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Higgs Centre for Innovation to Support Start-Ups

Dominique Adams


higgs centre artists impression - Credit: STFC

New £10.7 million ground-breaking business incubator at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh to support up to 12 high-tech start-ups with expertise and cutting-edge facilities. 

The Higgs Centre for Innovation, named in honour of Professor Peter Higgs, British scientist and Nobel Prize winner, is now accepting applications from start-up companies.

Successful applicants will gain access to business support and training, technical expertise from across The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Edinburgh University, and in addition a grant of over £40,000 towards product development.

The Higgs Centre contains a suite of dedicated cleanrooms purpose-built to test micro and non-satellite technology, it has big-data visualisation capabilities, product testing facilities and a state-of-the-art laboratory.

The centre is intended to provide a platform to allow collaborations between engineers, academics and PhD students directly with small businesses, providing them with a boost to their entrepreneurial experience at the start of their research careers.

Funding and Investment to Support Innovation

The UK government provided £10.7 million in funding to build the centre as part of its ongoing Government’s Industrial Strategy, which is committed to investing in ground-breaking research and development as part of its plan to future-proof the UK economy.

The project was developed by STFC in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, the European Space Agency, UK Space Agency, and CERN. The STFC will invest a further £2 million over five years to operate the centre with the aim of creating new tech market opportunities, particularly in big data and space technologies.

Dr Julian Dines, UK ATC head of innovation, said: “The Higgs Centre for Innovation will offer facilities and collaboration opportunities to businesses that are unavailable elsewhere, in an environment where innovative ideas truly are encouraged.”

“Working with industry and academic colleagues throughout Scotland and beyond, we believe the centre will be a launchpad for successful businesses for years to come.”

Key Dates

The closing date for first round consideration is the end of Tuesday 20th February 2018. Applicants will be invited to present their business case at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh on Monday 26th of February 2018.

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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