By Daniel Hunter

Business Secretary Vince Cable was in Brighton yesterday (Thursday) to see how the Sussex Innovation Centre (SInC) is helping a range of high-tech and innovative businesses to grow.

The SInC is currently the base for about 80 entrepreneurs, start-ups and growing companies. It offers flexible, professional office space and a comprehensive range of in-house support services to help entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground.

Vince Cable met representatives from three firms that are using the centre to develop their technology:

• Plessey Semi-Conductors - develops and manufactures semiconductor products that are used in sensing, measurement and control applications, including a car seat that monitors the heart rate of drivers.

• Elektromotive - a leading electric vehicle charging station company.

• Deteq - one of the foremost solution providers in RFID tracking and Sensor technology, its technology can direct drivers to available parking spaces in busy town centres via their smartphones.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“The Sussex Innovation Centre is an important hub for start-up businesses to develop their technologies and can provide the firms with the benefits of close working with the University of Sussex. It is a melting pot of new ideas and provides small businesses with the kind of practical support they need to succeed.

“The centre is a real asset for the local economy. It is home to some truly innovative businesses that are creating hundreds of jobs for the local community and will help keep us at the forefront when it comes to developing new technologies. The SInC is a great example of what can be achieved when academia and ambitious, innovative young companies come together.”

Mike Herd, Director of the Sussex Innovation Centre, said:

“Innovation, both in new products and business models, is vital to creating economic growth in a recovery. The Sussex Innovation Centre is seeing a high demand for its specialist business support from new innovators, entrepreneurs and research academics.

“The Centre provides the environment and resources that can give a new entrepreneur the confidence to realise the potential of their idea.”

Nearly 80 businesses are based at the SInC at the moment. Since its creation in 1996 over 160 businesses have been based at the SInC, and their cumulative revenue is now more than £250 million. The firms based at the centre have employed hundreds of people from the local community.

The SInC is a subsidiary of the University of Sussex, providing business incubation, entrepreneurial and technology commercialisation and business mentoring programmes. The Centre is the flagship development of the Sussex Academic Corridor, a unique collaboration between public, academic and business sectors.

While at the SInC Vince Cable hosted a roundtable with innovation and business start ups, SInC management and university representatives. He then went on to hold a meeting with the Coast to Capital local enterprise partnership.

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