Construction is expected to start by the end of this year with completion set for Spring 2019 following approval from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s Planning Committee.
The project aims to create the first innovation centre in the UK to bring together a university management school and incubation space for new and developing businesses.
The Hub will also create an environment that enables ‘open innovation’ by encouraging sharing of ideas, knowledge and expertise between businesses, academic researchers, the public sector and consumers.
The 4,200m2 three-storey building will be located at the entrance to Keele University as part of the Science and Innovation Park.
It has been designed by architects BDP.
Professor Trevor McMillan, Keele University Vice-Chancellor, said: “This is a big step in our capacity to support our local economy, local businesses and local community by enabling closer interaction between the businesses and various parts of the University, in particular the Management School which will be housed in the same building.”
The creation of the Smart Innovation Hub will form part of the New Keele Deal – a plan for £70m of investment by Keele University, Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership to exploit the potential of Keele University’s research and facilities.