Permission granted for national innovation centre

Permission granted for national innovation centre

Permission has been granted to build a development in the heart of Newcastle which will combine academic talent with industry and the public sector to develop the skills needed to solve real world problems.

The £50m national innovation centre on Science Central will bring together businesses, academics and the public to support the research and development of new ageing and data-oriented products and services. 

The centre, which will be the third Newcastle University building to be located on the Science Central site, will house the University’s teams from the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA), the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD) and the National Institute for Health Research Innovation Observatory (NIHRIO).

Designs for the building have been developed by a team at GSSArchitecture, based at Hoults Yard, Newcastle, who have applied findings from global research into the design and layout of the centre as a catalyst for innovation.

The company has undertaken detailed consultation with stakeholders, including the University and public, to develop and refine ideas before the planning application was submitted.

Jonathan Hunter, partner at GSSArchitecture said: “The GSS designed National Innovation Centre represents true destination architecture through a simple, yet powerful, triangular design form. The building will be both distinct and highly identifiable and will be a vibrant landmark at Science Central.

“The design makes the most of the public realm and encourages the external landscape to flow into and integrate with the National Innovation Centre, encouraging public interaction and creating a welcoming and inviting arrival experience.

“The building is publicly accessible at ground and first floor, with a range of innovation suites and collaboration facilities on the upper three floors. In all areas, the use of circulation space and common areas has been maximised to promote integration and collaboration resulting in the cross-fertilisation of ideas that are the bedrock of innovation.”

Professor Paul Watson, Principal Investigator for the National Innovation Centre for Data, said:  “The National Innovation Centre for Data will create a unique facility bringing together industry, researchers and students to address this challenge. It will enable industry to unleash the huge potential for innovation offered by the explosive growth in digital data, so benefitting the UK economy and society.

“The exciting new building will act as a beacon for innovation, attracting companies from around the world, and placing the North East as a global leader in this vital area.”

The Centre is the latest development on Science Central, one of the biggest urban regeneration projects of its kind in the UK. Set to create more than 4,000 jobs, 500,000 sq ft of office and research space and 450 new homes across a 24 acre site.

The site is home to multiple Newcastle University developments, including the Urban Sciences building, which houses international research into digitally enabled urban sustainability.

Building work is due to begin soon with the building scheduled for opening in 2020.