The Lincolnshire Technology Hubs in Louth, Mablethorpe, Boston, Horncastle and Lincoln, have been shortlisted as finalists in this year's prestigious Next Generation Digital Challenge Awards.
They’ve been shortlisted as finalists in the Digital Education and Expertise category, aimed at recognising innovative and inspiring projects which improve infrastructure or access to new technology.
There are five technology hubs in Lincoln, Louth, Mablethorpe, Horncastle and Boston which are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Four of the hubs are home to the latest digital technology including 3D printers, laser cutters, scanners and GoPro cameras.
Meanwhile the fifth hub, based at the Meridian Centre in Louth, has cutting-edge motion capture spot technology which can be used to film people or machinery moving at high speed. The footage can then be played back in 2D or 3D and analysed in minute detail to help improve performance, technique or business process.
All of the equipment can be borrowed or used for free by eligible businesses, with just a small charge to cover insurance costs and materials used. Businesses can also take advantage of 12 hours’ free one-to-one advice and support specifically tailored to their needs.
Chairman of Lincolnshire County Council, Councillor Bill Aron said the shortlist is great news for everyone who’s been involved in the project.
“It’s been a real team effort to establish the hubs and being shortlisted for this prestigious national award is a testament to the hard work and commitment people have put in,” said Cllr Aron.
“It’s also great for news for the county’s businesses which can access these potentially award-winning hubs for free!”
Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council, which runs the Onlincolnshire project, is delighted the hubs have been nominated.
“The awards recognise the hard work we have put in and the success we have had in connecting businesses to next-generation technology,” explained Cllr Davie.
“The hubs can help transform businesses and the possibilities are endless. You could be an architecture firm looking to create a 3D model of your design, an engineer who wants to develop a prototype or a business owner looking for a digital application to improve productivity.
“The idea is to offer the opportunity to try out new equipment before making a purchase and access expert advice and support so businesses can grow. We also encourage local businesses to work together to help come up with new ideas or solutions to problems.”
As part of the awards process onlincolnshire has to produce an extended submission to present to an independent judging panel. The winners will be announced at the NextGen 2014 Conference in Derby in November.
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