HE WAS hired by one of the country’s most innovative businessmen and now he’s been hired by a Southampton centre for innovation.

Southampton Science Centre has taken on Apprentice 2012 winner Ricky Martin as a key supporter of the Catalyst Centre, an initiative providing support to start-up businesses in the science and technology sectors, It provides entrepreneurs with free office and meeting space, IT services, expert mentoring and up to £1,000 towards business costs.

Ricky visited the park in Venture Road, Chilworth, on Monday to back the new initiative and see what exciting and innovative business ideas are submitted by emerging talent in the south-east.

It allows people with a great idea to use the facilities available at the park, as well as get involved in the entrepreneurial community and take advantage of a series of seminars focused on making their business succeed.

Ricky is currently working with Lord Sugar to develop Hyper Recruitment Solutions, which has evolved from the business plan that won him £250,000 in funding from The Apprentice.

Peter Birkett, chief executive of the Science Park said: “We are thrilled to have Ricky on board.

“His entrepreneurial approach to business, his experience of the competitive pitch process and his passion for the science and technology sectors complements the innovative, entrepreneurial atmosphere of the Science Park perfectly.

“Southampton Science Park is known as a centre of innovation in the south and as such is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial start-ups looking to develop successful science and technology businesses. The Catalyst Centre will be open 24/7, allowing flexible access to its facilities so that the winners can work on their business idea while still fulfilling existing work/study commitments.”