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Science and technology

Putting the Midlands at the forefront in science and technology innovation

Innovations in science and technology are driving our society forward and the facilities we're creating today are enabling the next generation of ideas. For ideas to thrive, people need
the right spaces to work, think and communicate. Creating those spaces requires partnerships, knowledge, a broad range of experience and the ability to learn lessons so we keep improving.

It's an exciting time for the Midlands in regards to science and technology, with the Government looking to introduce clusters. The East Midlands and West Midlands have been named as part of the 12 UK investment zones in the Spring Budget, which signals exciting opportunities. To maximise this, we need to continue attracting and retaining the best people in our universities and our businesses, as well as developing relationships with the best institutions around the world and exporting technology and knowledge to those that need it.

Some parts of the Midlands already have a rich heritage in science - such as Nottingham, with other areas now starting to build (Lincoln). Find out how we're helping towns and cities to create science and technology buildings, including:

Building a tech incubator and life sciences facility in Nottingham

The BioCity Discovery Building provides a state-of-the-art life science incubator on the edge of Nottingham’s Creative Quarter. The brownfield site was bought, cleared and decontaminated by Nottingham City Council for the purpose of building this new development.

The £27 million building shows the large investment being made into Nottingham around science and technology. This building alone is predicted to provide more than 700 new bioscience roles in the city during the first 30 years of it being open.

The mixed-use science and business hub features laboratories, office space, chemical and solvent storage rooms, and a café. The building covers almost 7,000m² of office and laboratory space, with capacity for 350 users and eight tenants, with Sygnature Discovery being the facility’s main tenant.

The high-tech biology and chemistry laboratories have been built in a range of sizes. This will allow companies to expand and grow in the space, with any ancillary spaces made available for commercial leasing to both start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises.

A key feature of the building is a sunscreen, known as Brise Soleil, that was designed by Nottingham artist Wolfgang Buttress in partnership with Nottingham Trent University physicist, Dr Martin Bencsik. The sunscreen helps to shade the building which reduces the risk of overheating. This in turn will reduce the need for cooling measures such as air conditioning, making the building more energy efficient.


IBRB: a low-carbon building that is helping to fight human infectious diseases

The £33m Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) at the University of Warwick was completed to world-class, industry-leading standards with 50% pre-manufactured value (PMV).

The facility brings together up to 300 biomedical researchers to fight human infectious diseases. It is also enabling world-class research in neuroscience, microbiology, infection, cell biology and disease models - supporting and facilitating interdisciplinary biomedical research of the highest quality.

IBRB is 7,000 square meters and includes a 400-seat lecture theatre as well as a five-storey laboratory and various social and collaboration spaces. The building houses a team of researchers, fosters interdisciplinary collaboration and also provides an incredible learning space for students.

The building incorporates sustainable elements including the innovative installation of 600 vertical PV solar panels, which offsets approximately 26,000kg CO2 in emissions. We also made use of a PMV pre-cast concrete frame to reduce waste, increase quality, minimise the number of people required onsite at one time and make the frame erection significantly faster. The frame was also formulated to reduce cement content by 35%.

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Creating collaborative spaces to enable research and development at Nottingham Science Park 2

The creation of Nottingham Science Park 2 provides the city with a new hub for research and development in the scientific field. We created the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Building - 22,700 sq. ft of collaborative, Grade A offices, which has provided growing firms with the space to expand their research and development facilities near like-minded businesses.

The project includes a café, an 80-space car park and a conference space, allowing companies to host conferences and events whilst creating a central hub for networking across the entire site.

Nottingham has a rich history in science and further investments are continuing to be made in this industry such as the new bioscience facility as part of the Island Quarter. With announcements from the Spring Budget highlighting the East Midlands as a priority location for forming industry clusters, it's easy to see how a science cluster may be forming in Nottingham.

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Delivering Boole Technology Centre - the first phase of Lincoln Science and Innovation Park

The facility was purpose-built for technology businesses, enabling organisations to co-locate with their peers as well as having access to the University of Lincoln's nearby facilities. It accommodates between 10 and 15 growing businesses at any one time, and supports over 150 businesses in total.

The centre is made up of three inter-connected commercial buildings - one of which already existed on the site as a substation. We retained and refurbished this building, minimising embodied carbon emissions, and fused together the 1930s art deco style with the more modern style of the other buildings.

Across the buildings are a range of flexible spaces including Grade A offices, shared working spaces, meeting rooms, specialist Category II laboratories, workshops and communal areas.

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For more information, contact our local expert

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