The ground has officially been broken for the University of Lincoln’s new £5.1 million research and development facility, which is due for completion in spring 2022.
‘The Bridge’ Advanced Engineering Research and Development facility will be located alongside the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park and house £1.2 million worth of equipment in specialist laboratories. This includes advanced electron and atomic force microscopes, as well as surface analysis and thermo-mechanical instrumentation.
The ground breaking event took place at the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool campus on Wednesday, June 16, with representatives from the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, Gleeds, Siemens, Dynex and Teledyne e2v, as well as Henry Brothers who are the contractors for the build. Greater Lincolnshire LEP are investing £1.9 million in the facility.
The specialist hub will act as a centre for collaborative research and development between business and industry partners, and the University of Lincoln. It will potentially create hundreds of jobs for people in Lincoln and across the region.
Alongside high-tech laboratories including clean room facilities, there will be innovation and learning lounges for businesses to engage in training, development and networking activities.
The concept has been co-developed with a working group of industry-based scientists and with engagement from a consortium of more than 20 companies in the region.
It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP to the total of £5.1 million. This comes after a £10 million funding package was secured to being developing the next stage of Lincoln Science & Innovation Park.
Professor Ian Scowen, of the University of Lincoln, said: “We are excited to begin our realisation of a collective vision for developing new approaches that enable businesses to innovate new products.
“Working with dedicated cutting-edge facilities and within environments that encourage business interaction, we aim to bridge barriers to innovation across the range of enterprises in the engineering and materials sectors in Greater Lincolnshire – from the smallest to the largest. The Bridge project is already underway, but this building will add an important focal point for activities in the future.”
Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are delighted to be investing £1.9m in this new 788m2 R&D facility for Greater Lincolnshire. It will catalyse growth and productivity, promoting research and innovation in the SME supply chains of several key sectors of our economy.
“The Bridge will provide access to commercial scientists for diagnostic support and to potential business opportunities and regular networking forums for knowledge exchange.
“This new facility will directly enhance innovation in advanced materials technologies in the region, helping to create a stronger, more competitive and more resilient manufacturing and engineering sector.”