The eagerly-anticipated National Innovation Centre has been granted permission to go-ahead at Science Central, in Newcastle city centre.
As part of the wider future city vision, the Centre will play a commanding role in linking up link up university academic talent with industry and the public sector to help develop skills and overcome ‘real world’ problems.
Collaboration will be key to the site’s impact on the surrounding city, with businesses being encouraged to embrace academic input in supporting the research and development of data-oriented products and services.
The Innovation Centre will be the third Newcastle University building to be located on the Science Central site and will house the University’s teams from the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA), the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD) and the National Institute for Health Research Innovation Observatory (NIHRIO).
NICA works with research specialists, businesses and the public to facilitate the commercialisation of key products, services and technologies to help people live better, longer lives.
NICD works with partners in industry, the public sector and academics to work on opportunities offered by the explosion in digital data.
The NIHR Innovation Observatory will apply Big Data analytics tools, from text mining, machine learning and cognitive analytics to reveal global trends – and global needs – in health innovation.
Professor Paul Watson, Principal Investigator for the National Innovation Centre for Data, said: “Vast amounts of data are now being generated by people, software and sensors.
“Companies in every sector of the economy see the potential to use this data to transform their productivity and launch new products. However, because of a world-wide skills shortage, few organisations are able to realise these benefits.
“The National Innovation Centre for Data will create a unique facility bringing together industry, researchers and students to address this challenge. It will enable industry to unleash the huge potential for innovation offered by the explosive growth in digital data, so benefitting the UK economy and society.
“The exciting new building will act as a beacon for innovation, attracting companies from around the world, and placing the North East as a global leader in this vital area.”
Designs for the building have been developed by a team at GSSArchitecture, based at Hoults Yard, Newcastle, who have applied findings from global research into the design and layout of the centre as a catalyst for innovation.
The company has undertaken detailed consultation with stakeholders, including the University and public, to develop and refine ideas before the planning application was submitted.
Jonathan Hunter, Partner at GSSArchitecture said: “The GSS designed National Innovation Centre represents true destination architecture through a simple, yet powerful, triangular design form. The building will be both distinct and highly identifiable and will be a vibrant landmark at Science Central.
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