Lancaster Leads in Informatics
The university will receive about £4.5 million from the North West Development Agency for a new Infolab building complex to house research in computing and telecommunications together with a Business Knowledge Centre to promote and development the university's support for industry in the region.
In addition, £2.5 million will come from the university and we are seeking additional funding from the European Regional Development Funds ERDF.
Infolab will be situated near the George Fox building on the campus. It is intended that the state of the art research facilities would attract company leaders to work with Lancaster academics to develop technology of direct benefit to UK industry. There will be a strong emphasis on multi-media technologies such as wireless methods of linking computers and broadband networking.
The Knowledge Business Centre, will be proactive in expanding knowledge and technology transfer from the University. The main focus will be on Information Communications Technology but the Centre will also support other areas such as Engineering, Environmental Technology, and Management. The Centre will include space for the incubation of new companies and for rental by companies seeking to locate R&D operations close to academic expertise.
The Centre, working with partners in the Cumbria and Lancashire Knowledge Economy group, will encourage inward investment of high growth companies to the region and engage the expertise of the university to identify spin out opportunities which will help give Cumbria and Lancashire advantage in the global economy.
Infolab is a proposed building complex which will house all Lancaster University's research from the Computing and Telecommunications areas.
It includes space for industrially sponsored research eg, the computing department's current Internet project with Cisco, Microsoft and Orange.
It will also include the Knowledge Business Centre which will provide the facilities for transferring the technological expertise out to industry and business.
There will be Research and Development rental space in the building to develop work linked to academic research. The Business Support Unit will provide help and assistance to local companies.
A training Centre will offer up-to-date courses to people who work in the computing and telecommunications areas.
Infolab encompasses the spectrum of research and services from international quality research to support for local industry.
KNOWLEDGE BUSINESS CENTRE
The Knowledge Business Centre contained in Infolab is an 'incubation space' for developing new companies - eg spinoff companies from University research. It will offer training and support to encourage students to develop their own companies and aims to keep students who develop companies in the region.
It is proposed that the building will be at the South of campus adjacent to the ring road. It is hoped that once the funding is confirmed that building will start later this year to be completed at the end of 2003.
The proposed £9.5 m project will be funded through HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council) the North West Development Agency and the European Regional Development Fund.