Martlesham Heath: Nurturing new businesses at Adastral Park
INNOVATION Martlesham has recently appointed Jim Milne to provide additional support for the cluster of hi-tech companies around BT’s Adastral Park. Sheline Clarke spoke to him about his ambitions.
Innovation Martlesham is an established high-tech cluster of ICT companies located at Adastral Park at Martlesham Heath near Ipswich.
There are about 3,000 ICT professionals that work onsite within a diverse range of companies. Innovation Martlesham includes large ICT companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, BT, Cisco Systems, Fujitsu, Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei Technologies as well as smaller ICT companies such as developer of scanner imaging software Disect Systems, and underground asset management solution provider OXEMS.
Besides being home to large, medium and small high-tech companies, Innovation Martlesham is unique to other business parks in that it also includes an ICT business incubator. The IM Incubator aims to nurture technology companies in their early stages, providing rent free office space for at least six months as well as expert commercial advice from mentors who can provide support to help develop their businesses.
Jim Milne has recently been appointed to provide additional support for IM companies. He wants to see more start up ICT related companies taking advantage of the IM Incubator.
He said: “The IM Incubator has a wide range of business expertise in its network of mentors. This support along with the networking events and the opportunity to meet up with other companies in the ICT space all contribute to creating successful and sustaining businesses.”
Companies who come forward with an interest in the IM Incubator go through a selection process to ensure they are at the right stage to be part of the incubator. They need to fit the criteria set by the IM Incubator Panel, who also provide guidance and set goals at regular review meetings to help the companies become sustaining and commercially successful businesses.
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“Not everyone is ready to enter the IM Incubator, they may need to continue to develop their ideas,” said Jim. “For those companies that are not ready to enter the IM Incubator, we have partners who will help those that are at a pre-incubation stage.”
The IM Incubator has recently had two companies’ graduate, a developer of scanner imaging software Disect Systems, and OXEMS, the underground asset management solution provider. Disect are planning on spinning out another company for an exciting and very different new ‘online product’ later this year. OXEMS have been trialling their underground asset management solution with UK water utilities.
The newest company to enter the IM Incubator is Transfaction. Transfaction aims to become the leading provider of smart technology transport solutions for those buying or supplying transport. Martin Robinson, the Founder and Managing Director of Transfaction, who has previously held senior procurement and strategic supply chain project roles across Europe for Nestle and Ralston Purina, is firmly of the opinion that much greater value can be extracted from along the journey value chain. His belief is that transport networks can run at higher levels of utilisation, with less waste, and improved reliability.
“Our passion is to reduce the harmful impact of transport and our core mission is to inform,” said Martin Robinson. “Being part of the IM Incubator will help us to develop our business. We already have some major partners signed on for a trial of the Transfaction solution, so with this momentum added with the guidance from the IM mentors and the Incubator Review Panel, should help propel Transfaction to becoming a sustaining commercial business.”
For more information about the Innovation Martlesham Incubator, contact Jim Milne at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the IM website www.innovationmartlesham.com.