Cisco and Manchester Science Partnership open Mi-IDEA centre
Cisco and Manchester Science Partnership open Mi-IDEA centre
The Bright Building at Manchester Science Park (Credit:

Cisco and Manchester Science Partnership open Mi-IDEA centre

Manchester’s new 70,000 square foot Bright Building in Manchester Science Park (MSP) is host to Mi-IDEA, a new post-accelerator jointly run by MSP and Cisco.

The centre is part of a global network of Cisco innovation centres which also includes IDEALondon.

Mi-IDEA stands for Manchester-Inspired Innovation Digital Enterprise Alliance. The Centre aims to help digital tech start-ups flourish and to act as a catalyst for co-innovation between businesses, academia and government agencies in the North of England.

In addition to Mi-IDEA, the Bright Building houses six innovative startups:

  • Hark – maker of an all-in-one monitoring system
  • Wattl – maker of a video discovery app
  • PlaceDashboard – location-based data for retailers and others
  • Steamaco – automation for modern utilities companies
  • KMS – connected healthcare products
  • Malinko – scheduling for mobile service businesses

A smart building in itself, the facility is also a centre of operations for CityVerve, the UK’s IoT smart city demonstrator, as well as the home of the Cisco UK and Ireland Innovation team.

Read more: Manchester Uni plans for robots to work on nuclear clean-ups

Bees with backpacks

In addition to announcing Mi-IDEA, Cisco confirmed its support for the ‘bees with backpacks’ initiative. By putting trackable RFID ‘backpacks’ on bees, Cisco is working with Data61|CSIRO to build on a project already underway in Sydney, Australia and join the Global Initiative for Honey bee Health (GIHH).

The decline of bees is of worldwide concern, and this project is helping to identify potential stressors to their health. The RFID-enabled ‘backpacks’ allow bee movement to be tracked.

In conjunction with local organisations in Manchester, the programme will use innovative technology to conduct research into bee habitats, pollination and sustainability in the UK.

Read more: Manchester CityVerve is like a neural pathway