Arise Innovation Hub Chelmsford
Sitting at the heart of Anglia Ruskin University's vibrant campus, the Chelmsford Arise Innovation Hub brings together businesses and students in an innovative and growing ecosystem for entrepreneurs.
With flexible office and collaboration spaces serving a host of growing businesses, as well as university staff and students, the Arise Innovation Hub has become a focal point for the entrepreneurial activity taking place on campus and in the wider Chelmsford area.
“ARU is a civic university that listens to the pulse of businesses and other stakeholders when it comes to what’s needed to serve the talent and skills agenda for the region,” says Dr Beverley Vaughan, ARU’s Innovation Hubs Director.
“Arise helps us keep our finger on that pulse and provide tailored support for start-ups and SMEs.”
ARU and Essex County Council opened the Arise Hub, then known as MedBIC, in 2014, with a shared ambition to create an incubator space that would nurture the brightest business talent from across the region.
The Innovation Hub’s remit has evolved as the university’s research programme has developed , and now centres on supporting businesses focused on health, performance and wellbeing.
“You’ve got access to everything from labs focused on drug discovery, to medical and clinical practice,” says Dr Vaughan. “The university labs are equipped with the latest technology and a containment level 2 environment, and a host of specialist services are available, including screening for small molecule compounds and biologicals, and diagnostic assay development at the university’s Molecular Diagnostics Research Unit.”
Community events run throughout the year, encompassing social coffee mornings and lunches and a growing programme of industry-specific events and special interest groups, all of which help encourage “water cooler moments”, the chance conversations which Dr Vaughan believes are vital to fostering collaboration between the business and academic communities.
For staff at the university, the Arise Innovation Hub can provide a location and support to develop their research so that it can eventually be commercialised.
It also offers the chance for students to apply their studies in real-world environments, through internships, post-doctoral work placements and, in some cases, full-time job opportunities. “This has created a strong ecosystem built on knowledge sharing between businesses and the university,” Dr Vaughan says. “We want to develop this further going forward.”