News & Views
Innovation Cluster to Supercharge Birmingham’s growth
Jun 20 2023
A Masterplan for a new innovation cluster within the Birmingham Knowledge Quarter has been unveiled by science and technology developer Bruntwood SciTech, in partnership with Aston University and Birmingham City Council.
Proposals for the Birmingham Innovation Quarter (B-IQ), cover 20-hectares around Aston University, including existing property assets and sites owned by the University and Birmingham City Council, such as the former Aston Science Park, and Bruntwood SciTech’s Innovation Birmingham campus.
Plans for a long-term mix of strategic development, including commercial office space, residential areas and new teaching and research facilities, meets Aston University’s ambitious 2030 Strategy for growth. Combined with the 120-plus businesses already established at Innovation Birmingham, B-IQ is expected to become an internationally renowned tech and health innovation hub.
The masterplan forms part of the pledge made by Chris Oglesby, Bruntwood Chief Executive and Executive Chair of Bruntwood SciTech - a joint investment venture in partnership with Legal & General - at last year’s Commonwealth Games to invest £1bn in the West Midlands over the next decade. During the past five years, Bruntwood SciTech has already committed more than £30m of investment into Innovation Birmingham, which sits immediately adjacent to Aston University, serving as the West Midlands’ largest digital and tech hub.
Bruntwood SciTech’s Birmingham Director Rob Valentine said: “We’re deeply passionate about the future of Birmingham and the role and potential scale the city has in driving the growth of the UK’s science and tech industries. Our history of creating, expanding and investing in innovation districts for the long-term, as we’re already demonstrating at Innovation Birmingham and Birmingham Health Innovation Campus, means we’re uniquely placed to support the ambitions of the city and its leadership, and the significant economic opportunity presented by the development of B-IQ.
"Our city has a proud history of invention, research and development and the Birmingham Innovation Quarter will build on that tradition, becoming a space where globally-recognised innovation, the brightest talent and most exciting businesses and cultural institutions come together,” added Birmingham City Council leader, Cllr Ian Ward. “This is an exciting new chapter as Birmingham strives to be a leading international city. It will generate significant investment, attracting the world’s brightest talent, while also creating opportunities in some of the city's most deprived wards."
Adding that the masterplan represented ‘a compelling regeneration strategy that has digital transformation and innovation at its heart,’ Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University said: “B-IQ represents an innovation ecosystem that will co-locate industry, business, entrepreneurs and start-up founders together with staff and students from academia, bringing digital cutting-edge research into a range of sectors – most critically the health tech sector. It will become the catalyst for foreign investment, for business transformation, and for skills, and in turn will create socio-economic impact across the region.”
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