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Higgs Centre welcomes space technology start-ups

Scientists, engineers and big data experts at the University are lending their expertise to a newly opened centre that supports entrepreneurs.

The Higgs Centre for Innovation offers specialist knowledge and support in space-related technology and big data analytics.

Up to 12 companies at any one time can be based in the newly built Centre, at the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh.

They will work next to teams from the University and the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre.

Celebrated scientist

The Centre is named in honour of Professor Peter Higgs of the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy.

He was awarded a Nobel Prize for Physics in 2013 for his theoretical prediction of the Higgs boson particle.

Professor Higgs came up with a theory for the particle, which is fundamental to the laws of physics, when he was a researcher at the University in the 1960s.

Its existence was confirmed almost 50 years later, in 2012, by the CERN research facility near Geneva.

Backing research

The Centre, operated by STFC in partnership with the University, will support academic research.

University PhD students in astronomy and astrophysics will be able to work directly with start-up companies on real-world problems.

Laboratories and working spaces for researchers and facilities for businesses will be provided at the site.

It is funded by the UK Government and STFC.

Professor Higgs’ theoretical work could only be proven by collaboration. This reflects the aims and values of the Higgs Centre for Innovation, which brings scientists, engineers and students together for the purpose of bettering our understanding of space-related science and driving technological advancement.”

Professor Peter MathiesonPrincipal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Edinburgh

Scotland has an outstanding reputation for science and innovation, and the Higgs Centre will harness this creativity, helping disruptive start-ups and entrepreneurs create the products of tomorrow.

Sam GyimahMinister for Universities, Science, Research & Innovation

Related links

School of Physics and Astronomy

Higgs Centre for Innovation