26 Jul 2017

Science Minister Opens New Aurora Innovation Centre

Funded by NERC from the UK science budget, the Aurora Innovation Centre located at British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge,aims to generate new academic, business and policy partnerships that focus on excellent research and entrepreneurial activity in the areas of climate change, environmental stewardship and technologies for challenging environments.

Inspired by the patterns found in ice, the new entrance provides a public face to the building which offers collaboration space, an exhibition area, library, cafe and state-of-the-art conference and meeting facilities. A key collaboration focus for Aurora is how polar expertise can be applied to other areas of policy, business, academia and the third sector.

As part of the Cambridge Innovation Cluster, Aurora benefits from a £300,000 contribution by Cambridge University for innovation projects.

Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science, said:

“With science and innovation at the heart of our Industrial Strategy and a commitment to invest £4.7 billion through until 2021, we are building on our reputation as a research powerhouse and ensuring the UK continues to punch above its weight in in global science.

“This new innovation centre will bring together great minds from a variety of disciplines to lead the international effort to tackle environmental change and demonstrate the value of research collaboration in solving some of the greatest challenges of our time.”

Professor Duncan Wingham, NERC Chief Executive, said:

“Our aim is to unlock the full potential of BAS polar expertise and assets, to deliver socio-economic benefit.The Aurora Innovation Centre will contribute to NERC’s vision of enabling the UK to deliver innovation and growth with responsible environmental management, and capitalise on Cambridge as a global centre for innovation.”

Dr Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley, Director of Innovation at British Antarctic Survey, said:

“I am so excited about all the innovation possibilities growing out of our work in the Polar Regions. The breadth is inspiring: From novel bioactives for biotechnology and agri-tech, over autonomous and remote sensing for challenging environments, to modelling for space weather forecasts and sea-level rise our expertise can add value to many different sectors of industry and society. We look forward to unlocking this potential through lively collaborations in the new Innovation Centre.”