PRESS RELEASE: Innovation Birmingham launches Serendip® Smart Cities Incubator

Innovation Birmingham alongside the West Midlands Academic Health Scienc...

PRESS RELEASE FROM PARTNERS AT INNOVATION BIRMINGHAM 01.03.16

Innovation Birmingham has launched its application process for its upcoming Serendip® Smart Cities Incubator programme, as the site’s new £8 million iCentrum® building rapidly nears completion.

A core element of Birmingham’s ‘Knowledge Hub’, the 11,845 sq ft (1,102 sq m) Serendip® Smart Cities Incubator will be based on the first floor of iCentrum® and will co-locate promising start-up businesses with large commercial partners. Within these challenge-led incubators, the commercial partners will help to mentor qualifying early stage tech companies and may, in turn, become customers or distribution channels for the start-ups.

There will be at least four sector-specific Serendip® ‘quarters’: Digital Heath, Intelligent Mobility, Internet of Things and an additional incubator, which will be delivered by Innovation Birmingham in collaboration with the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network, Centro and the Transport Systems Catapult, RWE npower and Barclays. The ethos behind the space is to harness the power of serendipity and encourage the translation of ideas, relevant to the Smart City agenda, into new products and services.

Successful applicants for the Serendip® Smart Cities Incubator will be based at iCentrum® from 1st April 2016, and will be supported by Innovation Birmingham’s mentorship programmes, which enables them to work directly with commercial partners to market-test and refine products and services. These businesses will also benefit from free high-tech office space, mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs; a 180-seat presentation auditorium with 7m+ wide HD presentation screen and access to over 100 evening networking events and workshops.

Providing space for 400 high-value skilled tech jobs at any one time, iCentrum® will generate £25 million of GVA per annum to the local economy and is the first building to be completed within Innovation Birmingham’s £40m development zone.

Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham, said: “We are thrilled to be working with these corporate partners to deliver the Serendip® Smart Cities Incubator, so creating a unique facility in the UK. This challenge-led programme will provide a fantastic opportunity for UK start-ups to work directly with established commercial partners and benefit from their longevity and expertise.

“Working with these partners is very exciting for the region and will help us to further drive the city’s reputation as a national centre for digital excellence, as well as helping to create many new high value jobs in high-growth businesses which will have fantastic economic benefits for Birmingham. We are committed to nurturing new talent and providing the right support and facilities to ensure these businesses stay and excel in the city.”

The Innovation Birmingham Campus is currently fully let, with an extensive waiting list for space from new and growing tech businesses. Significant investment has ensured its 135 technology tenants can already access 30Gbit/s broadband speeds – equalling the fastest internet connection available anywhere in the UK. Construction has also recently begun on the 5,812 sq ft Universities Centre, which will act as a detached extension of the site’s Faraday Wharf building and will further enhance the site’s already impressive tech offering.

To apply for Serendip®, please visit: www.innovationbham.com/start-up-support/serendip-incubator/

PRESS RELEASE: Barclays announced as fourth partner in Innovation Birmingham’s £8m iCentrum® incubator project

(l-r) Cliff Dennett, Dr David Hardman MBE, Joanne Haden, David Hamilton ...PRESS RELEASE FROM PARTNERS AT INNOVATION BIRMINGHAM 25.02.16

Barclays has become the fourth partner to join Innovation Birmingham in delivering a new incubation facility at the Campus’ upcoming £8 million iCentrum® building.

Barclays will launch a 2,500 sq ft business incubator which will feature within the Serendip® Smart City Incubator; designed to drive innovation and open up a wealth of opportunities for tech start-ups.

The incubator will work alongside the Innovation Birmingham mentors to create a unique support package for qualifying start-up and high-growth potential early-stage digital and tech companies. The new facility will launch in April 2016 soon after the opening of iCentrum®, located off the A38M Aston Expressway, which opens in March 2016.

Located on the first floor of the 42,149 sq ft iCentrum® building, the business incubator will join three other sector-specific quarters: Digital Heath, Intelligent Mobility and Internet of Things, which will be delivered by West Midlands Academic Health Science Network, Centro and the Transport Systems Catapult and RWE npower.

