School students name Exeter Science Park building after first computer programmer

June 27, 2019


The official name of Exeter Science Park’s new ‘Open Innovation Building’ has been chosen by students attending the Big Bang Fair South West.

Using an electronic voting system at the Westpoint event, students overwhelmingly selected the 19th Century English mathematician Ada Lovelace, whose name will now be given to the new 20,000 square foot building, currently being developed.

Widely considered to be the first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace was best known for her work on Charles Babbage’s proposed early mechanical computer, called the Analytical Engine.

Ada Lovelace was the daughter of poet Lord Byron and lived in the Exmoor town of Porlock Weir with her husband Lord William King, the First Earl of Lovelace.

Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park, said: “We felt that the naming of our new building had to fall to the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians and we are thrilled that attendees at the Big Bang Fair chose Ada Lovelace.”

Exeter Science Park was a gold sponsor of the Big Bang Fair South West and exhibited alongside tech company Dell Boomi and solar panel art creators, Art & Energy.

Dr Basker added: “Exeter Science Park is home to a wide range of businesses in STEMM industries, from robotics to software development, veterinary research to engineering testing, so we are in an ideal position to inspire young minds by showing them the vast range of career opportunities available.

“Our mission is to help innovative STEMM companies to deliver extraordinary growth, but to continue to do this for years to come we need to inspire and attract the next generation of scientists, engineers, technologists, innovators and entrepreneurs.”

The Ada Lovelace Building will provide 20,000 square feet of space for growing small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) sectors.

Due to be completed in spring 2020, the Ada Lovelace Building will support around 150 new jobs, boosting the local economy.

Learn more about the building here.