Research park key to BT plans for Martlesham site

Moves to create a UK centre of excellence for technology research and development on BT's Adastral Park site at Martlesham Heath near Ipswich have taken a step forward with the appointment of operators to establish and run the new facility over the next three years

'Innovation Martlesham', which is being set up with the help of funding from the East of England Development Agency, aims to become the country's largest concentration of ICT-related R&D companies. The job of operating the facility will be handled jointly by technology firm Sagentia and property consultants Carter Jonas. Coming months will see the two firms refurbishing and equipping accommodation, finding tenants and setting up the park's business support networks.

The aim is to have an open campus feel with a strong higher education research presence that will encourage and stimulate knowledge transfer and innovation. Initially based at existing buildings on the Adastral Park campus, it will play an important part in BT's plans for the redevelopment of the site with purpose-built new developments gradually phased in.

Once the park is successfully operating, the vision is for a purpose built complex with dedicated office, laboratory and workshop spaces, networking and display areas and business and technical support provision, to be developed in collaboration with a commercial developer.

According to Phil Dance, managing director of technology exploitation and senior manager of Adastral Park, Innovation Martlesham is an important component within the company's vision for the future. "Adastral Park is one of the most important locations in the EEDA region for business, enterprise, innovation and skills. We have exciting plans for how we can continue Adastral Park's tradition of excellence and what it brings in terms of jobs, inward investment and economic benefits," he said.

Image: Innovation Martlesham will have an open campus feel

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