We had a fantastic 5th anniversary celebration on 23 May. Thanks to all those that came to celebrate with us, from old associates to new ones.
As a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Huddersfield, the 3M BIC was originally built as a business for business, providing access to high-quality technology and commercial support. The Centre was funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Kirklees Council to aid regional economic development up until 2013 and was officially opened on 21 May 2013 by the Duke of York.
Fast forward five years and we have accommodated 55 tenants, supported over 300 associate businesses and network members, and provided 20 placements for students from the University of Huddersfield, over half of which were employed by tenants, with many securing permanent roles.
We have also invested over £4m in technology, which includes the Huddersfield Innovation and Incubation Project (HIIP), a £2.9m grant from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal – a £1bn package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
Prof Liz-Towns-Andrews, CEO of the 3M BIC, said:
“The concept for the 3M BIC was to create a state-of-the-art centre for the co-location of spin-in companies alongside the University of Huddersfield. It was all about breaking down those barriers between industry and academia. We’ve created a one-stop-shop where businesses can innovate, collaborate, and help facilitate local and regional regeneration, as well as transfer knowledge with universities, such as Huddersfield.
“Its innovative approach directly impacts the growth of tenants and network members, as well as the regional economy. Any profits get ploughed back into the Centre to improve its offering to other businesses, and thanks to funding, such as the HIIP, we have been able to grow our offering significantly, to ensure we remain at the forefront.
“Looking to the future, we are hoping to engage with more micro businesses in the region, as well as streamline our business support triage system in response to customer need.”
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said:
“Leeds City Region has a rich heritage of innovation and invention and this can only be strengthened with the opening of world-class facilities at the Huddersfield Innovation and Incubation Project. Services like HIIP – alongside the LEP’s own Access Innovation programme that provides funding and support for businesses that want to develop new products and process – are helping to boost local business productivity and our City Region economy for the long-term.”
Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said:
“The new facilities provided through the Huddersfield Innovation and Incubation Project will enable businesses from Kirklees and beyond to boost their innovation footprint and overall productivity. Local Growth Deal funding is supporting Kirklees companies to compete on the national and international stage for digital, design and smart manufacturing as well as creating jobs and growing the economy for the long-term.”
We’re looking forward to what the next five years will hold!