The landmark £89 million Centre will transform the way academics collaborate with business, industry and the public sector to bring global competitive advantage to Scotland.
The event coincided with Strathclyde’s Golden Jubilee Year – its 50th anniversary of being granted university status. The leading-edge Centre will become home to academics and their industrial partners responding to global challenges in areas such as health, energy, manufacturing and the development of future cities.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: Scotland is a land of inventors, innovators, new ideas and creativity. We need a thriving and dynamic ecosystem in order to improve productivity, competitiveness and growth.
The Technology and Innovation Centre at the University of Strathclyde will create the right environment for academics, business, industry and the public sector to come together to find innovative solutions to the challenges we face.
This model of collaboration clearly demonstrated by the University of Strathclyde is crucial in shaping Scotland’s future and helping to create sustainable economic growth. The Scottish Government is committed to investing in the development and application of research, innovation and technology and supporting entrepreneurial activity.
The Centre has attracted support from a wide range of partners and companies including the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, the European Regional Development Fund, SSE, ScottishPower, the Weir Group, GSK, Novartis, AstraZeneca, and Fraunhofer UK.
A recent independent report found the University’s partnerships with business and industry will contribute £1.4 billion to the economy over the next 10 years.
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University, said: The construction of the Technology and Innovation Centre marks an important milestone in our history as a partner of choice for business, industry and the public sector. Through deep collaboration, we are driving business innovation and growth, creating jobs, and attracting millions of pounds of inward investment to Scotland.
“The new Centre is a very tangible sign of our commitment to undertaking world-class research and translating its outcomes for maximum benefit to society and the economy. The work streams based in the Centre are already delivering high-impact innovation and shaping technologies to improve human health, transform the energy landscape, set new standards in manufacturing and contribute to the development of future cities.
“There are enormous opportunities for our students too, in terms of sponsorship, internships and highly-relevant project work undertaken with support from Technology and Innovation Centre collaborators.
“There has been an overwhelmingly positive response from our partners, students and the global community we serve and their recognition of the huge opportunities that the new Technology and Innovation Centre will create.”
At 26,000 square metres, the nine-storey building has transformed the landscape east of Glasgow’s George Square and is a major milestone in the continuing regeneration of the City. The building has been constructed to exacting BREEAM standards – a mark of Excellence that recognises the Centre’s strong sustainability credentials.
The building is the University’s largest investment in research to date, and is part of a wider £350 million investment in the development of a dynamic, digital campus over 10 years. It houses specialist, shared and flexible laboratory facilities and will support leading academics in bridging the gap between research, technology and commercialisation.
Research partnerships within the centre include:
- Power and Energy Programme. This is one of the cornerstone thematic research TIC areas involving SSE and ScottishPower. The research seeks to accelerate the technological innovation, economic competitiveness and rate of deployment of offshore wind turbines. Work is also underway to create new electrical power systems and use advanced sensing, communications and intelligent software methods to deliver the Smart Grid for the 21st century. The research outputs from TIC will be at more advanced ‘technology readiness levels’ so that the utilities and the power equipment manufacturers can rapidly integrate the solutions into the grid and generation assets.
- Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP). Established in 2012 as the UK’s first Fraunhofer Research Centre, Fraunhofer CAP is involved in research into a wide range of photonics applications including energy, security, transport, communication, environmental sensing, space and health. By August 2014, the Fraunhofer CAP had won 11 Innovate UK and three EU projects totalling £8.7million for all partners and £2.5million had been secured from these projects for applied research at Fraunhofer CAP. Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest contract research organisation and Fraunhofer CAP is expected to be the model for more Fraunhofer research centres around the UK.
- EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing and Doctoral Training Centre for Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation (CMAC). With £80 million portfolio funding, CMAC’s partners – which include GlaxoSmithKline – have a shared long-term vision: to enable a step change from the current batch manufacturing paradigm to fully continuous manufacturing processes, systems and plants for the production of pharmaceuticals to higher levels of quality, at a lower cost, more quickly and in a more sustainable manner.
Professor Clive Badman, Head of Pre-Competitive Collaboration at GlaxoSmithKline, said: From the perspective of CMAC – which GSK is a founding partner in – the Technology and Innovation Centre is clearly a fabulous venue, offering an unrivalled platform for collaboration.
“The Centre will allow academics, suppliers and industrial end-users to work together to achieve a transformational shift into continuous manufacturing in the production of medicines.”
The Centre is also home to world-class conference facilities with a state-of-the-art, tiered auditorium for up to 450 people in various formats; a smaller auditorium with seating for 150; plus eight seminar or break-out rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows. The flexible facilities have already attracted a number of global conferences for next year.
University of Strathclyde: ‘First glimpse inside Scotland’s world-leading technology centre’