Aston University and Bruntwood SciTech partner on strategic developments in Birmimgham Knowledge Quarter
By Bruntwood SciTech
Aston University and Bruntwood SciTech have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the UK’s leading property provider dedicated to the growth of the science and technology sector support the Aston University 2030 Strategy growth plans within the Birmingham Knowledge Quarter.
Leaders from Aston University and Bruntwood SciTech, the Joint Venture partnership between Bruntwood and Legal & General, formalised the MoU today (Wednesday 15th March) at the major international property conference MIPIM held in France at an event involving leading infrastructure businesses, investors and government agencies.
The MoU includes a commitment to enhance Birmingham’s Knowledge Quarter through joint developments focused on creating a world-class innovation district within the city. More specifically, Aston University and Bruntwood SciTech will establish a Joint Venture that supports the University’s development plans as it seeks to establish a leading science, technology and enterprise precinct with industry and businesses embedded on campus to drive socio-economic transformations in the city.
The MoU will support the strategic objectives outlined in Aston University’s 2030 Strategy, which include elevating ambition through sustainable growth, creating unique value propositions for its beneficiaries, leveraging place and space, building a digital enterprise, and transforming businesses and communities the University serves.
The partnership builds upon the pledge made by Exec Chair Chris Oglesby at last year’s Commonwealth Games to invest £1bn in the city over the next decade, and will draw on Bruntwood SciTech’s expertise in developing knowledge economies and stimulating investment in an £850m portfolio of 11 regional hubs across the UK. Bruntwood SciTech’s Innovation Birmingham sits immediately adjacent to Aston University and is already home to more than 150 businesses, serving as the West Midlands’ largest digital and tech cluster.
The company’s investment at Innovation Birmingham already sees £30m of growth underway, with Birmingham’s 120,000 sq ft first smart building Enterprise Wharf nearing completion and due to open this summer.
Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, said:
“The new Aston University 2030 Strategy builds on our technology heritage that dates back to 1895, when Aston was first established as the principal Birmingham Municipal Technical School placed at the heart of the first Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.
“The strategic partnership with Bruntwood SciTech aims to realise our bold vision within a new digital era, by creating a leading innovation precinct of international significance centred on science, technology and enterprise. We are committed together to creating an innovation hotspot on Aston campus within the Birmingham Knowledge Quarter that will drive the creation of new high value-added businesses and jobs, and provide our students, staff and partners with unique opportunities and experiences.”
Rob Valentine, Bruntwood’s Director for Birmingham who signed the MoU on behalf of Bruntwood SciTech, said:
“Having worked in close proximity with Aston University as part of our continued investment in Birmingham and the Knowledge Quarter, it’s clear we share the ambition for the city to be a thriving hub for UK R&D that drives innovation on an international scale. Our experience shows that, when combining the right facilities, academic knowledge and commercial incubation, innovation districts are able to play a leading role in facilitating the growth of regional cities and delivering against the levelling up agenda. This MoU solidifies our shared vision for Birmingham and we look forward to working with Aston University to help it realise its 2030 plan.”