Green Light for £89m Technology and Innovation Centre

Green Light for £89m Technology and Innovation Centre

Work set to begin on state-of-the-art centre to create jobs and attract inward investment

Plans to develop a world-class research and technology centre at the University of Strathclyde have been given the go-ahead by Glasgow city planners.

The Technology and Innovation Centre will bring together academics and partners from industry and business - from across the international scene - to develop solutions to challenges which are central to economic regeneration and to address key technological challenges faced by society. It is due to be open for business in 2014.

Professor Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: "Today's news marks an important milestone in a development which will reinforce our position as a leading international technological university, attract major inward investment to the city, create jobs and help businesses compete on the world stage. This will also enhance the educational experience and opportunities for our undergraduate and postgraduate students.

"The University is dedicated to sharing knowledge and finding solutions to challenges that matter in areas of economic and societal importance - including health, energy, manufacturing and the economy. We are also committed to helping companies compete globally. Our approach is already revolutionising the way researchers in academia and industry collaborate and innovate together.

"The Technology and Innovation Centre will be a tangible sign of that commitment, enabling our world-class researchers to work side-by-side with colleagues from business and industry. With our key TIC partners including SSE, ScottishPower and the Weir Group, and University-wide industry partners including Babcock, Rolls-Royce, EDF and Gamesa, the University of Strathclyde stands at the intersection of research, industry and academia.

"We are delighted that the Council and our neighbouring community have supported our plans to get construction underway, and we look forward to creating a welcoming, state-of-the-art building that will build on Glasgow's great engineering and scientific tradition of innovating new ideas and technologies.??

The contract to build the landmark building on George Street has now gone out to tender. Advance work to prepare the Merchant City site will begin early next month.

At 25,000 square metres, the building will have the equivalent floor space of almost 100 tennis courts and will house up to 1200 researchers from the University and its partners in both the public and private sectors. They will have access to outstanding research facilities and will work together to develop solutions to the challenges of the 21st Century including climate change, disease and the need for fresh drinking water across the globe.

In addition a 5000 sq m Industry Engagement Building, which will be located adjacent to the University's TIC and will accommodate around 500 occupants, secured planning permission.

Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education, said: "Strathclyde University's Technology and Innovation Centre is an exciting proposal that has clear potential to be a genuinely world class facility. It will further enhance both the university's and Scotland's global reputation for excellence.

"That's why I am pleased to see the development of this centre get the green light. I firmly believe this is good news for the university, for Glasgow, for Scottish businesses and for Scotland as a whole. I look forward to seeing these plans become a reality that will no doubt attract significant investment, contribute to economic growth in the city and beyond and help provide solutions for some of the challenges across the globe.??

The centre will be the first of its kind in Europe and will become the cornerstone of the International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ) - Scotland's hub for global green energy developments.

Developed with industry, for industry, TIC has already attracted major international partners including SSE, ScottishPower and the Weir Group, alongside funding from Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council.

Colin Hood, Chair of Technology and Innovation Centre's Industry Advisory Board, said: "This news is a welcome boost for not only the University of Strathclyde and the city of Glasgow, but for Scotland as a whole. It will bring with it a fresh way of thinking by opening new avenues of research and collaboration, creating significant benefits for the economy and the city. The project is gathering pace and will without doubt strengthen Scotland's reputation for its contribution to innovation and high quality research.??

Scottish Enterprise director of infrastructure, Allan McQuade, said: "Today's confirmation of planning permission for both the University of Strathclyde's Technology and Innovation Centre and our Industry Engagement Building, brings us another step closer to establishing Scotland's International and Renewable Energy Zone as a global R&D hub which will help shape the renewable energy industry of tomorrow. Glasgow is already attracting many major developers and pioneers in the offshore wind sector and these developments will help reinforce Scotland's position as a location of choice for the rapidly expanding renewable energy industry."

Mark Batho, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council said: "SFC sees this project as one of the most exciting ventures in Scotland today and we are delighted to be supporting it. The granting of planning permission is an important next step in the development of a building that will transform the way in which industry and universities can work together.??

The planning permission announcement comes just days after the UK Government revealed that the University of Strathclyde is to play a key role in a multi-million pound initiative to stimulate development and commercialisation of new offshore wind, tidal and wave power technologies.

The Offshore Renewable Energy 'Catapult' Centre, announced at the University by the Rt Hon Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, will see £50 million invested over the next five years. The Catapult will create a critical mass of activity and will link the University to a wide range of industrial partners and other research organisations to benefit the offshore renewable energy sector.