A NEW Technology and Innovation Centre for Strathclyde University is on schedule for completion later this year.

At £89 million, the project is Strathclyde's single biggest investment in its research capacity and is designed to be a hub for business and academia, with up to 1200 researchers, engineers and project managers working side by side.

The aim of the building is to transform the way industry and the university engage and it forms the cornerstone of the new International Technological Renewable Energy Zone, designed to bring innovative businesses to Glasgow.

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Stella Matko, acting director of the University's Estates Services, said: "Last month, we were delighted to celebrate an important milestone in the development of the centre, with a topping-out ceremony marking the building's construction project reaching its highest point.

"The landmark has been designed with low carbon principles to the fore and, once it is completed later this year, will act as a fantastic gateway linking the Merchant City and the city centre."

Covering some 25,000 square metres of floorspace - equivalent to 100 tennis courts - it has attracted financial international partners including SSE, ScottishPower and the Weir Group, as well as financial backing from Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Funding Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

According to an independent study published last month, the TIC will have an annual economic impact of £64.5 million by 2021/22.

The nine-storey structure includes a transparent base which forms a shop window for the research being carried out.

There will also be cutting-edge research space, including clean rooms and specialist laser optics materials.

In addition, there will be conference and exhibition facilities and a cafe.

Work started at the construction site on George Street in Glasgow city centre in the summer of 2012 and the 19-month build is scheduled for completion at the end of November 2014.