30th March 2016, 3:31pm
Plaque unveiled to honour Lincoln’s George Boole, grandfather of the digital age
Picture credit: Steve Hatton/ Electric Egg A plaque honouring George Boole, the Lincoln-born mathematician whose work laid the foundations for the modern digital age, has been unveiled on the site where a new building named in his honour is being constructed.

The £6.8million Boole Technology Centre is the next major phase in the development of the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park.

Created in 2013 through a partnership between the University of Lincoln and Lincolnshire Co-op, the science park provides a hub for investment in science and technology sectors in the historic industrial heartland of Lincoln.

This strategic employment site will combine research, teaching and commercial space as home to a community of technology businesses, entrepreneurs, investors and researchers. Its first building, the Joseph Banks Laboratories, opened in 2014.

The Boole Technology Centre, due to open in early 2017, will provide flexible commercial space over 36,000 square feet, including offices, laboratories and technical workshops. It is expected to house more than 20 highly innovative firms, both new and established.

Partly funded by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLLEP) through the Government's Growth Deal programme, the Boole Technology Centre sits at the core of the Science Park’s mission to enhance the Lincolnshire economy by stimulating business growth, innovation and investment in high-tech industries.

It is named in honour of George Boole (1815-1864), the self-taught mathematician, philosopher and educator born at Silver Street in Lincoln, on 2nd November 1815, the son of a cobbler. His revolutionary work on the laws of thought later became known as Boolean Algebra and was fundamental to the development of the first computer circuits in the mid-20th century. The city of Lincoln, and people around the world, celebrated the bicentenary of Boole’s birth in 2015.

The Boole Technology Centre is based on the site of the former Ruston Bucyrus UK Headquarters, which once housed the largest foundry in Western Europe, and will retain the iconic Ruston Bucyrus substation as part of its design in homage to its industrial past.

At a ceremony on Wednesday 30th March 2016 attended by local business leaders, civic leaders and other stakeholders, Ursula Lidbetter, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-op and Lincoln Science and Innovation Park Board Member, dedicated a plaque to George Boole, grandfather of the digital age. The plaque will be mounted at the entrance to the building, further celebrating the achievements of this prominent son of Lincoln.

Ursula Lidbetter said: “It is a great privilege to dedicate this plaque to George Boole, the Lincoln-born mathematician rightly recognised as the grandfather of the digital age. To say Boole was ahead of his time would be a vast understatement; the boldness of his vision serves as an inspiration.

“The science park shows what can be achieved when businesses, educational institutions and local authorities come together to meet a common goal. Greater Lincolnshire has so much to offer as the Midlands Engine powers on, and the Boole Technology Centre offers exciting opportunities for growth, investment and innovation.

“As a co-operative, we share our profits with our members and their communities and we want to be involved with developments like this which will bring employment opportunities and investment to the city.”

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln and Lincoln Science and Innovation Park Board Member, said: “Lincoln and Lincolnshire has a remarkable heritage of scientific and industrial innovation, not least in the brilliance of George Boole. We as a University are committed to honouring that proud legacy, not just in words, but in actions. The development of the Science and Innovation Park, in partnership with the Lincolnshire Co-op, offers a place for new ideas, innovations and investment to take root and flourish here in our city’s industrial heartland.”

Thomas Blount, Director of LSIP, said: “The Boole Technology Centre is the first building on the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park to be purpose-built for technology businesses. It will enable firms of varying sizes and sectors to co-locate with their peers and the University’s neighbouring science laboratories.

“So much of the technology that surrounds us depends on Boole’s algebra, and so there are few names more fitting to honour this new building, which will house companies working in high-tech industries built on the theoretical foundations he established.”
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