The whole 10,000 sq ft first floor of iCentrum® will be known as Serendip®, with the ethos behind the space being to harness the power of serendipity and encourage the development of new products and services. That is, both within the defined sectors but also across all sectors; where juxtaposing technology solutions from one sector to another enhances business creation and growth. To complement Serendip®, there will be state-of-the-art event and meet-up space on the ground floor for up to 500 people. The top floor of iCentrum® will house office suites for growing tech companies.

Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham, said: “With construction work on iCentrum® quickly nearing completion, we continue to look to delivering this project both on-time and on-budget. It is being developed and funded speculatively as a tech incubator for the generation of entrepreneurs that is growing up with social media, 3D printing and cloud-based business solutions.

“Sitting at the heart of the new building will be Serendip®; a 10,000 sq ft incubation centre purpose-designed to nurture relationships between corporate executives and entrepreneurs. We are delighted to work in partnership with Barclays to deliver this exciting project and their extensive experience will perfectly complement the additional quarters to create greater strength and diversity in supporting early stage businesses.”

“These hubs will be a place for people to create and innovate,” said Ray O’Donoghue, Managing Director of Barclays in the Midlands. “We are very excited to be part of iCentrum®. Our incubator will be a great platform to support fast growing businesses.

“As well as offering facilities such as 3D printers to build and test products, the incubator will target high-growth firms and entrepreneurs who are projecting 20% growth or more, who will benefit from collaborating with other like-minded businesses, as well as receiving mentoring from the bank’s team of industry experts. We want to take our relationship with local entrepreneurs’ one step further, providing them with access to the tools and resources that will help them accelerate growth.”

iCentrum® is being funded through a £7.5m commercial loan, agreed with Birmingham City Council, to cover the main construction and fit-out costs. In addition, Innovation Birmingham secured funding from the GBSLEP’s Enterprise Zone’s Site Development and Access Fund to create additional co-working space in the new building. iCentrum® will provide space for 400 high-value skilled tech jobs at any one time, generating £25 million of GVA to the local economy per annum. The building was one of the first to start on site within the GBSLEP’s Enterprise Zone, which features 30 sites within central Birmingham.

The Innovation Birmingham Campus is currently fully let with an extensive waiting list for space from new and growing tech businesses. Significant investment has ensured its 135 technology tenants can already access 30Gbit/s broadband speeds – equalling the fastest internet connection available anywhere in the UK. iCentrum® is the first building under construction within Innovation Birmingham’s £40m development zone.

For more information on the Serendip incubator or to apply, visit: https://www.innovationbham.com/start-up-support/serendip-incubator/

Smart cities better defined by new research

Read here: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2016/02/Smart-cities-better-defined-by-new-research-100216.aspx

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have identified a handful of key elements that define ‘smart cities’– cities like Singapore and Copenhagen, which are both at the top of their game in using technology to enable their citizens to enjoy a better quality of life, but in different ways.

Singapore’s vision focusses on developing the ‘smartness’ of its people in using technology, such as wireless communications and energy-efficient appliances or vehicles. This helps people to reduce the need to move or, if necessary, do so more cleanly.

In contrast, Copenhagen’s strategy centres on engaging people, companies and government to create  a ‘green’ economy, as well as ensuring that urban planning allows the city to grow in a way that creates an improving quality of life.

Both cities were used as case studies in the research, which investigates whether smart cities are realising their potential for lower carbon dioxide emissions and is being carried out by a team from the University’s Department of Civil Engineering.

They demonstrate that a smart city can be defined by a vision that includes five key factors: digital technology; environmental sustainability; civic initiatives; mobility; and business. The team discovered that over 70 per cent of activity contributing to a smart city occurred in the first three of these areas.

They have published an online paper into their research – ‘Do smart cities realise their potential for lower carbon dioxide emissions’ – with the Institution of Civil Engineers

Published paper : http://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/doi/abs/10.1680/jensu.15.00032

PRESS RELEASE: Vanti wins international award

Mike Brooman, CEO of Vanti

PRESS RELEASE FROM PARTNERS AT INNOVATION BIRMINGHAM 22.02.16

Vanti – an audio, visual and IT systems integrator, based at the Innovation Birmingham Campus – has won international recognition as the Most InAVative Corporate Facility at this year’s inAVation Awards.

