By Angharad May
Cardiff University has been engineering the genesis of a cutting-edge Innovation Campus with the aim of propagating innovation and encourage its thriving.
Even the choice of site for the new campus in Maindy Park is innovative in itself, given that an old railway yard is being metamorphosed into a campus abounding with state-of-the-art facilities.
The Innovation Campus is to be a site for researchers and students alike to collaborate with partners to influence policy, as well as to build enterprises and ultimately pursue a career about which they are passionate.
The Haydn Ellis Building are housing experts in schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and stem cell cancer, which was the first to be brought to life in this Innovation development.
This was followed by the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, a spearhead in the field of brain research imaging in Europe.
There are two further buildings to be added to the campus, including the Innovation Central which will house SPARK, said to be the world’s first social science research park, and the Innovation Centre.
This will provide a creative expanse for start-ups and partnerships. The other building will be the Translation Research Facility, in which two scientific research establishments, the Institute for Compound Semiconductors and Cardiff Catalysis Institute, will be located.
The construction company used by Cardiff University is Bouygues UK which took part in a national Open Doors event whereby construction sites, such as that of Cardiff’s Innovation Campus, open to allow access to members of the public and schools.
Bouygues UK opened 12 of its sites, and overall, during the Open Doors event, more than 250 construction projects were open to public access. Last weekend, visitors could embark on pre-booked tours of the site, with a forward-looking focus on a career in construction.
Bouygues UK Operations Director, Justin Moore, stated: “The construction is technically challenging”.
He hoped that “visitors to the Open Doors will be excited by what they see and moreover be encouraged to pursue joining the innovation industry”.
Speaking to a Cardiff University spokesperson, Gair Rhydd was told that “Scheduled for completion in 2021, Cardiff Innovation Campus will act as a magnet for innovation across the Cardiff City Region and beyond. It will be home to world-leading researchers, giving them the tools to turn great ideas into real-world answers. Students may benefit in a variety of ways from research and business opportunities”
They added “Within the 12,000m sq building, there will be 2,800m sq of commercial units for potential student spinouts and start-up businesses. The ground floor will be a public space featuring a flexible auditorium with potential for Ted X style events. Spark – the world’s first social science park – will provide students with access to leading organisations and key researchers.
“IC will also be home to external organisations that work directly with the University, creating opportunities for student employment.”