city, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will provide an easy to find ‘front door’ to the University’s innovation support, expertise and facilities.
In addition, qualifying Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) based in Leicester and Leicestershire and graduates, interested in starting technology businesses, will also benefit from a range of free or heavily subsidised innovation support offered by the University from now until March 2020.
The Innovation Hub has received a total of £2.55m grant funding from the EU with further £2.55m investment provided by the University. The University’s East Midlands Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications, Innovation Accelerator and Start-up Hatchery will be the first entrepreneurial projects to be based in the Leicester Innovation Hub.
The new Leicester Innovation Hub, based on the junction of Regent Road and University Road and on Salisbury Road, will be fully operational from September 2018 and in the interim will be operating out of 7-9 Salisbury Road from August 2017.
QUOTES FROM CITY AND COUNTY COUNCIL AND BUSINESS LEADERS:
Nick Pulley, Chair of the LLEP, said: “This is a fantastic investment for the city that will help to cement our unique role as the ‘Research and Development capital’ of the Midlands.
“We are fortunate to have three world class universities - all of which are at the cutting edge for innovative research, design and the production of goods and services that impact businesses and people across the globe. The Leicester Innovation Hub will be a key asset to graduate retention in Leicester and there are some really exciting opportunities which offer free support to SMEs and graduates who are looking to grow their technology businesses.”
Mike Dalzell, Leicester City Council's director of tourism, culture and investment said: “Leicester is a forward looking and entrepreneurial city, and leveraging the research and innovation expertise of our local university partners is important for our continued economic success. It is vital we have the right infrastructure to support growing businesses, and we particularly welcome the new Leicester Innovation Hub.”
Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce highlights the importance of dedicated place based Innovation Hub and support: “Ensuring entrepreneurs and SMEs getting the innovation support and advice they need is crucial to making their endeavours successful. It’s not easy starting and growing a business, many fail only because they don’t make use of the help and expertise available to them. Sometimes they just don’t know where to find it. Many of the brightest talents and know-how comes out of our excellent local universities so it’s extremely good news that the University of Leicester now has the funding to provide dedicated creative incubation and innovation space and support exactly where it is most needed and will be most easily found.”
Leader of Leicestershire County Council, Nick Rushton, said: “The city and county are great places to do business, and we work very closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership, and the city council, to support the economy across both areas.
“I’m delighted that this Innovation Hub is being established, which will benefit companies from both the city and county, and create jobs.”