Oxford Innovation to operate Salford Innovation Forum
Hot on the heels of the news that Salford’s Crescent partnership had been awarded £13.17m from the Levelling-Up Fund to deliver infrastructure project, Salford Rise, Salford City Council has selected Oxford Innovation to operate the 30,000 sq ft Salford Innovation Forum.
Over the coming months, the Oxford Innovation team will develop a new business plan for the Salford Innovation Forum, building on its strong track record of success in attracting, incubating and accelerating high-growth businesses through the delivery of specialist coaching services and funding support. This move will enable support to begin within the wider Crescent Innovation area.
Crescent Innovation is centred around people, industry and academia, and is a key component of both the Salford Innovation Triangle with MediaCityUK and the Salford Royal Foundation Trust and Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Innovation GM initiative. Innovation GM is delivering an innovation ecosystem across the city region that will help level up communities, generate solutions needed to achieve net zero and create the conditions for more businesses in more places to benefit from global exporting and inward investment.
This area of the masterplan will see a research, development and innovation campus delivered that will sit at the northern gateway of Salford Rise. Work is already underway at three new university developments within this area, paving the way for world-leading facilities at the North of England Robotics Innovation Centre, the Science, Engineering and Environment (SEE) building and Energy House 2.0.
Maggie Grogan, senior development surveyor at ECF, said: “Oxford Innovation is a key player in the innovation space, and we’re delighted to have them on board here at Crescent as we move forward with our collective masterplan with the university and the council.
“One of our key ambitions within both the Crescent and Crescent Innovation areas is to provide opportunities for all in the area and wider region to thrive and prosper. Salford is an industrious city, full of people bursting with ideas to bring forward the next ‘first’ and with the regeneration that’s taking place here, along with the right team in place, we’re able to provide a platform for them to innovate, collaborate and succeed.”
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “Salford has a strong track record of ‘firsts’ – first canal, public library, public park, street lit by gas and first horse drawn tram service in the country – all of which, apart from the Bridgewater Canal happened close to the Crescent. Our history is also full of men and women who created ideas for business, change and social reform and continue to do so. Salford is a city of ideas and actions and Oxford Innovation will help maintain that drive and provide businesses with the support they need to flourish here.”
Professor Helen Marshall, vice-chancellor of the University of Salford, added: “At the University of Salford, we’re all about collaboration and so we’re really looking forward to working with Oxford Innovation, a leader in their field, on this next step for Crescent and Crescent Innovation. Bringing together academics, students and industry to collide together to experiment with, test out and manufacture new technologies is at the heart of our ambitions for Crescent Innovation and Salford Innovation Forum will play a key part in this.”
Jo Stevens, managing director at Oxford Innovation, said: “I am delighted that Oxford Innovation has been appointed to manage the Salford Innovation Forum and excited to be a part of the Crescent Innovation project. We are proud of our track record of incubating, harnessing and nurturing talent and innovation, enabling start-ups and entrepreneurs to push the boundaries in their field and drive economic growth. I am confident that this centre will play a key role, alongside the University of Salford and Salford City Council, in helping Salford and the Crescent to become a flourishing hub of science and engineering activity for the region.”
The wider £2.5bn, 240-acre Crescent masterplan, brings together the best of the public and private sector to deliver a true 15-minute Salford – a connected, sustainable and inclusive place that blends the city’s rich heritage and it’s progressive aspirations for the future, through the delivery of over 3,000 homes, over 1m sq ft of space to innovate and collaborate, alongside 1m sq ft of offices, retail, leisure, a new multi-modal transport hub with active travel at its heart, set within swathes of green space.
Crescent will also create up to 7,000 new jobs, with more than £90m expected to be reinvested into local communities, through new revenue from business rates realised on completion of the scheme.
For more information on Salford Rise and Crescent, please visit Crescentsalford.com.