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Marking A Milestone

Southampton Science Park’s newest addition, The Engineering Centre, reached a development milestone on 4 th August with a topping out ceremony attended by esteemed guests including Professor Mark E. Smith, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, and Michael Queen, Chair of Enterprise M3 LEP.

Dr Robin Chave, CEO, Southampton Science Park said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome everyone to Southampton Science Park today for the all-important topping out ceremony. The Science Park is already a magnet for the commercialisation of research and new technologies in the M3 corridor and it is therefore uniquely positioned to host this new facility, and to create further collaboration opportunities through our networks. I’m absolutely confident that the positive societal impacts arising from this new centre will resonate significantly beyond our boundaries and for generations to come.”

The Engineering Centre will provide specialist laboratory facilities and a collaboration zone that will support a range of sectors such as eco-hydraulics, electronics, transport research, aerospace, energy, unmanned systems and a number of hydraulic flumes. It will also be home to the Future Towns Innovation Hub: a partnership working space designed to give business and enterprise the opportunity to access and interact with world leading expertise, skills, and facilities available within one of the UK's most outstanding engineering groups, in an environment that nurtures creativity and innovation.

Professor Smith commented: “I am so pleased to be here today to celebrate this important milestone in the construction of our brand new Engineering Centre. This is a very important investment from the University that will help further our commitment to become a fully civic university. The centre will help to grow and retain local talent and maximise the impact of our research related to the environmental and sustainability challenges faced by local towns and their businesses. I look forward to the collaborative work we will complete with businesses throughout our community. I am very grateful for the support for this project from the Enterprise M3 LEP.”

Michael Queen, Chair of Enterprise M3 LEP, added: “EM3 is committed to ensuring our towns can meet the demands of the modern world by providing a sustainable, high quality of life for all those who live and work in them. The Future Towns Innovation Hub will offer world-leading engineering research excellence from the University of Southampton to business partners and town leaders to provide opportunities and practical solutions to real problems, including some of our greatest environmental challenges.”

Professor Paul Kemp, Academic Director of the Future Towns Innovation Hub, said: We look forward to providing an environment in which creativity and innovation needed to solve complex interdisciplinary challenges faced by our local towns will be nurtured. The hub will provide access to state-of-the art experimental apparatus and laboratories in which local  business and enterprise will be able to develop relationships and collaborate with world leading academics to enhance the sustainability, health, happiness and prosperity of our urban environments. The insights gained and technologies generated by these activities will have far reaching impact and benefit to the UK and wider global community.”

Steve Lee, Divisional Director for the Southern Division of Midas Construction, said: “We’re immensely pleased to have been able to gather with project partners to celebrate this milestone moment for what is a truly exciting development. Marking the topping-out of a new building is a fine tradition and we look forward to completing the construction phase of the Engineering Centre and playing a modest part in the important role it is going to play driving technological innovation across a number of really exciting sectors, supporting skills development and creating opportunities for the local economy.”

Construction of the new facility is due to complete in early 2022. Expressions of interest are now welcome from commercial operations that wish to benefit from a presence within this prestigious setting. Comprising offices, workshops, laboratories and open access collaboration space over three floors, suites within the Engineering Centre can be configured to meet individual business needs. Contact Southampton Science Park for further details.


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