Unveiling of new Innovation Centre to help early stage businesses

Posted on 18 Nov 2011

The Scott Bader Innovation Centre in Northamptonshire was officially launched on Friday as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrations, with the first occupier set to move in next month.

Located at the chemical firm’s headquarters in Wollaston, the new innovation centre is designed to support the growth of around 20 early stage businesses.

Philip Bruce, group managing director of Scott Bader, said: “The aim of our Innovation Centre is to provide an incubation site for early stage businesses, with specialist facilities and business support that is designed to boost their chances of commercial success. A significant added benefit is the opportunity for up and coming firms locating here to collaborate with the other companies on-site as well as with Scott Bader.”

The site will be run and managed by Oxford Innovation, who already manages five business and innovation five centres in the East Midlands region. Oxford Innovation completed an extensive refurbishment programme to convert the surplus buildings on the Scott Bader site into high quality offices with fully equipped labs.

The aim of the project is to provide local businesses with the office space on flexible terms in a dedicated business centre. The first company is due to move in during December and will take several offices on a flexible letting arrangement.

Speaking to TM, a spokesperson for Scott Bader said: These contracts are typically one year license agreements. Notice on the deals ranges from one to three months, depending on the size of the arrangement. This means that early stage businesses are not locked into a long-term lease, traditionally, contracts similar to these are five year deals.”

The length of the deals means that risk is reduced if the business fails, or, if the business is successful, allows them to expand. The leases are designed to be cost effective, with professional laboratory space available for companies operating in the chemicals, composites, materials and advanced engineering sectors. They will also have an opportunity to benefit from the collaborations and resources associated with location on a world-class R&D site.

All occupiers have access to investment networks that match investors to early stage businesses, as well as business planning advice, mentoring and networking events. The innovation centre also offers a virtual office facility for entrepreneurs who are not yet ready to take office space but require a professional address and telephone answering service.

The Mayor of Wellingborough, Councillor Bob Patel, marked the official launch by cutting a ribbon across the front door before an audience of over 70 guests. Councillor Patel said: “This centre is a great asset for the local area and will play a key role in supporting the growth of businesses and creating local jobs.”

Manager of the new innovation centre, Mick Judge, said: “The centre has already attracted a lot of interest and we are delighted that our first company will move in during the next few weeks. We are well on the way to creating a community of entrepreneurs here, and I welcome further enquiries from companies seeking office space or access to laboratory facilities.”

Tom Moore