ETTC @ Informatics
Since early 2006, the Edinburgh Technology Transfer Centre has delivered incubation services to companies located within the Schools of the University’s College of Science and Engineering. This provision – entitled ETTC @ Informatics – is not virtual incubation as such. The Edinburgh Technology Transfer Centre assumes the ownership of the space occupied by the incubatee and charges rent on that space. However, that ownership lasts only as long as the occupancy, reverting back to the host School once the incubatee has graduated.
ETTC @ Informatics adds significant value to the offering of the Edinburgh Technology Transfer Centre. As well as increasing the capacity of the incubation service, ETTC @ Informatics makes available to incubatees a unique range of high-quality scientific and engineering facilities – units such as microbiology laboratories, heavy engineering workshops, clean rooms and test bays. No other incubation centre anywhere in the world can offer such a diverse range of facilities. ETTC @ Informatics is a truly unique provision.
By their very nature, ETTC @ Informatics offers a wide variety of types, specifications and sizes of space. The University’s King’s Buildings campus is a hub for research and teaching in a range of scientific and engineering disciplines and the portfolio of premises reflects that diversity. In principle, any part of the King’s Buildings campus, and the School of Informatics premises on the Central campus, could be the subject of an ETTC @ Informatics occupancy.
Generally, ETTC @ Informatics units will be discrete and located within easy reach of research labs related to an incubatees’ field of work. Where possible, the plant requirements will be met within the discrete unit. Interaction with academics and students within the host School, whilst encouraged, must be maintained on a professional level and specialist service deliveries must be arranged, on a commercial basis, with the host School.
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. ETTC @ Informatics deals are unusual as, by their very nature, they are non-standard. The provision of particular plant, for instance, may have to be taken into account when constructing a deal. However, ETTC @ Inforamtics incubatees are provided with use of the meeting rooms at ETTC, connection to the University’s high-speed JANET data network and, perhaps most importantly, the provision of business development services – 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. 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.