The UK’s largest university-business collaboration has reached a huge milestone with the “topping out” of their new state-of-the-art marine technology and research centre of excellence at the University of Southampton, which incorporates the Lloyd’s Register’s Group Technology Centre.

This ground-breaking collaboration between the university and Lloyd’s Register is currently taking shape next to the city’s main access road from the M3 motorway, where Wates Construction is transforming the university’s former Boldrewood campus into a £116-million research hub, providing world-class facilities for marine-related research and development.

“The collaboration between industry and academia is vital for technical innovation. We want our new Group Technology Centre to lead the world in helping to develop the solutions that will support safer, cleaner, more efficient shipping and offshore activity,” said Richard Sadler, Lloyd’s Register’s Chief Executive Officer.

“A fundamental understanding of new technology is essential in solving the world’s technical challenges. Putting our practical experts next to the university’s learning and research facilities will stimulate technical innovation and I believe, in future, it will allow us to broaden our relationship into areas as diverse as the food and information security sectors. Our investment in this unique collaborative venture will benefit the UK employment market, its reputation for technology development and UK businesses in general.”

The campus is redefining the relationship between academia and business, providing a fertile environment for unique collaborative projects. It also represents a huge investment in the city. In addition to the impressive buildings which have reached important milestones in their construction, the investment will bring jobs and opportunities to Southampton and along the south coast.

When it opens, the new campus will draw together the engineering excellence of the university and Lloyd’s Register to deliver solutions for marine-related fields, while supporting the strategies and systems that promote environment stewardship.

It will be home to the Lloyd’s Register Group Technology Centre, where 400 staff will build one of the cornerstones of the organisation’s global research and development network.

“With the completion of our new campus, the range of expertise in the marine and maritime sectors in Southampton will be unparalleled in the UK, and among the best in the world,” said Professor Don Nutbeam, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton.

Together, the university and Lloyd’s Register hope to make a global impact by stimulating innovation in the city of Southampton and in the wider south Hampshire region. The initiative will be a magnet for inward investment in the marine sector in the UK.

The first phase of the development is scheduled for completion in 2014.