New centre set to accelerate business growth and innovation

Last updated on 10 September 2019

The University of Leeds has unveiled its plans for its £38m innovation and enterprise centre.

Offering a gateway to help businesses access the University’s world-class research, the centre is part of the University’s £520m investment in its campus, aimed at positioning Leeds as one of the UK’s top higher education institutions.

Dr Ceri Williams, Director of Research and Innovation Development at the University of Leeds, said:

“This centre is designed to help new and established businesses harness the University’s capabilities in a more structured, efficient and inventive way.

“Universities offer a huge range of support, whether that’s new knowledge and expertise, access to our talented students and graduates, or executive development to help businesses innovate, grow or be more productive.

“But developing new opportunities can be difficult, because of the sheer size and complexity of higher education institutions. This centre aims to provide a new way of collaborating, to provide businesses with seamless access to the right expertise, skills or facilities, in an exceptional place”.

The centre will offer a vibrant community for tenants, providing high quality office and lab space for technology-led companies, corporate R&D and new product development teams, and will offer a range of spaces for networking, including meeting rooms, a cafe and a business lounge.

The University of Leeds has a strong track record in supporting the growth of new and established businesses, having created more than 100 spin-outs.

Seven of these spin-out companies are market listed on AIM, which is more than any other university in the UK.

The centre also aims to play a key role in supporting the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) mission to unlock the region’s economic potential, by encouraging enterprise and supporting businesses to grow and remain in the area.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP, added:

“I’m delighted that the University has put forward its ambition for a multi-million pound investment in this purpose-designed facility.

“Local businesses and entrepreneurs will have a place where they can engage and benefit from the knowledge and capabilities of the University, enabling the development of next generation technologies and products. I believe it has real potential to contribute to regional growth and prosperity.”

The new facility – projected to open in 2018 – is one of several developments underway at the University, with infrastructure investment ranging from £90k – £90m.

A recent report revealed that the University is currently making a £1.3bn contribution to the UK economy, with its overarching £520m investment aimed at creating a world-class campus to support its ambitious plans to drive cutting-edge research and excellent student education.

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Find out more about the University Innovation and Enterprise Centre.