OREANDA-NEWS. A new innovation centre for high-tech small firms in the Midlands, which will create 750 jobs for people in the local area, is being opened today (26 October 2015) by Business Minister Anna Soubry.

The Advanced Technology Innovation Centre is based at Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP), which received £2 million of government funding in a City Deal to pave the way for the centre.

It meets the needs of growing businesses by offering flexible working spaces including workshops, labs and studios.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said:

Leicester and Leicestershire are vital components in the Midlands engine for growth and that is why we are backing plans to boost investment and create more jobs for people. I want to see the local firms and community leaders, who know the area best, in the driving seat for these plans.

The Advanced Technology Innovation Centre at Loughborough University is a great example of the support available for small businesses that want to grow and innovate in Leicestershire.

Companies already using the facilities at the innovation centre include Nemaura Pharma, which designs new ways to deliver medicines using nanotechnology, Segura Systems, which supplies software to retailers to increase transparency in supply chains, and ELUXI, which specialises in lasers and optics.

Riccardo Tomassoni, Director of ELUXI, said:

The chance to relocate the ELUXI offices to the new Advanced Technology Innovation Centre (ATIC) was an opportunity we simply couldn’t pass up.

The central location has afforded us excellent transportation links both nationally and internationally and, whilst we have only just moved in, we are looking forward to developing relationships with those university research groups involved in photonics.

Peter Needle, Managing Director of Segura Systems, said:

Our move to ATIC has been excellent. Not only do we have access to great facilities at a very reasonable rate, we have also been introduced to the university’s wide academic and business communities. This has resulted in a partnership with Responsible Solutions, which has allowed Segura to enter the construction market.

I can say that this very valuable new market simply would not have happened without the support we have received from LUSEP.

The government has been inviting proposals for devolution from all parts of the country and wants the Midlands to be an engine for growth. The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership City Deal was signed on 24 March 2014 and secured a total of £12 million of government investment to unlock £130 million of further private sector funding.

As well as the support for Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park, a new Growth Hub was created to provide tailored advice and support for businesses in Leicestershire.

Anna Soubry will also be opening the 2-week Leicester Business Festival with a speech encouraging private firms and investors to get involved in the Midlands engine for growth and boost the local economy. The festival gives local businesses the chance to come together, exchange ideas and plan for the future.