The Lincolnshire Technology Hubs, in Lincoln, Louth, Mablethorpe, Boston and Horncastle have been shortlisted for a national digital expertise award.
The hubs, set up by Lincolnshire County Council’s Onlincolnshire project to give businesses access to state-of-the-art digital technology, are shortlisted in the Digital Education and Expertise category at the Next Generation Digital Challenge Awards 2014.
The awards aim to recognise innovative and inspiring projects which help improve infrastructure or access to new technology.
Chairman of the County Council Cllr Bill Aron said: “It’s been a real team effort to establish the hubs and being shortlisted for this prestigious national award is a testament to the hard work and commitment people have put in.
“It’s also great for news for the county’s businesses which can access these potentially award-winning hubs for free.”
The five hubs are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Four of them house the latest digital technology, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, scanners and GoPro cameras.
Meanwhile the Louth hub has motion capture spot technology, which can be used to film people or machinery moving at high speed. The footage can then be played back in slower motion for analysis.
All of the equipment can be borrowed or used for free by eligible businesses, with a charge to cover insurance costs and materials used. This can also include 12 hours of free one-to-one advice and support.
Cllr Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council, which runs the onlincolnshire project, added:
“The awards recognise the hard work we have put in and the success we have had in connecting businesses to next-generation technology.
“The hubs can help transform businesses and the possibilities are endless. You could be an architecture firm looking to create a 3D model of your design, an engineer who wants to develop a prototype or a business owner looking for a digital application to improve productivity.
“The idea is to offer the opportunity to try out new equipment before making a purchase and access expert advice and support so businesses can grow. We also encourage local businesses to work together to help come up with new ideas or solutions to problems.”
The winners of the awards will be announced at the NextGen 2014 Conference in Derby in November.
To find out more about the Lincolnshire Technology Hubs visit the onlincolnshire website.