Higgs Centre for Innovation – newly opened centre supporting entrepreneurs

The Higgs Centre for Innovation, which supports start-ups and SMEs working in the space and data-intensive sectors, has officially opened at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh.

Entrepreneurial boost

The centre links to industry with cutting-edge scientific and engineering expertise. It focuses on supporting business both through incubation activities and access to facilities, including laboratories and working space, for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Connecting engineers, academics and PhD students directly with small businesses will help boost their entrepreneurial experience at the start of their research careers.

The stand-alone building at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh is run by the Science and Technology Facilities Council in partnership with the University.

£11 million investment

The Centre aims to create new market opportunities, especially in big data and space technologies. It is funded through a £10.7 million investment from the UK Government. The Science and Technology Facilities Council will invest £2million over five years to operate the centre.

Prof James Dunlop, Head of the Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh reported:

The construction of the Higgs Centre for Innovation is an exciting new development in the long established collaboration between STFC and the University of Edinburgh at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. The new centre will cement Edinburgh's reputation as a world leader in the fields of astrophysics and big data, and provide new opportunities for knowledge exchange between astronomers, particle physicists, engineers and industry.

Gillian Wright, Director of the UK Astronomy Technology Centre commented:

A huge amount of work has been put in by all partners over the past few years to develop plans for the Higgs Centre for Innovation. We look forward to developing new partnerships at the centre and seeing the benefits it will bring to future generations of scientists and industry.

The Higgs Centre for Innovation is named in honour of Professor Peter Higgs of the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy. The pioneering scientist received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013 for his prediction of the existence of the Higgs boson particle, which enables other particles to acquire mass. This fundamental particle was discovered by scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in 2012.