Innovation news in brief: Innovation Birmingham; Begbroke Science Park; Mayflex; Dashboard

Dr David Hardman, CEO at Innovation Birmingham (left) and Craig Tatton, managing director at Thomas Vale.

Milestone reached at Innovation Birmingham

Construction company Thomas Vale has handed over the keys to iCentrum, a new £8 million state-of-the-art digital facility at Innovation Birmingham.

iCentrum, located just off the A38 Aston Expressway at the Innovation Birmingham Campus, was one of the first to start on-site within the GBSLEP’s Enterprise Zone and will provide space for 400 high-value skilled tech jobs at any one time; generating £25 million of GVA to the local economy per annum.

Dr David Hardman, CEO at Innovation Birmingham, said: “Delivering iCentrum to the Innovation Birmingham Campus marks another exciting milestone in the development plans for Innovation Birmingham and we are thrilled that the project has been completed both on-time and on-budget."

He added: “The building will perfectly complement our thriving Faraday Wharf building adding to our offering to Birmingham’s more digitally-orientated entrepreneurs and SMEs from across all key business sectors in the regional economy.”

Pupils take the lead on innovation

Begbroke Science Park welcomed 44 Year 9 and 10 pupils from five schools in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire to their annual Innovation Showcase recently, asking them to try their hand at turning cutting edge science into commercial business ideas.

The six teams took recent scientific discoveries and developed them into new commercial products, presenting their designs and business plans in a Dragons’ Den-style competition for a special Innovation Showcase trophy.

The trophy was won by girls from Wycombe Abbey School who pitched a novel ‘feelable’ touch screen tablet, which allows blind people to read braille and feel objects on a tablet screen without having to rely on audio descriptions.

Other ideas in the Innovation Showcase, now in its 6th year included origami robot toys, novel sound insulating headphones, mood manipulating software for people with depression and a dolphin-inspired radar device to help detect explosive devices.

Integrate and innovate conferencce

IP solutions provider Mayflex is holding an Integrate & Innovate day on the April 19, at Villa Park, near Birmingham. The day will consist of a number of informative seminars, bringing together leading experts in the sector.

Headlining the event is John Laban, who will bring the latest news from Silicon Valley on the Internet of Things.

Register by clicking here

Swaddle headlines app development conference

Paul Swaddle, CEO of Pocket App, the UK’s largest independent app developer, joined a shortlist of app development industry pioneers at the University of Kent’s App Development Conference recently.

Swaddle spoke in front of 100 students at the University’s Templeman Library about the intricacies of the app development industry. The introductory and interactive conference also aims to provide opportunities for the aspiring mobile entrepreneurs to work alongside leading external developers to grow their ideas.

Swaddle commented: “It was great to be invited to speak in front of so many ambitious, young entrepreneurs. This generation clearly realises that mobile is now a central component of any entrepreneur’s business plan, regardless of whether or not your business is primarily app-focussed."

The App Development Conference was a half-day event curated by The University of Kent’s Hub for Innovation and Enterprise and the University’s School of Computing,

Exeter Science Park Centre welcomes Dashboard

Internet of Things specialist Dashboard Ltd has moved its expanding team into Exeter’s hub for science and technology, the Exeter Science Park Centre.

The innovative firm, headed up by CEO Piers Corfield, offers remote monitoring services to oil and gas industry companies across the world. Using its own unique data acquisition hardware, analysis platform and dashboard interface technologies, the specialist provides continuous monitoring to oil and gas operators of their infrastructure, 24 hours a day.

Corfield said: “When we first started talking to Exeter Science Park Centre about the possibility of moving our fast growing team of specialists to the area, there was only a handful of us. Since discovering the Centre, building new partnerships and extending our commercial engagement with some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, we have doubled in size, necessitating our taking twice as much office space in the Centre as originally intended.

He continued: “It’s all happened very quickly, but having selected the Science Park as an ideal environment for us to build the company alongside other innovative tech companies, we haven’t looked back. The Centre is a building which would do justice to a multinational, with presentation space, in-house catering, intelligent building management systems and state-of-the-art communications, which is precisely what we need. The inclusion of the Park in the Enterprise Zone was also a key feature, as was the growing community of Exeter based tech companies with whom we plan to explore collaborative opportunities.”