In late 2009, the University of Virginia Foundation consulted with Perkins+Will to help develop a program brief for a different kind of research facility: a hybrid of laboratory and factory that would offer a new model of collaboration between universities and industry that would be called the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, or CCAM. The CCAM initiative envisioned a non-profit institution, housed in a purpose-built facility, which would promote faster and more effective translation of laboratory discoveries into products and processes for commercialization. One of these new collaborative models has been innovated in the United Kingdom. These centers, generally called “Technology Innovation Centres,” each focus on a particular research “theme” that, though specialized, has relevance across a wide range of aerospace, power systems, electronics, and other technology-intensive industries. This study aims to provide an understanding of the “British Model” for university-industry collaborative research centers at several levels—development history and government policy; business and operations; and planning and design, in order to understand this important emerging building type. The objective of the article is also to provide applicable lessons that may empower U.S. universities and companies to collaborate under similar organizational principles as the British Technology Innovation Centres and its new American counterpart, CCAM.
This article originally appeared in a Special Issue dedicated to our Innovation Incubator Research: Vol 06.01 of the Perkins+Will Research Journal. CLICK HERE to see the whole article.