The new Higgs Centre for Innovation in Edinburgh is now open for applications, and the first group of companies are expected to move in by March.

The Higgs Centre has been created by the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), UK Space Agency, CERN and the University of Edinburgh.

It will host a business incubation centre to support start-ups and SMEs. Facilities will include a suite of dedicated micro- and nano-satellite test equipment in purpose-built cleanrooms, as well as big-data support capabilities.

Based at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, the new building is co-located with the UK Astronomy Technology Centre and the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Astronomy.

Collaboration opportunities from industry are actively encouraged, said Technology Scotland, with companies gaining access to decades of world-class remote sensing and data analytics expertise.

Support for successful applicant companies will include access to technical expertise from across the STFC and partners network; state-of-the-art laboratory, cleanroom and product testing facilities; business training; and a £40,000 grant towards technology development.

The incubator can accommodate up to 12 companies at any one time and interested applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible.