Keele receives government funding to accelerate construction on IC7

Photos: Architect's impression of IC7

Keele University is delighted to announce that its proposed seventh Innovation Centre (IC7) building has been selected as one of 300 projects to receive funding from the government’s “Getting Building Fund”.

The vision for Keele’s seventh Innovation Centre is to drive business growth and innovation, helping local businesses understand and adopt advanced data analytics, including the use of Big Data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and complex systems based on the ‘Internet of Things’.

CGI of IC7 interior Businesses will be able to access to specialist facilities, academic expertise, ongoing support programmes and graduate and student talent specifically designed to support growth through responsible data analytics, including ethical and legal insights to guide the use of new technologies.

The Centre’s initial programme will be launched in 2022 and will support over 400 SMEs over an 18 month period. The aim is for local businesses and purpose-led organisations to understand and make use of advanced data analytics to drive productivity, growth and improve social outcomes.

The Facility will provide circa 2,696sqm of BREEAM excellent innovation space, featuring a Data Visualisation Suite, office space and hi-tech meeting and collaboration space. It aims to support a significant uptake in the use of advanced data analytics by SMEs based in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, leveraging the distinctive expertise in this area at Keele.

CGI of IC7 interior Phase one of the state-of-the-art building will be funded by the Research England Development Fund, the European Regional Development Fund - as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 - and confirmed this week, the government’s Getting Building Fund.

The new IC7 facility will help accelerate the development of more sophisticated approaches to health diagnostics, prognostics and treatment. Academic experts within the University are carrying out research to support health innovation, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to help improve treatments. Funding to launch a postgraduate conversion course specialising in AI and data science to teach skills to a range of industries including health, has also recently been secured.

IC7 will be the latest building within the Keele Growth Corridor University Enterprise Zone incorporating Keele’s Science and Innovation Park - one of the longest established in the UK, which currently houses six existing innovation centres with over 600 employees across 50 diverse and thriving businesses.

Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice Chancellor of Keele University, said:

“We are really delighted to have been chosen to receive funding alongside 300 other projects in the UK. Through the New Keele Deal, this investment will contribute to local growth as well as grow a positive culture of innovation and research within the region, delivering higher value jobs.

“Together with the fully established Keele University Business Bridge programme which provides healthcare and medical technology business support, new investment in space, facilities and expertise puts Keele at the forefront of improving health outcomes and addressing some inequalities in the local area.”

Innovation Centre 7 will be built in a prominent location at the entrance to the Keele University campus.

IC7 funder logos (August 2020) - 500px