One giant leap for Stowmarket as ex-NASA scientist opens technology hub
PUBLISHED: 13:01 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:55 18 November 2019
A new innovation and business hub in Stowmarket has launched in high-tech style, with an ex-NASA scientist cutting an augmented reality ribbon.
Peter Scott from the Next Wave Institute - an ex-NASA scientist and leading expert in Artificial Intelligence (AI), cut the virtual ribbon at the Innovation Lab at Wharfside House in Prentice Road at a launch event.
The new hub aims to take Stowmarket a step closer to its ambition of developing a high-tech Centre of Excellence by offering a co-working space with advice and guidance to start-up businesses.
The aim is to support innovation, entrepreneurship, business growth and the development of an AI Centre of Excellence.
Backed by Mid Suffolk District Council, Tech East and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), it is hoped the hub will eventually form the focal point for developing a cluster of technology and manufacturing companies.
The initiative is the brainchild of Peter Brady, CEO of award-winning digital agency Orbital Media, working with Peter Basford, founder and CEO of Business Growth Coaches Network (BGCN), and Hermione Way, brand consultant and former head of European communications for Tinder.
Mr Brady described Stowmarket as "Suffolk's hidden gem" and paid tribute to the highly-talented people in the area he hoped would benefit from the growth and employment opportunities a technical cluster could bring.
He said: "Innovation Labs is a pioneering, co-working space and innovation hub concept, offering a unique blend of world leading support, advice and facilities, to nurture regional innovation and business growth.
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"Stowmarket is a thriving Suffolk town with innovation, technology and entrepreneurship at its heart.
"A strong base of high-tech businesses is already resident, developing cutting edge products and services across a range of technologies such as artificial intelligence, gamification, virtual reality, digital media, clean energy supply and software development.
"Our aim is for Innovation Labs to build on this success by supporting entrepreneurship, business growth, innovation and the development of advanced skills. This will help create high value jobs and put money back into the local economy."
He thanked Mid Suffolk District Council, Tech East and New Anglia LEP for their support in getting the venture off the ground.
Addressing around 150 guests including local councillors and leading business people from across region, Mr Scott spoke of the race to keep up with current technological advances.
"We have to project ourselves into a future that may not seem possible," he said.
Mr Scott urged local innovators to collaborate to put Stowmarket on the map.
"Imagine the effect of being surrounded by people who believe nothing is impossible," he added.
Interested businesses and start-ups can apply for co-working space via the Innovation Lab website.