One of the UK’s first business innovation centres is celebrating its fifth anniversary this week and has officially launched the Huddersfield Innovation and Incubation Project (HIIP).
Set up as a one-stop-shop for business support and providing companies across the Leeds City Region with access to advanced technologies, the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3M BIC) based on Firth Street in Huddersfield, is celebrating five successful years this week.
To mark the milestone, it has officially launched the HIIP which has enabled the centre to enhance its technology offering for businesses in the region.
A wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Huddersfield, the 3M BIC was built as a business for business, providing access to high-quality technology and commercial support.
It was officially opened on 21 May 2013 by the Duke of York. Since then the 3M BIC has accommodated 55 tenants, supported over 300 associate businesses and network members, and provided 20 placements for students from the University of Huddersfield.
The HIIP has been funded through 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.
“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.”
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