Plug and Play, a pioneering US innovation platform for startups, has announced it will be partnering with MIRA Technology Park, Europe’s leading automotive R&D cluster, to create the UK’s first Mobility Innovation Hub.
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Plug and Play is the world’s largest innovation platform. It specialises in corporate innovation and the development of early-to-growth stage technology startups, bringing together the best startups, entrepreneurial investors, and ambitious global corporations. The exciting move marks the first time the technology accelerator has brought its well-proven business model to the UK.
Situated at the heart of the nation’s automotive sector, the Mobility Innovation Hub will be located at the MIRA Technology Park. It provides extensive R&D facilities and access to highly-skilled engineering expertise, thereby immersing the successful startups in a rich eco-system to facilitate their rapid growth. The unique partnership, supported by key government bodies such as Zenzic, will enable OEM and Tier 1 corporates to fast track their innovation agendas whilst supporting startups to prove their concepts and find routes to market for their innovations.
Mike Olmstead, CRO at Plug and Play, said: “With the global mobility industry facing unprecedented change amid megatrends in EVs and connected and autonomous vehicles, the need to accelerate innovation, through investment in talent and technology has never been greater.
“Having already established a successful track record in the US and the rest of Europe, the high-quality of startups and academic research emerging from UK universities makes it an attractive market to enter. As such, we knew the MIRA Technology Park – with its prime location in the heart of the UK mobility sector, pioneering facilities and high-profile tenants – was the right fit for us. We look forward to achieving some great things from this exciting collaboration.”
Jack Bartlett, responsible for Global Strategic Development at MIRA Technology Park, said: “We considered for some time how we could facilitate innovation, when we discovered Plug and Play and got to grips with their unique business model it was very clear that this was the right solution. Our collaboration will provide large corporate organisations in the mobility sector with a means to innovate, utilising the benefits of the established and proven Plug and Play innovation model and the locational benefits of MIRA Technology Park.
“With future mobility technologies evolving at such a rapid pace, the importance of collaboration between enterprising startups, investors and established organisations cannot be overstated. Plug and Play’s decision to set up their UK mobility operations here will be a major step forward in how the UK industry will develop and deploy the next generation of automobiles.”
Daniel Ruiz, CEO of Zenzic, said: “Attracting a pioneering innovation platform such as Plug and Play to the UK represents a huge opportunity for the nation’s mobility industry to break fresh ground in self-driving technologies. The move is a real testament to the great work MIRA Technology Park has done in recent years in pooling together the best minds, investment and facilities into one location in order to drive cutting-edge developments that will benefit future mobility for all.”
A renowned automotive ‘technology cluster’, MIRA Technology Park is currently home to 40 mobility sector companies, including many iconic brands and they collectively employ over 1,200.
About Plug and Play
Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. Since inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 25 locations globally giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 10,000 startups and 300 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. We provide active investments with 200 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and host more than 700 networking events per year. Companies in our community have raised over $7 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club and PayPal. For more information, visit www.plugandplaytechcenter.com.
About HORIBA MIRA
HORIBA MIRA is a global provider of pioneering engineering, research and test services to the automotive, defence, aerospace and rail sectors. We work in close collaboration with vehicle manufacturers and suppliers around the world, providing comprehensive support ranging from individual product tests to turnkey multi-vehicle design, development and build programmes.
With over 70 years’ experience in developing some of the world’s most iconic vehicles, our engineers utilise the latest test facilities and simulation tools to make vehicles and journeys safer, cleaner and smarter. Our suite of 40 major test facilities, 100km of specialised proving ground and wealth of engineering experience, combined with our expanding international presence, means we are confident that we can achieve our vision – that every journey in the world will be positively influenced by us.
About MIRA Technology Park
MIRA Technology Park was established in 2010 and has already attracted over 30 major global OEM’s, Tier 1 and specialist automotive technology companies. In 2010 it was granted planning approval for its Masterplan which extends to a total of 1.75million sq ft set within the 842 acre site. It has also been recognised by the UK government and was awarded Enterprise Zone status in 2011.
About HORIBA Automotive Test Systems
A business segment of the HORIBA Group, Automotive Test Systems (ATS) which has developed global leadership in the fields of engine test systems, driveline test systems, brake test systems, wind tunnel balances and emissions test systems. HORIBA ATS is able to offer its customers complete solutions with full turnkey capability for all industries using electric motors, internal combustion engines and turbines. These include the automotive, heavy-duty, off-road, consumer goods, marine, aerospace and locomotive sectors.