The event, which was held on the first evening of Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2016 in Amsterdam, saw Vanti receive the accolade from a shortlist of six companies, following an intensive application and technical validation process by a panel of industry experts. ISE 2016 is the world’s largest trade show which welcomes over 1,103 of the world’s leading AV manufacturers and press from over 40 different countries across a four day period. This year, the event recorded its highest ever attendance with over 65,686 attendees, a 10.7% increase on 2015.

Established in 2006, Vanti is an award-winning audio-visual and IT systems integration and managed services practice, which works with clients to make the most of their existing or new technology. With an average growth of 32 per cent over the last three years, the company now has 23 team members and is on track to achieve an annual turnover of £3 million by 2017. It also has a number of high profile clients including UBM, Tottenham Hotspur, Canary Wharf Group, Library of Birmingham and BSH Appliances, which includes the Bosch, Siemens and Neff brands.

Mike Brooman, CEO of Vanti, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be awarded our second InAVation award and to be recognised for our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with the latest audio-visual and information technology.

“It’s great that the judges recognised our efforts in creating one of the first truly integrated Smart Buildings in EMEA and picked up on our efforts to not only conserve energy, but also to increase the productivity and wellbeing of the people who use the technology every day.”

At the ISE 2016, Vanti was also awarded an AV News Award for AV Project of the Year. The UK awards recognise the contribution made by individuals and teams to the development of AV business, with special awards to technologists, sales, marketing and support professionals.

Vanti is one of 15 early-stage companies receiving support from Innovation Birmingham’s e4f Inspire programme, which delivers a series of workshops, keynote events, entrepreneur dinners, off-site visits, funded internship/apprenticeship placements, and peer group sessions, in order to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial tech companies.

For more information on e4f Inspire, please visit: https://www.innovationbham.com/projects/e4f-inspire/

PRESS RELEASE: Cloud9 continues success with growth of national account

PRESS RELEASE FROM PARTNERS AT INNOVATION BIRMINGHAM 20.01.16

Innovation Birmingham Campus-based telecommunications provider, Cloud9 has marked an end to another successful year with the growth of one of its largest accounts.

Established in 2013, Cloud9 is a strategic communications supplier which provides bespoke project management services for a wide range of connectivity solutions including infrastructure, fixed line, broadband and mobile.

Cloud9 has doubled its annual turnover in the last 12 months, with further plans to accelerate the current pace of growth with ongoing recruitment scheduled for 2016. The company’s success follows a fantastic year which saw one of its largest accounts, international organic tea and food supplement provider, Pukka Herbs, extend their current contract.

During 2016, Pukka Herbs will be relocating its current multi-site office environment to a single office. Cloud9 will be integral in facilitating this move; providing infrastructure, full mobile and fixed line telecommunication services to support the relocation of the business and its 100 staff.

Stuart Allbut, Operations Director at Cloud9, said: “We are thrilled to continue developing our positive working relationship with Pukka Herbs and supporting them in their relocation to Parkview Office campus.

“It has been another fantastic year for Cloud9 and with more and more companies beginning to demand faster broadband and secure mobile connectivity, we look forward to continuing to work with each client on a case-by-case basis to ensure we meet their individual business needs.

“The Innovation Birmingham Campus and the e4f programme has opened up an array of resources and successfully creates a comprehensive support network in and out of the workplace, providing us with the perfect location in which to successfully operate our business.”

Cloud9 has a number of high profile clients including multi-disciplined property consultancy, CP Bigwood; leading UK construction and regeneration group, Morgan Sindall and car dealership franchises comprising Ford, Kia and Peugeot.

