An award-winning business acceleration centre has welcomed 12 new clients in the last quarter as it marks its third anniversary of supporting Cornish businesses to innovate and grow.The Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre (HWIC) based at Treliske in Truro is one of three Cornwall Innovation Centres operated by Plymouth University on behalf of Cornwall Council to help businesses capitalise on their growth potential and create sustainable, high quality new jobs for the region.
Since opening in spring 2013, HWIC has become home to 36 fast-growing companies, including nine office based and three affiliate clients who moved into the purpose-built incubation facility during the last quarter adding to the vibrant community of dynamic businesses.
Existing client businesses at HWIC have enjoyed record annual growth averages of up to 68 per cent in one year thanks to the dedicated, targeted business support available through the Cornwall Innovation programme.
Companies stay at one of the three Innovation Centres for an average of three years. In its first year, HWIC supported the creation of more than 33 jobs and achieved growth of 46 per cent for the growing companies based there. There are now 168 people working directly from the centre.
Karen Murray, Manager of HWIC, said: 
“We are very happy to have welcomed nine office based new clients during the last five months, and a further three affiliates have also joined us, which brings the centre to a current occupancy rate of 60 per cent, which is on target for our forecasted plans.
“As part of the natural churn some of our older, more established clients are moving on and relocating to bigger premises as they come to the end of their time with us.
“The Innovation Centre is really an accelerating environment, as well as a place to support innovation itself. It’s enormously rewarding for our team to see how the support we provide, coupled with the state of the art facilities here at HWIC, is helping Cornish businesses to grow, expand and reach their full potential at a far faster rate, whether they are newly-established start-ups based in our Formation Zone or larger companies expanding their teams.”
New clients recently relocated to HWIC include:
  • Parental Clinic: a business created and run by qualified health professionals which offers personal video and telephone consultations for parents whose children have issues with sleep, behaviour, feeding and toilet training
  • Desuto: a collaborative partnership of experienced health and social care professionals and an IT programmer which provides web-based decision support tools for busy professionals helping them to navigate complex decisions
  • B Spoke IT Solutions: a company creating tailored software resolutions for all business requirements, specialising in software that automates labour intensive admin tasks, such as post archiving
  • PB Adventures: an outdoor coaching business run by Peter Bray, the only person to have kayaked across the Atlantic solo
  • The Geeks: an IT support company trading as Geek Innovation Ltd
  • Haldons: a dynamic construction consultancy business
Businesses based at HWIC can make use of on-site laboratory manufacturing space as well as state-of-the-art office accommodation.
“One of the tangible benefits of being based at an Innovation Centre, which our client businesses regularly report back about, are the unrivalled opportunities for networking and collaboration, with many companies linking up to work together on projects, so it’s beneficial for us to welcome a broad variety of businesses from different fields, as these companies help each other to grow,” 
Karen added.
The Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre is one of three Cornwall Innovation Centres operated by Plymouth University on behalf of Cornwall Council.
The Cornwall Innovation programme has been supported by £29 million of investment provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with the aim of boosting business growth and job creation in the region.
Pool Innovation Centre opened first in 2010 followed by Tremough Innovation Centre in Penryn in 2012 and finally HWIC in 2013. Together the three business acceleration centres have been ranked as amongst the best in the world by UK Business Incubation (UKBI), achieving INSPIRE accreditation. They are also the first University to receive the NEF Innovation Institute award. The three centres are currently home to 137 companies, and have helped to create 369 new jobs.