Cardiff University to open new £300 million innovation centre

The new space, which is due to start construction in early 2017, will be a hub for tech research and start-up companies.

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Cardiff University has unveiled a new £300 million Innovation Campus which will look to support tech start-ups and research.

The new space, which is due to start construction in early 2017, will be based at the university’s Maindy Park. It will be a hub for university students, researchers, businesses and those from the public sector.

It features two new 12,000 square metre buildings, which have been designed by architectural practices Hawkins Brown and Hok, alongside site masterplanner BDP and town planning consultancy DPP.

Vice chancellor of the university Professor Colin Riordan says he hopes the new campus will “create opportunities for all”, and will be a place for “cutting-edge research, technology transfer, business development and student enterprise”.

The campus will include facilities such as a research centre for compound semi-conductors, a facility to support research in chemical sciences, a research park dedicated to social design projects, and The Innovation Centre, a creative hub for start-up companies.

There will also be an exhibition and events space in the Innovation Centre, and areas open to the public.

The space will also feature lettable office and lab spaces available both to start-ups and big companies.

Alongside the two buildings, a bridge has also been built which connects the Innovation Campus with Cardiff Business School.

Oliver Milton, partner at Hawkins Brown, says: “In generating our design for the Innovation Central Building, we worked closely with Cardiff University to develop new models for space use…”

“This resulted in a very clear design with interactive working spaces organised around a central ‘oculus’ that connects the seven storeys.”

Shared facilities include a Ted-ex style event and talking space, and a fabrication lab to trial new manufacturing technologies.

Adrian Gainer, regional leader at Hok’s Science and Technology group, says the semi-conductor and chemical sciences labs have been designed “to enable multidisciplinary research to flourish”.

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