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Innovation Studio

Industry-engagement and our strong maker culture puts collaboration at the heart of everything we do.


Developing the Pongoose climber 1000+. Supported by European Regional Development Funding (ERDF).

Pongoose is a Dorset climbing brand and specialist supplier of climbing equipment. Its core product, the Pongoose Climber, a clipstick for climbers, is the creation of founders Robin and Katie Rendall.

In June 2018 Pongoose was awarded an AUB-ERDF Innovation Voucher to support the research and development of a new product; a capital and time intensive process for any business, especially one so young. In 2019, the Pongoose Climber 1000+ was launched, a ‘big brother’ to the slightly shorter Pongoose Climber 700. The new product is helping the business and its customers to reach new heights, by offering a complete product range to suit amateur and professional climbers.

The UK climbing scene is a fast-growth industry for sports enthusiasts and specialist suppliers alike and Pongoose’s unique brand and skilled processes are now seeing them stocked internationally.

Find out more about Pongoose here.

European Regional Development Funds

This project is supported through match-funding by the England European Regional Development Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. This fund was established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development. This investment will help to support innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs. For more information visit

Explore the Innovation Studio

Innovation Studio, photographed by Richard Bryant. Photo of an exterior wall with two reverse-L shaped windows and three semi-circle panels visible. A person walks past towards the right.


The Innovation Studio operates as a lab for creative technologies, a nucleus for start-ups and enterprises, and an industry engagement hub.
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Take a look at some of our recent collaborative projects with external partners and businesses
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Collaborate with us

There are many ways to work with us – we can give you access to our equipment and expertise
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Associate Programme

Our Associate Programme offers membership of our Innovation Studio to regional businesses seeking research and development support.
People gathering around a table with models and photographs

Residency Programme

Our Residency Programme offers membership of our Innovation Studio individuals, start-ups and SMEs developing new products or services.
Innovation Studio, photographed by Richard Bryant. Photo of an interior space, with several people sat working at tables. A rectangle-shaped railing is in the middle of the room.

Industry-standard resources

The Innovation Studio features state-of-the-art equipment and digital resources, and the latest manufacturing technology.