Lockheed Martin has opened a brand new, £250,000 facility at its Bedfordshire site, designed to bring high-tech ideas to life and help solve some of the world’s most complex defence and security challenges.
The Innovation Lab (iLab) encourages teams to make the impossible possible by providing the space, tools and the environment to turn ideas into reality. In addition, Lockheed Martin plans to open its doors to young people, with the hope of inspiring the engineers of tomorrow, and give them the opportunity to put their talent to the test.
Lockheed Martin’s deputy managing director, Chris Edwards, who was joined by Chris Dent, head of research and technology at Lockheed Martin, and Professor Sir Peter Gregson, chief executive and vice-chancellor of Cranfield University to cut the ribbon said: “Innovation is what Lockheed Martin does and in opening the iLab, we are not only investing in our facilities, but we are investing in our people and the local community.
“Often, the solution to a problem starts with a simple idea; we want to encourage that thinking amongst our teams, who are solving problems today and young people in the local community, who will be the problem solvers of tomorrow.”
The exciting development will enable Lockheed Martin employees to take advantage of the facility and be given the freedom to innovate, develop and test ideas beyond the constraints of day-to-day programme boundaries. Through its outreach programme, the organisation is intending to extend the facility to local schools and other educational institutes.
Professor Sir Peter Gregson added: “It’s fantastic to once again see Lockheed Martin investing in the region. As two organisations at the heart of the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Growth Corridor, Cranfield and Lockheed Martin are playing an important role in fostering innovation and developing skills not just for the region but for the country as a whole.
“We share a common desire to see more young people taking up careers in STEM and I’m sure the Lockheed Martin iLab at Ampthill will provide tremendous opportunities to excite young people in the region about the possibilities that are open to them.”