Situated adjacent to the Tremough Campus in Penryn, TIC will be able to support up to 70 businesses and will be operated by Plymouth University on behalf of Cornwall Council. The facility will provide clients with access to a supportive and creative communal environment in which they can develop their ideas, accelerate their growth, and create jobs.
Six companies are set to move in over the first three days, including Cool Earth, a social enterprise and environmental charity, founded in 2007, and who work with indigenous people around the world to save endangered rainforest.
Matthew Owen, Director, said: “The Tremough Innovation Centre has achieved one of the highest standards of environmental accreditation, so where better for a rainforest charity to set up its new offices?!
“What’s more, Cool Earth is really looking forward to using some of its state-of-the-art facilities, such as the video conference centre, which will help us keep people around the globe up-to-date on rainforest issues. Plus, we’re looking forward to meeting our new neighbours, other innovative organisations that are excelling in their field and keen to expand in Cornwall.”
Graphic Design firm Collaborative Thought is another to be moving into the facility in the first week. James Beresford founded the business in Truro 18 months ago, and said he was looking forward to growing the company in its new surroundings.
He said: “Moving to Tremough will help me to take the business to the next level, providing the base I need to bring in skilled freelancers to work alongside me on new projects.
“I’m also looking forward to tapping into the creative community here, and I’d like to be able to offer students experiential learning opportunities in the near future.”
Bernard Curren, Director of TIC, said: “There has been a tremendous amount of interest from within the local business community and prospective clients. As our success at Pool has shown, there is clearly a strong appetite for high quality innovation support and collaboration in the county.
“And with the University at the heart of the Peninsula Growth Acceleration and Investment Network (GAIN), all of our clients are automatically plugged into a region-wide strategy to accelerate the creation, growth and investment in high quality businesses and ideas, creating wealth and jobs in the region."
The pioneering TIC project has been led by Cornwall Council, and supported by Cornwall Development Company (CDC). Investment has been provided by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Convergence Programme and the South West RDA (Regional Development Agency).
Chris Ridgers, the Council’s Cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “The success of Pool Innovation Centre, in attracting businesses with high-growth potential able to create employment opportunities, set the bar high and it is very pleasing that the Tremough Innovation Centre has hit the ground running with businesses taking up resident from its opening. Positive support for, and encouragement of, high-growth potential businesses is an integral part of Cornwall Council’s ambitions for Cornwall’s economy.”
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Convergence Partnership Office, which has invested nearly £10m in the construction of TIC, added: “This is the second Innovation Centre to open out of a suite of three funded through the ERDF Convergence programme. These are the final stage of the bridge between the university knowledge community and the emerging higher value opportunities for businesses; an 11-year journey from inception to reality."
TIC is the second innovation centre to be completed in Cornwall over the past two years, with the highly successful Pool Innovation Centre (PIC), which opened in July 2010, already exceeding all targets. In the first year PIC assisted client businesses to achieve average growth of over 40% and saw 44 new jobs created. Work on a third innovation centre specialising in the Health and Wellbeing sector, on the site close to Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust and the Knowledge Spa in Truro, began in August and is expected to be completed in late October 2012.
ARTICLE SOURCE: Somerset County Gazette website