Innovation centre to open in Manchester

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Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) are planning to open an innovation centre on their central campus after joining forces with multinational technology company CISCO. 

Manchester Inspired – Innovation Digital Enterprise Alliance (Mi-IDEA) will work with early-stage Northern businesses to help them develop innovative technologies and solutions. The partnership will focus on the areas of smart cities, Internet of Things (IoT), digital healthcare and the digital creative sector.

In addition, the centre will offer post-accelerator and established technology companies a tailored programme to help develop the confidence and necessary capabilities as they scale.

Located in MSP’s newest 70,000 sq ft development, in the heart of Manchester’s innovation district, the centre will also function as a second site in the UK for Cisco CREATE: a collaborative research programme which seeks to bring together industry partners, start-ups government, research institutions and universities to find technological solutions to real world challenges. 

With collaboration at its core, the centre will be a digital living lab, showcasing the very latest in Cisco technology alongside the innovations of the companies in residence. It will provide an inspiring environment where public, academic and private sectors can work together to transform their industries.

Phil Smith, chief executive, Cisco said: “The city of Manchester has innovation in its DNA. Our investment in the city builds on our ongoing commitment to support new digital businesses and high-tech entrepreneurs across the UK

"Mi-IDEA will be uniquely positioned to tap into local, national and international innovation ecosystems. It will benefit from MSP’s existing partnerships across the region and be a key part of the NVI

"Coupled with Cisco’s successes at IDEALondon and Cisco CREATE, we’re confident that Mi-IDEA will deliver a unique environment in which tech companies in Manchester can grow.”

Anne Dornan, head of innovation at Manchester Science Partnerships added: “Mi-IDEA is a reflection of our long-term commitment to growing the digital technology sector in the region and the culmination of our partnership work with Cisco since the National Virtual Incubator was launched in 2012

"In high growth sectors it's vital to provide targeted and specialist support programmes with access to global supply chains in order to unlock the potential economic impact for the UK

"Bringing together diverse partners from across public, private and academic sectors to drive innovation and economic growth is at the heart of MSP and a hugely rewarding endeavour. We are excited to see this project come to fruition.”