120 tech start-ups have been incubated by the Entrepreneurs for the Future programme since November 2009, with over £10 million raised in initial investment rounds. Cloud9 is one of 18 early stage tech companies receiving support from Innovation Birmingham’s ‘e4f Inspire’ programme, which delivers a series of workshops, keynote events, entrepreneur dinners, off-site visits, funded internship/apprenticeship placements, and peer group sessions, in order to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial tech companies.

For more information on Cloud9, please visit: https://cloud9.uk.com/

For additional information on the e4f programme, visit: http://e4f.co.uk/

PRESS RELEASE: HOPPER SECURES £100,000 REGIONAL GROWTH FUND GRANT

PRESS RELEASE FROM PARTNERS AT INNOVATION BIRMINGHAM 13.01.16

Innovation Birmingham Campus-based Hopper HQ Ltd has successfully secured a £100,000 grant from the Birmingham Post Growth Fund to contribute towards its £400,000 investment plan.

Launched in August 2015, www.HopperHQ.com is the world’s first fully automated scheduling tool for Instagram, enabling users to post content for a specific date and time, similar to popular applications such as Hootsuite and Buffer which enable posts to be scheduled across Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The user friendly platform has the same extensive range of picture editing tools that are available within the Instagram app, as well as allowing pictures to be uploaded from multiple sources, such as Dropbox, Google Drive and a user’s own files.

The £100,000 grant from the Birmingham Post Growth Fund, in partnership with Bournville College, will be used alongside an additional £300,000 investment from parent company, Turn Partners Ltd, to accelerate the pace of global growth and to support plans to expand the team by 50 per cent during 2016.

Mike Bandar, Co-founder of Turn Partners said: “Just five months since the launch of Hopper, the business has grown considerably and we are now working with hundreds of customers across over 30 countries. The Regional Growth Fund grant will provide vital support and flexibility to help maximise this growth as we continue to build the business and extend our offering to new and existing customers.

“With a phased recruitment programme currently underway, myself and my co-founder, James Vardy, are looking to extend our Birmingham-based team with current vacancies for in-house developers and a full-time CRM Manager. We look forward to speaking with passionate people looking for a new challenge in an exciting start-up with a global reach.”

Hopper offers three standard packages, with bespoke options available to agencies. The Basic package is priced at $8 per month to schedule up to 10 posts for one Instagram account. The Business package is $19 per month for unlimited scheduled posts to one Instagram account. The standard Agency package is $90 per month to schedule unlimited posts for up to seven Instagram accounts, each with an unlimited number of followers.

120 tech start-ups have been incubated by the Entrepreneurs for the Future programme since November 2009, with over £10 million raised in initial investment rounds. Hopper is one of 18 early stage tech companies receiving support from Innovation Birmingham’s ‘e4f Inspire’ programme, which delivers a series of workshops, keynote events, entrepreneur dinners, off-site visits, funded internship/apprenticeship placements, and peer group sessions, in order to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial tech companies.

For more information on Hopper, please visit https://www.hopperhq.com/

PRESS RELEASE: 11 APPOINTMENTS MARK FANTASTIC YEAR OF GROWTH FOR VANTI

PRESS RELEASE FROM PARTNERS AT INNOVATION BIRMINGHAM 12.01.16

Vanti – an audio, visual and IT systems integrator, based at the Innovation Birmingham Campus – has made 11 appointments during the past 12 months, marking the company’s most successful year of trading.

Vanti has recently appointed Jack Summerfield, Senior Project Engineer; Matthew Nathan, Senior Software Developer/Architect; and James Bayliss, Service Desk and Project Support Analyst; in a year which has seen the company achieve an annual turnover of £2.5 million.

Giles Robinson, John Kernshell, Saffron Edgeworth and Ben Higginson have also joined the team as Installation Engineers, alongside Michael Hicks, Lab and Stores Manager; Thomas Blackwell, Business Development Manager; Danielle Francis, Office Administrator/Marketing and Paul Smith, Commissioning Engineer.

Established in 2006, Vanti is an award-winning audio-visual and IT systems integration and managed services practice, which works with clients to make the most of their existing or new technology. With an average growth of 32 per cent over the last three years, the company now has 23 team members and is on track to achieve an annual turnover of £3 million by 2017. It also has a number of high profile clients including UBM, Tottenham Hotspur, Canary Wharf Group, Library of Birmingham and BSH Appliances, which includes the Bosch, Siemens and Neff brands.

