A hi-tech laboratory has been created in Peterborough to develop the jobs and wealth-creating technologies of the future.
The £300,000 Innovation Lab is available for use from today by entrepreneurs, engineers and inventors.
It will offer an array of cutting edge resources from virtual reality, drones, computer control systems to design and rapid prototyping equipment such as Computer Aided Design software, electronics design, hi-tech making equipment, a range of 3D printers and a digital media lab.
Also available is space and tools for the construction of larger projects and access to full-time technicians and business advisers.
The lab is based in the Allia Future Business Centre, at the ABAX Stadium, in London Road, and will be available at a low cost.
It has been created through Allia’s Serious Impact initiative with the help of funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Opportunity Peterborough and Peterborough City Council.
Tim Jones, chief executive at Allia, said: “The Innovation Lab promises to be a remarkable resource for entrepreneurship.
“It will encourage and promote innovation to create the technologies that fuel tomorrow’s jobs and keep the city and region at the forefront of developments making positive impact on people and planet.
“Peterborough has a highly skilled engineering-based workforce, a commitment to using technology to improve the lives of its citizens, and an emerging entrepreneurial community. We felt this would be a region that would embrace the facilities that are on offer and use it as the basis to create some really innovative products and solutions.”
Steve Bowyer, chief executive of economic development company Opportunity Peterborough, said: “All too often business ideas and new start-ups can be stifled by lack of support or poor testing facilities, but here in Peterborough we offer our entrepreneurs an invaluable network of expertise to help get their ideas off the ground and into markets.
“The range of equipment on offer in the new Lab is excellent and will only serve to support and inspire city entrepreneurs to innovate further.”
Dr Shailendra Vyakarnam, director of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield, said: “In addition to being very low cost to access, what makes this truly unique is that it goes beyond simply providing space and equipment, this innovation lab provides the technical expertise and the business mentoring essential to help turn ideas into sustainable ventures.
“Traditionally, these types of facilities are located in very large cities, academic institutions or are the private inventing spaces for large corporates, and can be expensive to access by people in the early-stages of their entrepreneurial journey.”