Construction starts on Higgs Centre for Innovation in Edinburgh

higgs centreGraham Construction began its work to deliver the Higgs Centre for Innovation yesterday as the final designs for the building were unveiled at Edinburgh’s Royal Observatory where the new centre will be housed.

The Higgs Centre for Innovation is named in honour of Professor Peter Higgs of the University of Edinburgh, who received the Nobel Prize for his prediction of the existence of the Higgs Boson which was discovered at CERN in 2012. The Centre will support start-up businesses with the aim of creating new market opportunities, especially in big data and space technologies. The Centre is funded through a £10.7 million investment from the UK government. The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) will invest £2m over five years to operate the centre.

Linking cutting edge scientific and engineering expertise at STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre with industry, the centre will focus on supporting business both through incubation activities and access to facilities for SMEs. Connecting engineers, academics and PhD students directly with small businesses will help boost their entrepreneurial experience at the start of their research careers.

Partners gather to celebrate the start of construction work on the Higgs Centre for Innovation
Partners gather to celebrate the start of construction work on the Higgs Centre for Innovation

The stand-alone building at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh will be run by the Science and Technology Facilities Council in partnership with the University of Edinburgh. The centre is due to be completed in 2017.

Craig Giblett, contracts director from Graham Construction, said: “This is a very exciting project for the Graham Construction team to be part of and we are extremely proud to have won the contract to deliver a facility of such importance. That it will bear the name of a visionary figure such as Professor Peter Higgs gives an understanding of the significance of the centre itself and the work that will be undertaken there once our job is completed.”

Jamie Marshall, project manager at CPC, said: “CPC has been working in partnership with STFC since 2014, and is delighted to have brought this exciting and innovative scheme through design and planning, to enable construction to begin on site today. Our team is committed to overseeing the project through to completion, and the result will create new jobs and market opportunities for the science and technology industry.”

Final designs for the building were also unveiled by jmarchitects, the company with responsibility for the implementation of the building.

Director Ron McFarlane said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to be involved with this prestigious project, more so given its historic location and it being built in the name of the eminent Edinburgh scientist Professor Higgs.”

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