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Renaissance in Manufacturing celebrated at Flagship Incubator’s First Anniversary


Over 70 guests gathered yesterday at the Innovation Technology Centre (ITC) on South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) at a special event on the theme of ‘Renaissance in Manufacturing’ held to mark the Centre’s first anniversary. The event was organised by Oxford Innovation, who manage the ITC on behalf of Yorkshire Forward, in collaboration with the Research & Development Society (R&D Society).

The ITC is Yorkshire Forward’s flagship building on the world-class AMP and offers 27,000 sq ft of high quality office and workshop space for up to 20 start up and growing advanced engineering, manufacturing and materials companies. It was officially opened by triple Formula 1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart OBE in November 2006.

After a successful first year that has seen the ITC shortlisted as a Best Newcomer in the UK Business Incubation Annual Awards, the Centre has attracted 14 client companies to move in, occupying 82% of the available space and employing over 90 people. The growing businesses, which include three university spin-outs, have created 40 new jobs, raised £6.5 million of private sector investment and filed over 20 patents.

Julie Kenny, Board member of Yorkshire Forward, commented: “The Innovation Technology Centre represents a great step forward in innovation, technology and manufacturing. A world class centre within a world class manufacturing technology location, we believe the Centre will continue to be a focus for innovation in the Advanced Engineering and Materials sector - strengthening this region’s economy by providing a competitive advantage to the companies here and to their partners.”

Dr David Kingham, Chief Operating Officer of Oxford Innovation, said: “We are delighted with the outstanding success of the ITC in its first year of operation, and proud to be associated with it. We look forward to seeing the ITC and the companies within it go from strength to strength over the new few years.”

The Renaissance in Manufacturing event was designed to celebrate R&D, manufacturing excellence and entrepreneurship in the region.

President of the R&D Society, Sir Richard Sykes, commented: “The UK excels in high quality, high-end manufacturing of everything from pharmaceuticals to plastics to powerboats. We’re right to celebrate modern manufacturing, and encourage high quality innovative manufacturing backed by high-quality UK-based R&D. And as a Yorkshireman, I’m especially pleased that this event swings the spotlight on the successful entrepreneurs in South Yorkshire.”

Speakers at the event included Chris Rea OBE, Group Managing Director of AESSEAL plc, the UK’s second largest mechanical seal manufacturer, and Prof Keith Ridgway, Research Director at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, as well as the ITC’s own Tony Fordham, Managing Director of ITI Energy Ltd, who showcased the rapid growth of his company, which has created 10 new jobs and generated £1 million of sales during its first year of operations.

ITI Energy Ltd was introduced to South Yorkshire through the Life Incubator, which is also located at the ITC. The spin-out company from the University of Newcastle has attracted interest worldwide and is pursuing partnerships in Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America aiming to achieve multi-million pound sales over the next few years.

Tony Fordham, Managing Director of ITI Energy Ltd, said: “Our company initially operated out of a small office in North Yorkshire, but since relocating to the ITC in 2006 we have grown – we now have eight employees and are recruiting another five employees.

“Oxford Innovation has been a great partner in our business development and is constantly offering advice and assistance, which is well received. I believe our business has been enhanced over the past ten months through our move to the ITC, and Oxford Innovation’s support and help, and I would not hesitate to recommend them both to developing technology companies.”

- ENDS -


Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford Innovation
+44 (0)1865 811199
m.henry@oxin.co.uk

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