East Anglia: BT to strengthen links with Innovation Martlesham technology cluster

The home of Innovation Martlesham at Adastral Park The home of Innovation Martlesham at Adastral Park

Friday, June 13, 2014
6:00 AM

The head of BT’s Adastral Park research campus has held out the prospect closer collaboration with Innovation Martlesham, the umbrella organisation for the cluster of technology companies based at and around the site.

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Tim Whitley, managing director for research and innovation at BT, was speaking at a “diamond” celebration event marking the recruitment by Innovation Martlesham (IM) of its 60th member, Virya Group.

IM, launched in 2011, is a joint initiative which has been supported by BT, along with Suffolk county and Suffolk Coastal councils, from the outset.

But Dr Whitley said the growth of the cluster underlined the potential for closer collaboration − both between BT and IM companies and among the member companies themselves − to leverage greater benefits.

He said that, in response to comments from IM companies, BT was looking to improve ties with the cluster in a number of areas.

This would include formal links between IM and BT’s global “scouting” team, part of the group’s innovation strategy, who would now be responsible for understanding the companies within the cluster.

BT would also consider IM companies when building formal funded research collaborations, with IM able to contact the BT collaboration team to flag up member firms seeking to collaborate.

A range of facilities on Adastral Park, including meeting rooms, lecture theatres and the library would be opend up to IM members.

And there would be more opportunity for IM members to exhibit their technology within BT’s Showcase display areas, said Dr Whitley.

“Innovation Martlesham just works very, very, well − well with customers and well with bright graduates and post-graduates who might come to work here,” he added.

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