Engineering healthy towns
Site work has commenced on the creation of Southampton Science Park’s latest office facility. The Future Towns Innovation Hub will offer the region an exciting new space where leading academics can collaborate with businesses and towns to develop low-carbon and sustainable engineering and technology innovations to create happier, healthier, and more prosperous places to live and work.
The Hub has been designed to an extremely high specification and will house a range of dedicated facilities, including specialist laboratories, general workshops, creativity spaces and office units.
Challenges the Future Towns Innovation Hub will address include:
- developing low carbon heating; renewable energy, energy efficient buildings,
- tackling inefficient recycling and waste management to support a carbon neutral economy,
- advancing innovations in transport including infrastructure design, automated and connected vehicles, electric bikes, scooters and vehicles to improve mobility, reduce air pollution and address increasing obesity and inactivity in the population,
- providing a pipeline of skills for the aerospace and defence industries,
- creating digital health solutions by using data to improve GP information systems.
Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke MP, said: “We are determined to deliver a green economic recovery and to ensure our towns have the investment they need to innovate and transform their services so they are innovative, efficient and sustainable. That is why we are investing £3 million in the new Future Towns Innovation Hub, delivering innovative new business office facilities within the University of Southampton Science Park. This Hub will help towns, businesses and communities across the country to experience the benefit of the latest cutting-edge research.”
Professor Mark Spearing, Vice President of Research and Enterprise at the University of Southampton and Chairman of the Science Park Board, added: “This is a very important investment from the University which will maximise the impact of our research related to the environmental and sustainability challenges faced by local towns and their businesses. We look forward to working with businesses throughout our community, helping them find solutions to these challenges and ensure towns in our region and across the UK can meet the demands of the modern world.”
The project is expected to take up to 24 months to complete. It is being funded by the University of Southampton, Enterprise M3 and Research England.