Last Thursday we were out late on a school night to ring in the official opening of the latest addition to Manchester’s tech community: the Bright Building, home to a brand new post-accelerator centre called Mi-IDEA, as well as the CityVerve HQ.
Tom Renn, Manchester Science Partnerships’ managing director, was on hand to welcome the audience and introduce addresses from Rowena Burns and Scot Gardner, the respective CEOs of MSP and Cisco UK & Ireland.
“This is a very special evening for me and Manchester Science Partnerships,” said MSP CEO Rowena Burns. “So forgive me if I get emotional.”
And it certainly felt special: with the great and good of Manchester assembled together to celebrate not just the (virtual) ribbon cutting, but the innovative organisations that’ll be calling Mi-IDEA home too.
CityVerve is, of course, one of those who’ll be based in the building and our technical lead, Nick Chrissos, was on hand to show off the space – and the incredible immersive wall of interactive screens that greets you as you enter…
— CityVerve (@cityverve) September 21, 2017
The product of a longstanding relationship between MSP and Cisco in the north-west region, the new Mi-IDEA post-accelerator centre was described on the night by Cisco UKI CEO, Scot Gardner, as driven by a desire for co-creation.
The history of Cisco, he said, is one of building networks and connecting nodes. Today, that means connecting people too, and breaking down innovation to siloes to create networks of innovation.
Rowena Burns emphasised this and MSP’s dedication to building a platform from which entrepreneurs and innovators can grow.
This is something embodied by the CityVerve consortium, and the efforts of the project to create a blueprint for smart cities all over the world.