February 10, 2017, by The Ingenuity Lab

Welcome to the new Ingenuity Lab

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” – Socrates

The design of a workspace is so important in shaping the creativity, innovation and well-being of those who use it.

Over the past 18 months, Steven Chapman and the rest of the creative team involved with the new Ingenuity Lab have worked tirelessly to create a new space that has the potential to ignite and inspire minds.

And now it’s time to celebrate that we are open for business!

Based inside the beautiful £5.2million Ingenuity Centre, the new Ingenuity Lab has been designed to ignite minds and encourage innovation.

It was officially opened by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Greenaway, on 2nd February. The event was a fantastic way to celebrate the achievements of The Ingenuity Lab and what is to come in the future.

“This is an incubator, which is a place where we think of seeds germinating and starting to grow, so it’s where initial ideas will come together and create something bigger.

You need really high-quality spaces in order to do that, which is what The Ingenuity Lab provides, and to encourage people who have big ideas to take risks in their thinking because sometimes the biggest risks have the biggest pay-offs – so there’s no reason why the next Google can’t come from here.” – Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham.

What does the new Ingenuity Lab space offer?

The Ingenuity Lab has grown massively over the past year. We now have over 132 members, and run the UK’s biggest entrepreneurship competition, meaning our new home needed to accommodate our members’ needs for now and the future.

“Far from a traditional office space, this exciting new environment enables diverse working and meeting spaces to sit comfortably together within a tight and irregular shape. Every inch of the space is focused to encourage dynamic, creative and collaborative thinking” – Adrian Briggs, Creative Director at Briggs Hillier

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The hotdesk area in the new Ingenuity Lab

We have upgraded from the 16 hot-desks for Ingenuity Lab members to 40, and have also installed 10 office pods. Each pod is shared by two businesses run by particular Ingenuity Lab Ambassadors, and were designed in recognition of the energy, time and enthusiasm they dedicate to developing The Ingenuity Lab community.

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One of the meeting rooms at the new Ingenuity Lab

Alongside the desk space, we have four meeting and lounge spaces, including 2 state-of-the-art white board rooms. These are fantastic spaces for Ingenuity Lab members to meet with potential business partners, investors, and new team members. Being able to hold meetings in such beautiful spaces is an incredibly important factor in ensuring new businesses are taken seriously and respected by those they are meeting with.

“As a creative person, being in a beautifully curated space is really motivating” – Trishna Daswaney, Director at Kohl Kreatives

The mixture of social and quiet spaces means that members can choose their environment to suit their workload and mood. One of our favourite hideouts in the new Ingenuity Lab is the lounge area (which will also become our Monday morning yoga room!). This is a space that has been designed by Fenton Art+Design and is inspired by the artwork of Eun Young Choi. Ingenuity Lab members can relax, reflect and rejuvenate in here, meaning tough days building their businesses won’t become too overwhelming.

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The lounge area at the new Ingenuity Lab

The murals than run throughout much of the space has been designed by Cherry Anderson and Steve Chapman to represent entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation and originality, with a splash of nature to help people feel calm. Biophillic design, incorporating elements of nature through textures and colours, play a big role in shaping The Ingenuity Lab.

“We hoped to inspire and stimulate Ingenuity Lab members and consider their well-being through bringing natural textures and elements into the space” – Cherry Anderson, Graphic Designer at The Ingenuity Lab

Now all The Ingenuity Lab members are moved and settled into their new work place, it has been great catching up with them and finding out their thoughts on the new space. University of Nottingham alumni Alec Machin (Product Design, 2016) and Trishna Daswaney (Management, 2015) are sharing one of the office pods available for Ingenuity Lab Ambassadors. Both of their businesses have developed extraordinarily over the past year, and it is fantastic to be able to give them a structured area they can continue their stories of success from.

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Alec and Trishna contemplating whether to get a pet fish for their office pod…

“When combined with the incredible Ingenuity Lab support team, the new space will help so many of the great ideas within its walls flourish” – Alec Machin, Director at Decorate Paints

The future of The Ingenuity Lab

The Ingenuity Lab is set to continue to grow and develop, working to establish the Nottingham area as a hub for successful entrepreneurial activity. We hope the success of the space can inspire other universities and educational institutions to encourage entrepreneurial thinking and innovation among their students and alumni.

“The hope is that it will produce ever more creative business solutions from the huge body of talent produced by a University of Nottingham education” – Steve Chapman, Head of The Ingenuity Lab

Cherry Anderson and Steve Chapman with Professor Simon Mosey at the opening event

It is fantastic that The University of Nottingham champions the innovative spirit of its students and alumni, and think it is fantastic that we are able to give support to those who would like to explore their entrepreneurial potential. British SMEs have an overwhelmingly positive impact on the health and sustainability of local, regional and national economies, and it is great to be a part of this movement.

“The new Ingenuity Lab space is exactly the kind of environment that will encourage new start-ups to think big and succeed” – Mark Tock, Operations Director at University of Nottingham Innovation Park

If you would like to find out more about joining The Ingenuity Lab, please visit our website and see what doors we can help you open. 

If you are interesting in becoming a mentor, please email us at ingenuitylab@nottingham.ac.uk to find out how we can work together to support our members.

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