New CEME Innovation Centre management agreement strengthens services to Thames Gateway clean- and green-tech businesses

A new partnership between Dagenham’s Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) and Oxford Innovation, one of the country’s leading operators of innovation centres, is aiming to help high growth technology start-ups take advantage of the significant opportunities now available in the Thames Gateway.

Companies at CEME’s Innovation Centre will benefit from a range of high quality offices and workshops on flexible terms, access to investment networks that match investors to businesses, and training initiatives, as well as a tailored package of business advice and support.

Bill Williams, Chief Executive of CEME, said: “It is crucial for high-tech, high-growth companies to have the right environment and business support package in their early years. We hope to grow the number of innovative technology based companies in the area using models that have worked well in other parts of the country; this is an important next step and will complement our existing offer to established businesses and individuals.”

Oxford Innovation manages 14 other innovation centres across the UK and offers business support services, such as access to its business angel investment networks, to more than 400 start-up companies.

Dr Alex Smeets, Project and Incubation Director for CEME Innovation Centre, said: “We are very pleased to have this opportunity to be a part of the growth of modern manufacturing and innovative technology in the Thames Gateway. We look forward to developing a community of ambitious early-stage technology businesses that will address some of the world’s major opportunities and challenges, including those related to energy, the environment and global warming.”

Viridis Technology is the first company to benefit from the new partnership and an example of the sustainable technology companies the centre hopes to attract. It uses internet and wireless technology to create systems that allow organisations to track energy usage and optimise performance.

Managing director, Raymond Stack said: “I wanted to locate in an area that would develop and grow with the company. The Thames Gateway is not only encouraging new technology companies to locate here but also training up the local workforce and this is going to encourage other innovative companies to set up here.”