[11 October 2019]

University’s climate change commitment strengthened as Aura Innovation Centre reaches major milestone.

The University of Hull’s biggest commitment to tackling climate change yet has reached a major milestone as the Aura Innovation Centre is completed.

Due to officially launch early 2020, the Aura Innovation Centre at Bridgehead Business Park, Hessle, will deliver ground-breaking low-carbon projects and kick-start new ideas by bringing together experts at the University of Hull with businesses in the Humber region and beyond.

The £12m Aura Innovation Centre will provide a ‘front door’ for the University of Hull, giving businesses easy access to cutting-edge facilities, specialist funded support and a space to innovate and collaborate with academic and industry experts – driving clean business growth.

In addition, the centre is set to deliver a number of substantial benefits for the region:
  • Accelerate the development of new renewable/low carbon products and technologies
  • Continue to build a strong supply chain for the renewables and low carbon sectors, boosting economic growth and job prospects
  • Enhance the region’s reputation as the place to develop low carbon and offshore wind innovation
  • Bring opportunities through the UK Government’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal in which Aura and the University are recognised as major delivery partners

Sarah Clark, Programme Manager, said: “As the global economy shifts towards a low-carbon future, the green energy transition opens up a myriad of challenges and opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

“More than 180 dynamic, high growth businesses have already engaged with the Aura Innovation Centre to find out how the University of Hull and Aura can help them accelerate their sustainable innovation projects.

“Four funded projects are currently live and are being delivered with colleagues across the University of Hull, with over 30 more in the pipeline before the centre has even opened.

“The AIC is another example of how Aura and the University are delivering on the UK Government’s Sector Deal in Offshore Wind.”

Over £1.1 m of cutting-edge research facilities are now being installed into the centre, before officially opening in early 2020. This includes a state of the art printed circuit board suite, augmented reality and large green screen area, virtual reality capabilities, materials characterisation suite, high tech 3D printers capable of printing recycled plastic, carbon fibre and metal as well as a mechanical workshop area.

Aura team members will move across to the offices during November along with teams from the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering to move in when the centre officially opens early next year.

The University of Hull applied for and won funding of £12 million from the European Regional Development Fund, Regional Growth Fund’s Green Port Growth Programme alongside match funding from the University.

The Aura Innovation Centre is the latest state-of-the-art facility at Bridgehead business park, which is owned and developed by Hull-based Wykeland Group.

Dawn Hall, Business Support Manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The AIC and The Supply Chain Network are both strong legacies of the Green Port Growth Programme and I am really pleased that my team will maintain the strong link to Aura to support regional businesses in the best way possible and continue to promote supply chain opportunities.”

Dominic Gibbons, Managing Director of Wykeland Group, said: “The Aura Innovation Centre underlines further Bridgehead’s value to the region as the home to an ever-growing number of blue chip businesses and as a collaborative cluster of innovation and enterprise.

“Investments such as this are delivering on the long-term vision for Bridgehead as a business location of choice and a major driver of the region’s economic growth.”