18 March, 2016

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) staff joined forces with building representatives from ISG, colleagues from neighbouring organisations and Cambridge University this week to mark an important milestone in the building of new innovation centre – Aurora Cambridge.

Director of Innovation Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley holds a two handed shovel with ISG regional director Liam Duffy

The Innovation Centre ‘Aurora Cambridge’ will enable BAS to generate new research and entrepreneurial activity focused on climate change and challenging environments through academic, business and policy partnerships. The building is due to open in 2017 and a total of 27 University of Cambridge–BAS Joint Innovation research projects are already under way with funding from the Higher Education Funding Council.

The new 5,400 sq foot two-story extension will feature a 150-seat lecture theatre, two 40-seat seminar rooms and four meeting rooms on the first floor of the glass-fronted exterior which is designed with a hexagonal glazed cladding system to depict the molecular structure of ice. The Centre will also house a 32-desk, open plan collaboration space providing work and study areas for collaborators from academia, business and policy.

Aurora exterior
The exterior of Aurora Cambridge Innovation Centre

“This is just the beginning,” says BAS Director Professor Jane Francis, “The excellent laboratory and meeting facilities that the Aurora Cambridge Innovation Centre will offer from next year will help us to extend the range of fruitful partnerships with academia, business, policy makers and the third sector to create tangible benefits for society.”