Construction completed on Aura Innovation Centre at Bridgehead

Construction work has been completed on the Aura Innovation Centre at Bridgehead business park.

The £12m Aura Innovation Centre is the University of Hull’s biggest commitment yet to tackling climate change and is due to launch officially in early 2020.

It will deliver ground-breaking low-carbon projects and kick-start new ideas by bringing together experts at the university and businesses in the Humber region and beyond.

The centre is aimed at providing a “front door” for the University of Hull, giving businesses easy access to cutting-edge facilities, specialist funded support and a space to innovate and collaborate with academic and industry experts, to drive clean business growth.

Construction is now complete on the Aura Innovation Centre, the latest state-of-the-art facility at Bridgehead business park.

It also aims to deliver a number of substantial benefits for the region, including:

  • Accelerating the development of new renewable/low carbon products and technologies.
  • Continuing to build a strong supply chain for the renewables and low-carbon sectors, boosting economic growth and job prospects.
  • Enhancing the region’s reputation as the place to develop low-carbon and offshore wind innovation.
  • Bringing opportunities through the UK Government’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal in which Aura and the University are recognised as major delivery partners.

The Aura Innovation Centre is the latest state-of-the-art facility at the Bridgehead business park in Hessle, East Yorkshire, which is owned and developed by Hull-based Wykeland Group.

Wykeland Managing Director Dominic Gibbons said: “The Aura Innovation Centre underlines further Bridgehead’s value to the region as the home to an ever-growing number of blue chip businesses and as a collaborative cluster of innovation and enterprise.

“Investments such as this are delivering on the long-term vision for Bridgehead as a business location of choice and a major driver of the region’s economic growth.”

Sarah Clark, Programme Manager at the University of Hull, said: “As the global economy shifts towards a low-carbon future, the green energy transition opens up a myriad of challenges and opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

“More than 180 dynamic, high-growth businesses have already engaged with the Aura Innovation Centre to find out how the University of Hull and Aura can help them accelerate their sustainable innovation projects.

“Four funded projects are currently live and are being delivered with colleagues across the University of Hull, with over 30 more in the pipeline before the centre has even opened.

“The Aura Innovation Centre is another example of how Aura and the university are delivering on the UK Government’s Sector Deal in Offshore Wind.”

Over £1.1m of cutting-edge research facilities are now being installed into the centre, before its official opening in early 2020. This includes augmented reality and large green screen area, virtual reality capabilities, a materials characterisation suite, high-tech 3D printers capable of printing recycled plastic, carbon fibre and metal as well as a mechanical workshop area. 

Aura team members will move across to the offices during November, while teams from the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering will move in when the centre officially opens early next year.

The University of Hull won funding of £12m from the European Regional Development Fund and the Regional Growth Fund’s Green Port Growth Programme, alongside matched funding from the university.