ETTC was established in 1987 and was then one of the first technology company incubators in Europe. Since then, ETTC has evolved into one of Scotland's most significant launch-pads for technology companies. Companies such as Voxar, Ice Robotics, DEM Solutions, MTEM and VSLI Vision have emerged from ETTC. All of the current occupants possess similar potential but now, with the sophisticated support systems developed over the years at ETTC, those companies are in a much better position to actually deliver.
ETTC's facilities mean it is an ideal location for technology companies – right in the middle of the King's Buildings campus – the University’s hub of science and engineering research. ETTC offers a range of sole-occupancy project office space, between 200 and 550 square feet, furnished for teams of between three and nine. ETTC also has two meeting rooms – a small room with a capacity of four people and a conference room with flexible seating in boardroom-style for ten people or seminar-style for eighteen people. A range of audiovisual equipment is available along with catering facilities – also available for occupants’ general use.
The deal structure for all of the Edinburgh Technology Transfer Centre’s occupants is identical. As far as is possible, the provision of services is made free-of-charge – or at least included in the rent charge. Surcharges are applied to a very limited number of provisions – telephone usage, electricity usage, fax usage and photocopier usage. All of these items are charged on at cost. Use of the meeting rooms, connection to the University’s high-speed JANET data network and, perhaps most importantly, the provision of business development services are all part of the basic package covered by the rent charge.
The Edinburgh Technology Transfer Centre’s rent charge structure takes its context from the University’s Company Creation and Development Strategy. Three bands of rent charges have been established – typically reflecting the number of years an incubatee has been an ETTC occupant. Early-stage rent charges are kept low – allowing incubatees to focus limited resources on core activities. The top rent charge band reflects the rent charges for similar premises at one of the University’s science parks.