Lincolnshire technology hubs win national support award

Onlincolnshire have won a NextGen award for their Lincolnshire Technology Hubs project to provide state-of-the-art digital technology to businesses.

The Lincolnshire County Council project is aimed at helping businesses to discover and use technology to move them forward and grow. For this work, it has been awarded the Digital Education and Expertise Award at the Next Generation Digital Challenge Awards 2014 this week.

The award is aimed at recognising innovative and inspiring projects which improve infrastructure or access to new technology.

Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council said: “This is what the Hubs are all about: helping businesses stay up to date with the latest advances in technology so they can compete on a level playing field in a global marketplace.

“Businesses can not only try out new equipment before making a purchase, but also access expert advice and support. The hubs also promote collaboration and encourage businesses to work together to come up with new ideas or solutions to problems.”

Testing a 3D printer available at the Lincolnshire Technology Hubs.

Testing a 3D printer available at the Lincolnshire Technology Hubs.

All equipment can be borrowed and used for free by eligible businesses, with a small charge to cover insurance costs and materials used from one of the five hubs around Lincolnshire, in Lincoln, Boston, Horncastle, Louth and Mablethorpe. Free tailored support sessions are also offered.

Michael Poole, Business Development Manager for the University of Lincoln’s College of Arts, manages the Lincoln facility alongside Senior Technician Kevin Hallsworth.

He said: “The Lincoln Technology Hub has not yet celebrated its first anniversary; however the service is already making a considerable impact on business development across the region.

Senior Technician at the Technology Hub Kevin Hallsworth with Councillor Marc Jones. Photo: Emily Norton

Senior Technician at the Technology Hub Kevin Hallsworth with Councillor Marc Jones. Photo: Emily Norton

“We enable companies to try out new equipment before making a purchase and are currently working with a large number of clients in a variety of ways – from offering guidance on new technologies and providing advice on securing funding, to designing new components and helping to reverse engineer existing parts already used in business processes.

“The Hub is proving to be a valuable asset for the county’s businesspeople, who are keen to be more innovative and effective when developing new products.”

The Lincoln Technology Hub is open Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm. Businesses interested in using the facilities or accessing up to 12 hours of fully funded business support can book an appointment by calling 01522 835097 or 837494, or emailing thehub@lincoln.ac.uk.