The Higgs Centre for Innovation

UK Astronomy Technology Centre at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh
(Credit: STFC)

The successful business incubation model pioneered by STFC and its partners at Harwell Campus and Sci-Tech Daresbury is now set to be extended further afield.

Our UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) in Edinburgh is driving a new business incubation initiative at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. Called the Higgs Centre for Innovation, it is due to open to businesses at the end of 2017.

This ground-breaking new facility, run in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, will apply business incubation best practice to big data and space technology, enabling start-ups to translate fundamental research and capabilities at the UK ATC and at universities into wider commercial impact.

The Higgs Centre will:

  • House up to 12 start-up businesses
  • Enable them to harness equipment and instrumentation designed for particle physics and astronomy programmes, plus big data capabilities developed by the UK ATC and by academia
  • Provide PhD students with direct experience of entrepreneurial environments

Named in honour of Professor Peter Higgs, the British scientist and Nobel Prize winner who theoretically predicted the existence of the Higgs boson almost 50 years before its discovery, the Centre has received Government investment of nearly £11 million.

Announcement of this initiative was made in December 2013.

The UK ATC is also a key partner in the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications, a hub to be developed through the Innovate UK Satellite Applications Catapult. Through this initiative, the UK ATC is offering businesses access to satellite test facilities and cutting-edge big data expertise.

To find out more about the Higgs Centre for Innovation:


Julian Dines
UK Astronomy Technology Centre
+44 (0)131 668 8318

External links:

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000