Innovation Birmingham has opened a state-of-the-art Test Lab for its tenants and members to access for free. Incorporating £10,000 of devices and software, it has been delivered as part of the E4f Inspire project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Over 700 people now work at the Innovation Birmingham Campus and the Test Lab has been delivered in response to demand from the community of tech entrepreneurs and developers. The Test Lab will be utilised to test how new apps ad games function across a range of the latest devices, including a variety of smartphone and tablets from popular manufacturers. The Test Lab also includes a digital graphics pad, camcorder, directional microphone, WXGA projector, licensed load impact software for performance testing and licensed browser stack software for further compatibility testing.
The Test Lab has been created within Innovation Birmingham’s Entrepreneurs for the Future centre. Also part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the programme has incubated over 100 start-ups, with 180 new employee and director positions created since November 2009. The new companies on the business incubation programme have secured over £6.8 million of investment during initial funding rounds.
Michelle Rayner, Innovation Birmingham’s e4f Programme Manager said: “I am really excited about the opening of the Test Lab, as there are so many tech developers based here at the Innovation Birmingham Campus that it will benefit. We are launching the new facility with 15 of the latest smartphones and mobile tablets, a digital graphics pad, camcorder, directional microphone, WXGA projector, and licensed software testing programmes. As new devices are launched to the market, we will refresh the offering and expand the equipment list wherever possible, such as from kind donations from tenants and our wider community.”
The Test Lab will be made available free of charge to all tenants and members, by appointments ranging in length from 30 minutes to a maximum of half a day. Details on becoming a member of the Innovation Birmingham Campus are available online, along with information on how to apply for the Entrepreneurs for the Future business incubation programme.
Innovation Birmingham has recently extended the duration tech start-ups can stay on its highly successful incubator. The free package of mentoring from an Entrepreneur in Residence, access to finance, visiting expert sessions, invitations to a wide range of tech events, wifi, telecoms, meetings rooms and office space – worth around £15,000 – is now be provided for up to nine months to circa 25 tech start-ups per year.