Business Minister Jo Johnson has opened an ‘Ingenuity Centre’ costing £5.2milion at the University of Nottingham today (October 24), to be the focal point of the institution’s work as one of the first ‘University Enterprise Zones’ in the UK – a status it achieved with strong backing from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
Mr Johnson (far right of photo) – Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – officially opened the Ingenuity Centre at the University’s Innovation Park, off Triumph Road in Nottingham, this lunchtime. He was welcomed to the new Centre by University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Greenaway, and invited higher education and business guests.
The Ingenuity Centre will provide a business incubation site for technology-driven start-ups and new businesses, from within the University and the area’s business community. The aim of the Centre is to create 50 new businesses by 2019, generating 350 new jobs and delivering a combined turnover of £25m by 2021.
The Centre is the focal point for the University’s status as a University Enterprise Zone (UEZ), one of the first in the UK, aimed at boosting the digital and technology sector, and creating hi-tech jobs in the city. As part of its UEZ status it received £2.6million towards the Centre from the Government.
Nottingham’s successful application to become a UEZ – which was announced in July 2014 – was heavily supported by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and Nottingham City Council, whose representatives attended today’s opening ceremony. The Creative and Digital Industries is one D2N2’s eight key sectors.
D2N2 is the private sector-led partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, community and voluntary organisations, and others which promotes economic growth and jobs creation across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
Mr Johnson said: “The Nottingham University Enterprise Zone will support greater collaboration between the University and local businesses to help get innovative research to market quicker – improving the lives of millions around the world and boosting the local economy.”
Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, added: “We are very proud to be one of only four universities in the UK to have secured University Enterprise Zone status. The Ingenuity Centre is at the heart of our Zone, and will enable us to significantly accelerate the work we are already doing locally to nurture business innovation and growth. It will also be a major asset to support the development of student, academic and local businesses and will provide a real focal point for enterprise in Nottingham.”
Commenting on today’s opening David Ralph, Chief Executive of D2N2, said: “Innovation and growth of small businesses is central to the delivery of D2N2’s Strategic Economic Plan. The development of the UEZ and the opening of this new facility will be important not only to Nottingham but to the delivery of our innovation programme across the whole D2N2 area.”
For more on the University of Nottingham’s University Enterprise Zone see its web link at www.nottingham.ac.uk/business/businesscentres/hgi/index.aspx
Media wishing to know more about the work of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership can contact Sean Kirby, D2N2 Communications Manager, on 0115 957 8749 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org