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1 August 2008 PR 08/118

Loughborough Innovation Centre enriches the region’s wealth and knowledge base

Photography courtesy of Simcoe Media
A Martian Xray telescope, the first fuel cell powered motorbike and breakthroughs in non-invasive drug delivery are just some of a host of exciting new technologies that have been developed at Loughborough Innovation Centre. Six years since its launch in the centre of Loughborough University’s campus, the specialist high-tech business incubation has helped over 60 dynamic companies prosper.
Dr Omar Sarheed of Nemaura Pharma

Loughborough Innovation Centre’s success can be measured in a number of ways – as their business grows, companies have taken larger units in the Centre, or graduated into larger premises on science parks. The development of Loughborough Science and Enterprise Park on the western boundary of the University campus will also provide much needed graduation space for the Centre’s larger tenants wishing to strengthen links with specific areas of University expertise.

Achievements of the tenant companies are diverse and impressive. Magna Parva has developed scientific hardware to enhance space research including an Xray telescope bound for Mercury and a rock abrasion tool for use on Mars. In addition to establishing a leading reputation for the development of scientific hardware for the space sector, Magna Parva technologies are used in other high performance sectors including Aeropsace, Defence and Motorsport.

Intelligent Energy has made pioneering breakthroughs in hydrogen fuel cell technology development including the launch of ENV, the world’s first fuel cell motorbike. One company to move into bigger premises within the Centre as its workforce has grown is Nemaura Pharma. The company is developing novel drug delivery systems using micro and nano systems technology which will lead to improved bio-availability, more uniform drug plasma levels, reduced dosing frequencies, and targeted delivery of toxic therapeutics.

Progressive Sports Technologies has exclusively licensed RespiVest, an innovative inspiratory muscle training garment, to a leading manufacturer of technical sports apparel. Following successful trials with GB elite athletes, RespiVest will be launched on the high street at the end of this year. This Spring, the Loughborough University spin out graduated from the Innovation Centre into the University’s Sports Technology Institute, a £15M partnership with emda, the East Midlands Development Agency, to transfer knowledge to the sporting goods industry and to support UK preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games.

“Our unique location in the heart of Loughborough University’s thriving climate of research and enterprise draws tenants from many industry sectors,” says Jo Derbyshire, the Centre’s Managing Director. She continues, “Irrespective of their focus, all our tenants are young, high growth enterprises that benefit from research synergies with the University and a support package specifically designed to meet their evolving needs.” She concludes, “University research in turn benefits significantly from the partnerships formed with such dynamic companies.”

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Notes for editors:

  1. Loughborough Innovation Centre (www.loughborough-innovation.com)
    Leicestershire’s largest high-tech business incubator, Loughborough Innovation Centre is currently home to 150 people from 40 companies. The Centre is supported by emda, the East Midlands Development Agency, the Leicester Shire Economic Partnership and a number of private sector organizations and individuals in the region.
  2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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