Mike Brooman, CEO of Vanti, said: “As one of the few businesses that pre-build, assemble and test our equipment before installing it on-site, our office and lab facilities at the Innovation Birmingham Campus are integral to ensuring that we continue to grow year-on-year.

“There is a huge gap in the market for us to further extend our services and to improve how businesses currently utilise technology across audio-visual, IT, telecommunications and infrastructure services. We look forward to doing so in the new year, as we continue to further expand our team.”

Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham, said: “It has been a fantastic year for Vanti and, as one of the first start-ups to be based in the Entrepreneurs for the Future centre, it has been exciting to watch this dynamic business as it continues to go from strength to strength.”

Vanti is one of 15 early-stage companies receiving support from Innovation Birmingham’s e4f Inspire programme, which delivers a series of workshops, keynote events, entrepreneur dinners, off-site visits, funded internship/apprenticeship placements, and peer group sessions, in order to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial tech companies.

Smart City Commission Journey

Follow the journey of Birmingham Smart City Commission through past meeting notes and papers.

13.01.16-AGENDA

Papers / presentations:

  1. East Birmingham Corridor Demonstrator-FCC.SW
  2. Incubator developments and activities-iCentrum Update-DH
  3. Incubator developments and activities-STEAMhouse update-JB
  4. Smart City Commission Governance-Executive and Smart Board for GBSLEP Region-DB.RM
  5. Smart City Commission Governance-Refresh Proposal-DB-v1.0
  6. Birmingham Smart City Activity Tracker 2015-16-14.01.16-v1.2

23.09.15-MEETING NOTES

Papers / presentations:

  1. Data Workshop Update
  2. A Roadmap Framework for East Birmingham
  3. IOT Demonstrator-WM Regional Bid & other DB Bids
  4. Birmingham Smart City Activity Tracker 2015-16-v1
  5. The WMP2020 Blueprint

17.06.15-MEETING NOTES

Papers / presentations:

  1. Future Council Programme
  2. E Birmingham Demonstrator-FCC
  3. Release of data-DB
  4. Open Data-Boilerhouse
  5. Refresh of Smart City Commission-DB
  6. Overview of Bids-DB

11.02.15-MEETING NOTES

Papers / presentations:

  1. Thematic Presentations-Mobility-Amey
  2. Thematic Presentations-Health-Tim Jones
  3. Thematic Presentations-Skills-David Hardman
  4. Eastern Corridor-Spatial Context and challenges-DBLT
  5. Lessons from elsewhere-LD Arup

07.11.14-MEETING NOTES

Papers / presentations:

  1. Discussion Paper_Birmingham Smart City_Effective_Commission_Working_04_11_14 FINAL
  2. SMART CITIES ROADMAP ACTION TRACKER-05_11_2014

10.06.14-MEETING NOTES

23.09.15-MEETING NOTES

 

PRESS RELEASE: Bilfinger GVA Head of Offices joins Innovation Birmingham board

PRESS RELEASE FROM PARTNERS AT INNOVATION BIRMINGHAM 07.01.16

Carl Potter, Senior Director and National Head of Offices at leading property advisor Bilfinger GVA, has joined the board of Innovation Birmingham.

The appointment has been made as Innovation Birmingham prepares to open its new iCentrum® building and continue at a pace with the construction of subsequent phases of its £40million development zone, located just off the A38M Aston Expressway.   

Mr Potter, who is based at Bilfinger GVA’s Midlands office in Brindleyplace, Birmingham, is primarily responsible for directing and coordinating the firm’s office agency team which is spread across the company’s 11 UK offices. He has significant experience of working with clients from both the public and private sector, advising on occupational and development strategies, and the implementation of development and regeneration. Specialising in the Science and Technology Park sector, Mr Potter has also been involved in the establishment or growth of a number of Parks across the Midlands, including Coventry University Technology Park, Malvern Hills Science Park and Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park.

