Thu 8 Aug 19
Innovation Centre, Knowledge Gateway has welcomed two new businesses to join its growing business community: research agency Agile Research and cloud developer Innovative Creations.
Based on our Colchester Campus, the newly opened Innovation Centre offers flexible workspace solutions, networking opportunities, business support and masterclasses for innovative technology businesses.
Officially launched by our Chancellor and Speaker of the House of Commons, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, this exciting venture is a partnership between the University of Essex and Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading Innovation Centre operator. Their joint aim is to make high-tech, creative start-up and scale-up businesses into sustainable and commercial successes.
As an independent research agency, Agile Research has been in business for just over a year. But their Research Director, Nick Richmond, has been working in user-centred design for almost 20 years. As a company, Agile Research’s focus is on user-centred design, providing a holistic picture of what will happen when an idea is put out into the real world – and helping to build a user-friendly interface that implements those findings. Nick’s mantra is: “rather than wait for something to be built, only to find out it doesn’t work, let’s get some feedback. Let’s get the research findings in right at the very beginning of the development process.”
Innovative Creations has been going strong for over 17 years, offering cloud development services focusing on industrial IoT, big data and analytics. The sector they focus on primarily is energy, but as the company moves into manufacturing and is developing sensors for housing, things are changing. “My long-term goal is to become a hardware company. We’ll be making our own products by Q1 next year”, says CEO, James Brand. He envisages Innovative Creations returning to their roots in industrial IoT and has plans for a KTP with the University of Essex in the works.
James: “There’s nothing in the area like this. We’re keen to meet people and collaborate. And it’s well-connected to the university. We’ve had a lot of interns come through the business already and have taken one of them on permanently. The resources and networking opportunities are a real draw.”
Nick: “It’s a good fit, because everyone here could potentially benefit from what we do. I think the Innovation Centre is a fantastic environment. We’re a great success story for the Centre already – we initially came into the shared desk place, now we’re moving to a larger office with the view to expand! The flexibility was a big pull for us, and the Innovation Director, Neil, is ever so responsive. We were able to get in, get on, find commonality, and two days later we were looking at taking our own office in the building!”
Could your tech business flourish with state-of-the-art facilities and a thriving entrepreneurial community? If so, get in touch with Centre Manager, Daniel Smart, to organise a tour. Call 01206 405500 or visit the website to find out more.