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The Engineering Centre is officially open!

Southampton Science Park was delighted to welcome the Rt Hon. the Lord Willetts, Chair of the UK Space Agency Board and former Minister of State for Universities and Science, along with over 100 guests to mark the official opening of our Engineering Centre. 

Speaking at the event, Science Park CEO Dr Robin Chave said, “We are thrilled to officially throw open the doors to our new Engineering Centre which will serve as a regional centre of excellence for this important sector which employs 19% of the UK workforce. Some forty years on from when the Park was established in 1983, this development demonstrates the significant role that Southampton Science Park continues to play in growing the south coast economy.” 

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all project partners involved in bringing this exciting and important initiative to fruition. I also extend my gratitude to Lord Willetts and guests who came along today to see first-hand how this bespoke new facility is already nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship within the engineering arena. I am confident that the businesses and academics based here will thrive in line with growing demand for engineering expertise.” 

Officially opening the Centre, Lord Willetts said, “It is a great pleasure to be here today, my first public engagement since being made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering earlier this month. This prestigious new facility which shines a light on the engineering talent that we have here on the south coast and provides a platform from which the sector can build and flourish. Judging by the people and companies that I’ve met here today, there’s no doubt that Southampton Science Park’s growing reputation, exemplified by projects like these, is making a meaningful contribution to the sustainable growth and prosperity of our region. I am delighted to be declaring it officially open.”

The Engineering Centre is unique in its ability to provide sector-focused, highly practical, tailored accommodation combinations of workshops, offices, meeting areas and creative space all under one roof. Demand for space here has been high, indicative of the need for such bespoke, high quality facilities on the south coast. 

Several companies have already taken up residency including university spinout Audioscenic, autonomous cargo drone leaders Windracers, AI entrepreneurs Nquiringminds, and solar energy experts Absolar. 

The Centre is also home to the Future Towns Innovation Hub, a joint industry-academic venture led by the University of Southampton in partnership with the Enterprise M3 LEP. 

Professor Mark E. Smith, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, added, “The Engineering Centre, housing the Future Towns Innovation Hub, is a very important investment from the University and our partners. This unique facility, which encourages smart collaboration between academia and business, will play an important role in boosting opportunities to commercialise new research, grow skills and retain talent in the Southampton area.”

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