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New world-class incubator for hi-tech start-ups

A new world-class incubator for hi-tech start-ups has opened its doors for business on the Alba Campus in Livingston and expects to sign up its first tenants later this month.

Innovation Centres (Scotland) Ltd (ICS) has been awarded the £1.4m contract to run the business incubator which is expected to help create more than 50 new companies over the next five years.,It will be located within the Alba Centre on the Campus - part of the overall Alba Initiative - for the next 18 months, while a new £3.5m purpose-built building is being constructed on the Campus.,Along with flexible accommodation and facilities, the incubator will offer young client companies services such as entrepreneurship training, technology and innovation support, and finance. ,Funding for the project is coming jointly from money made available by the Scottish Executive to support the West Lothian Strategic Plan, drawn up in the wake of the Motorola and NEC plant closures, and SE Edinburgh and Lothian.,John Reekie, Scottish Enterprise's Micro and Opto Electronics Cluster Team Leader, said: "This is an important landmark in the development of the Alba initiative and a positive boost forward for Scotland's hi-tech sector.","The incubator will give valuable support for hi-tech companies looking to ramp up their activities, who will enjoy the benefits of being on the Campus, which is Scotland's centre of excellence for research, design and development of microchip and associated technologies.","They will also have the opportunity to tap in to the expertise and knowledge of ICS's dedicated team of business advisors.",ICS is the operating company behind the highly successful Hillington Park Innovation Centre in Renfrewshire, where over 100 businesses have been incubated since it opened in November 2000. Company survival rates are currently running at 90%.,Tom Ogilvie, chief executive of ICS, said he hopes to have the first tenant under the Alba roof by the end of May.,He said: "We are confident that we can replicate the success we have enjoyed in Hillington in the East and help to build some sizeable companies which will eventually expand into their own premises on the campus and create some world leaders in the technology field.","We also hope to broaden the reach of the Campus by encouraging a wider range of companies to the area drawing on our expertise in the software, mobile communications and IT sectors.",Construction work is expected to start in May and when complete the 25,000 ft building will be capable of accommodating up to 54 companies with potential for expansion.


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