During his 30 year career at Bilfinger GVA, Mr Potter has held a number of positions, as well as being heavily involved in working with the British Council of Offices (BCO).

Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham said: “Our board members, comprised of leaders from the public and private sector and across a number of key business growth sectors of the knowledge economy, play a vital role in helping Innovation Birmingham to become a catalyst of the city’s innovation agenda, by acting as ambassadors to help drive the city’s entrepreneurial community.

“Carl joins the board at a crucial stage in the expansion of the Innovation Birmingham Campus. His property sector expertise and his extensive experience of Science and Technology Parks will prove invaluable as we continue to develop the physical campus to meet the needs and aspirations of tech leaders, entrepreneurs and growing companies across the region.”

Carl Potter, Senior Director and National Head of Offices at Bilfinger GVA, said: “I am naturally thrilled to join the Innovation Birmingham board. I am looking forward to utilising my experience in the support of this nationally significant Campus as it continues to establish itself as a fourth generation science park, while raising Birmingham’s profile as a leading destination for technology and innovation.”

The Innovation Birmingham Campus is currently fully let with a waiting list for space from new and growing tech businesses. Its 42,149 sq ft (3,881 sq m) iCentrum® building will open in March 2016, delivering office suites from 500 sq ft, alongside the Serendip® incubator which has been designed to harness the power of serendipity and encourage the development of ideas, relevant to the Smart City agenda. It will also include state-of-the-art event and exhibition space on the ground floor for up to 500 people.

For more information please visit www.innovationbham.com.

PRESS RELEASE: Women into Construction programme delivered at the Innovation Birmingham Campus

PRESS RELEASE FROM PARTNERS AT INNOVATION BIRMINGHAM 23.12.15

Innovation Birmingham and Thomas Vale have run a joint initiative to encourage local, long-term unemployed women to consider a career in the burgeoning construction industry.

Two Women into Construction events have been held at the Innovation Birmingham Campus during 2015, with the main programme content delivered by Midlands headquartered Thomas Vale, which is part of Bouygues UK. The first event was held at the iCentrum construction site, which Thomas Vale is on track to handover in March 2016. The second event was held at the Innovation Birmingham Campus’ flagship Faraday Wharf building, which included information on the career opportunities available in construction and an inspirational talk from Thomas Vale’s Assistant Site Manager on iCentrum, Maryam Crossan.

Women into Construction is an independent organisation that promotes gender equality by providing bespoke support to women thinking about a career in the construction industry. It also helps contractors by providing a forum for them to train and recruit highly motivated women. The non-profit organisation works with referral agencies, construction colleges and universities to find training and employment opportunities for women. Attendees at the Innovation Birmingham Campus events were referred by South and City College, Job Centre Plus, Midland Heart, Crisis and Stanfords Training.

Charlotte Crossley, Innovation Birmingham’s Head of Operations and Communications, said: “It was great to work with Thomas Vale on this Women into Construction initiative. Being centrally located in Birmingham, the Innovation Birmingham Campus is very accessible, which is a clear benefit to those who are looking to come out of long-term unemployment. In addition to the career opportunities in construction, the events have also provided an opportunity to speak to a new audience about our support programmes for tech start-ups.

Maryam Crossan is a staunch advocate for the construction industry and has been involved with Bouygues UK’s female staff network, Welink UK. She added: “Despite various initiatives to encourage more women into construction jobs, there is still a noticeable gender divide between the number of males and females pursuing skilled, manual careers.

“At Bouygues UK, we’re committed to encouraging more women into the industry and our work with Innovation Birmingham and Women into Construction is key to this. The events provided us with a fantastic opportunity to meet with young, unemployed women living in the local area – most of whom would probably never have considered a career in construction before. We were able to raise awareness of the many potential roles and job opportunities that could be available to them in what, to me, is an exciting industry; as well as talk about future employment opportunities.

“With the completion of iCentrum just a few months away, the attendees also had the opportunity to see a live construction site in motion and find out for themselves what it takes to deliver a building like this on a day to day basis.”

For more information on Women into Construction, please visit: www.womenintoconstruction.org

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