A wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Huddersfield, the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3MBIC) has been purpose-built to help businesses, from the high-tech arenas, to accelerate their growth through access to national and international markets, high-quality technology, and practical financial and commercial support – all essentials for successful commercial progression. The centre is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Kirklees Council to aid regional economic development.
During the open day, guests were welcomed by the 3MBIC’s Chief Executive, Professor Liz Towns-Andrews, before taking a tour around the pioneering Innovation Avenue, which houses revolutionary equipment and high-performance computing systems for the manufacturing and engineering sectors. One of the highlights was the acoustic camera, which uses sound vibrations for failure prediction. They were also shown the state-of-the-art workshops and laboratories which will assist in ground-breaking research and development.
As well as business start-ups that will benefit from the financial and HR advice, marketing provisions and coaching and training opportunities, the centre will also house SMEs and well-established larger companies, and will facilitate business collaborations among tenants and links with the University’s key research centres.
The £12m centre is already well ahead of schedule having attracted businesses that are at the cutting edge of technology, including Severn Unival, a world-leading designer, manufacturer and solution provider in control and choke valves, as well as marine engineers, Whale Technologies, TRAC Measurement Systems, part of the global TRAC Group, and the National Physical Laboratory, that has set up research facilities in one of the temperature-controlled laboratories at the centre.
Managing Director, Patrick Allen and Resident Professor of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and local businessman, Graham Leslie, were also on hand to talk about the centre’s access to growth and routes to success.
Managing Director, Patrick Allen, said: The current economic downturn has meant that many businesses are struggling to keep afloat. There has also been an increase in the number of business start-ups as people struggle to get back onto the employment ladder following redundancies. We want to support these businesses and give them the best possible start in what are very difficult times. Through 3MBIC we can do that, whether it’s financial advice, commercial support or simply giving small businesses access to state-of-the-art meeting rooms for client meetings. All of the above ultimately gives them the momentum to secure clients and succeed in business.
We are honoured to already have businesses within the centre that are leading the way in their fields and are in line with the core competences of the University, such as diagnostic engineering, precision measurement, rapid prototyping and design.
I keep referring back to Theo Paphitis’ quote when he came to visit the centre in September, but it encompasses what 3MBIC is all about – If I was going to need space for my business and I wanted to have the support that will be surrounding me to grow my business, and the expertise, I can’t think why you’d want to be anywhere else.
For more information on the facilities and services on offer at the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, go to www.3mbic.com or call 01484 473 331
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