Heriot-Watt’s new Discovery and Innovation Centre, which will become the University’s flagship building, will open its doors in early 2019.

Architects Sheppard Robson have now been appointed, and will be designing a space that is innovative, challenging and inspiring for students, academics, industry and society.

The Discovery and Innovation Centre’s design will be based around the latest models for ‘open space collaboration’. Flexible, immersive learning, teaching and enterprise areas will encourage interaction and design-led education.

The Discovery and Innovation Centre is much more than just a building; it will change how we teach, learn and apply our spark and skills to solving global issues.

Dr Gillian Murray, Deputy Principal for Enterprise and Business

The centre is envisioned as a ‘discovery laboratory’, where students can design, explore and create devices and systems that have real-world applications. The fluid, open design of the building will mean that students can observe and collaborate, removing barriers between study and research interests.

The centre will be a place where students, and academics, learn by doing, distinguishing them from peers in other universities and supporting them to become future leaders. Teaching will be transformed into a design-focused, interdisciplinary approach.

Civic, commercial and industrial partners will be invited into the centre, creating a real hub for new industries and supply chains.

The Discovery and Innovation Centre will be transformative for education, industry and how the world approaches its problem solving. The project is ambitious and will have global impact – just like our university.

Dr Gillian Murray, Deputy Principal for Enterprise and Business, said: “The Discovery and Innovation Centre is much more than just a building; it will change how we teach, learn and apply our spark and skills to solving global issues.

“Alongside the infrastructure development will be a new enterprise programme to build a strong entrepreneurial culture, in which students will be encouraged and supported to launch their own spin outs and start-ups.

“Heriot-Watt’s ambition is to be a world-leading institution that harnesses creativity, develops leaders that generate ground-breaking projects and creates entirely new industries and supply chains.

“The Discovery and Innovation Centre will put us in that sphere; that’s the scale of it.”

The centre will be built on the site made vacant by the old student residences. Updates can be expected in the spring, once a design team has been appointed, and before August, when construction is due to begin.

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