15th November 2018

Mountain Bike Innovation Hub in the Scottish Borders

Mountain biking could be worth more than £49.5 million per year to the Scottish economy.

Urban Foresight’s cross cutting expertise in innovation and local economic development has been recognised with a new commission to test the demand and business case for a new innovation hub for Mountain Biking in the Scottish Borders.

The Mountain Bike Innovation Hub will be an exemplar research facility and workspace in the Scottish Borders to support business innovation, production, and controlled testing within the mountain bike sector.

The hub would also enable the creation of opportunities for new products, services and business models to be developed and trialled as well as attracting additional mountain bikers and visitors to the area.

This will address significant barriers to innovation for many companies, especially SMEs. These companies often face significant difficulties in accessing finance, investment and in integrating new technology to their existing processes. Risks to finances and production schedules can be mitigated by providing access to proven technologies, commercial scale test facilities and the expert support needed to trial innovative solutions.

“This style of support has proved to be successful around the world” said Sam Nair, Senior Consultant at Urban Foresight. “For example, Japan is home to 600 public technology centres or “Kohsetsushi centres” which support the development of industrial SMEs by providing them with testing and research facilities and training services. Making the centres relatively small and regionalised was a deliberate decision to promote the development of locally-influenced strategic directions in each centre.”

The objective of this commission is to test demand for the innovation hub and to refine the business case. It will also review location options, make recommendations on governance and ownership and provide financial modelling.

This outline business case will support the Borderlands partners in their plans to invest around £25million (public and private) in Mountain Biking over a 10-year period into the Tweed Valley. If successfully implemented this could create a world-class destination for research and development, innovation, tourism and an attractive place to invest.

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