Global defence and security company, Saab, have established a new UK Innovation Hub at Imperial’s White City Campus.
The Saab Innovation Hub, based in Central Working White City, will serve as a focal point for an initial £3.5 million investment into Saab’s UK-wide network of research and development projects, which is expected to grow over the coming years.
The partnership is led by the Institute of Security Science and Technology (ISST), Imperial's hub for security research, innovation and engagement. The ISST envisages, designs and coordinates the application of science and technology to answer pressing security challenges facing society, working across financial systems, climate and the environment, healthcare, critical infrastructure and transport.
Central Working White City is located in the Translation and Innovation Hub (I-HUB), one of the Campus’ flagship buildings, which provides space for businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs alongside Imperial’s extensive network of researchers, academics and other corporate partners.
Hotbed of innovation
Saab UK Innovation Hub’s research at Imperial will initially focus on radar technology. As part of the partnership, Saab will fund a research project in the ISST into multistatic and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radars.
The move comes six months after the company opened the UK’s first Digital Control Tower in partnership with Cranfield University.
Andrew Walton, Head of Saab United Kingdom, said: “Saab has a 40-year record of being a trusted partner with the United Kingdom. By building on our ongoing work with Cranfield University and opening our new UK Innovation Hub with Imperial College London, we are demonstrating our continuing commitment to investing in the UK and our confidence in Britain as a hotbed of innovation and talent”
The co-location with Saab is an important step towards Imperial’s vision for a cluster of Critical Infrastructure specialists at its White City campus. Aerospace giant Airbus, and the UK Government’s Defense and Security Acellerator (DASA) also have a presence on the campus.
Professor Nick Jennings, Vice Provost (Research and Enterprise) said: “At a time where we are facing new and ever changing threats, collaboration is of crucial importance. At White City, we are establishing a unique critical infrastructure cluster, convening world-leading academics, innovative startups and corporate partners side by side. We hope that this will pave the way to new partnerships, technologies and creative ideas, boosting our ability to protect the essential services that underpin our economy, security, and health."
The Saab Innovation Hub was launched on Thursday 27 June, at an event attended by Mark Prisk, the Prime Minister’s Trade and Investment Envoy to the Nordics and Baltics.
David Gann, Professor of Technology and Innovation Management at Imperial College Business School, was instrumental in the partnership. He said: “Imperial is a leader in engineering innovation. This collaboration with Saab will create a national Hub with international reach. Investment in innovation is not just about jobs, but about planting the seeds for future generations of innovators”
Imperial regularly works with industry collaborators through consulting, research partnerships, co-location, technology transfer and other enterprising activities that help turn research into benefits to society. More information about the College’s work with industry and entrepreneurs is available in the Review of Enterprising Activity 2017-18.
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