Since opening in 2005 InfoLab21 at Lancaster University has built up a strong reputation as an international Centre of Excellence for research in information and communication technologies and for supporting regional businesses through networking events, workshops and funded ICT programmes.
Consistently rated as one of the top 10 UK universities, Lancaster University has established an excellent track record in its "Third Mission" activities, which aim to bring universities, businesses and communities together.
The University has particular strengths in ICT and has a long and successful history of working with international ICT companies through its prestigious Computing Department and Department Communication Systems, including collaboration with major telecommunications network operators, equipment manufacturers and software providers such as Microsoft, BT Labs, Orange, Cisco, Nokia and Ford.
The School of Computing and Communications
The School of Computing and Communications was formed in August 2010 as a merger of the former Computing Department and Department of Communication Systems. Housed in the iconic InfoLab21 building, the School is a multi-million pound centre for study and research in the fields of computer science, ICT and communications engineering.
The School also contains a dedicated technology transfer department, the Knowledge Business Centre (KBC), that facilitates the commercial exploitation of research. A further aim of the KBC is to attract new high technology businesses to co-locate alongside the School's world-class academic team. For the notion that academics and businesspeople can and should work alongside each other for mutual benefit, is at the very heart of our approach.
The Northwest Development Agency (NWDA), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) recognised how beneficial the unique project would be to the region and their financial contributions enabled the University to realise its vision.
Opened in 2005
The Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt (then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry) officially opened InfoLab21 on 2nd February 2005. Over 100 people attended, including representatives from local councils, chambers of commerce, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the NWDA.
"It is an excellent example of how universities and business can work in partnership to seize the opportunities presented by the global knowledge economy. This facility can act as a real catalyst for economic growth in knowledge-based industries in the North West"
"InfoLab21 will enable industry to obtain competitive advantage from the research strengths, international networking and links with multinational companies of the University. It will also support growth in the vital ICT cluster, through skills training. The InfoLab21 concept is in line with the City Council's development plans for Lancaster and it also sits within the Government's plans for using Universities as power houses for the economy"
Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings
"Its distinctive design had to reflect the University's bold vision and provides a visually arresting signpost for the University signalling its confidence as a research-based institution"
NWDA Chairman Bryan Gray