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Published: 6th June 2018

ATI pop-up Innovation Centres are springing up across the county

If you are strolling through Cornwall’s town centres or visiting one of the business parks over the coming months, you may spot something new. ATI Pop-up Innovation Centres are springing up across the county, from Launceston to St Marys, bringing a range of services and opportunities to local businesses.

Led by the University of Plymouth in partnership with Cornwall Innovation, Acceleration Through Innovation (ATI) is a £3 million European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project which is driving a culture of innovation through a range of activities and events. The ATI Pop-up Innovation Centres have been created to reach businesses who for a variety of reasons may not be able to access the three permanent Innovation Centres in Pool, Truro and Penryn.

Pop-up Innovation Centre Coordinator, Penny Morgan explains: “The concept of the ATI Pop-up is to bring the offer of the Cornwall Innovation Centres out to the local business community.”

ATI has already run Pop-up Innovation Centres in Bodmin and Launceston and the centre at St Austell Business Park is open until 31st July. Any business with fewer than 250 employees can use the facilities, which include hot desks and meeting rooms. Business owners can also benefit from having one-to-one advice sessions with a business innovation specialist as well as network with other local businesses and attend workshops on topics such as Digital Innovation or 3D Modelling and Prototyping.

Penny says: “We’re listening to the challenges that businesses face and responding to their needs; that often changes from location to location. The Pop-up Innovation Centres are welcoming a complete mix of businesses. Some are early stage while others are more established. Those who have taken advantage of the opportunity recently include a fuel hauler, swimsuit manufacturer, retailers and brewers. It’s a bit like a dragon’s den – we hear of so many great ideas and projects.”

One business owner who has benefited from the ATI Pop-Up Innovation Centre at St Austell Business Park is David Brock (known as Brock) from new business support platform, Cornish Partnerships. He explains, “The office spaces that are available to hot desk, hold meetings and host conferences are some of the best in the county.”

“I had an hour-long meeting with an advisor, which was extremely useful for my business. The events are also very helpful. I think the main benefit to me has been that the team has recommended people for me to work with – it’s a great signposting service.”

The ATI Pop-up Innovation Centre is at St Austell Business Park until the 31st July.

Future Pop-up Innovation Centres are planned for Liskeard, Bude, Looe, Newquay, Penzance and St Marys.

For more information, visit www.aticornwallinnovation.co.uk