Innovation Exeter Supplement 2

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establishing Exeter as a leading knowledge based economy attractive to the best talent and matching investment with success

Innovation Exeter

– establishing Exeter as a leading knowledge based economy attractive to the best talent and matching investment with success. Exeter is a major economic engine in the South West of England with a credible track record of growth even through recent difficult times. In the top 10 of growing cities and with its workforce having the lowest proportion with no qualifications in the UK, it has seen a step change in its economic performance. Growth is being pursued hand in hand with major housing, infrastructure and leisure projects to ensure successful and sustainable development of the city and its interdependent hinterland. The overall growth programme is geared to the creation of some 26,000 jobs over the next 10-12 years. What has been clear is the importance of agility and public and private partners agreeing and working to a clear, comprehensive, proactive and responsive plan with frequent monitoring and a focus on risk mitigation. At the centre of the next stage in driving growth of the Exeter economy is Innovation Exeter, a programme aiming to create opportunities for business growth and higher paid employment through innovation and developing existing and potential business clusters. It will build on the area`s strengths in environment and data science, agri-tech, health and professional services. The programme will also aim to improve the working and living environment to support and enable transformational growth and raise productivity. If you would like to be part of this exciting programme and the success of the city and discuss how we can help you achieve your ambitions then please contact Richard Ball –

Innovation Exeter has six themes n A brilliantly located science park with incubation and business support services and access to investment funds n Research excellence to support innovation from the top 100 globally University of Exeter and other organisations such as the Met Office n A focus on the area`s strengths, data analytics and exploitation of data including the Exeter City Futures initiative establishing the city and its surrounding area as an ideal test bed for evaluating the problems and challenges facing urban areas and their interdependent hinterland n Strategic investment in skills to support innovation with data analytics a central theme for addressing these skills in schools, further and higher education and in the workforce. n Investment in the local environment to support growth through coordinated housing, transport and local infrastructure development n Maintaining a strong supportive partnership with an aligned investment strategy to maintain and improve the environment for business growth and investment

Exeter University placed 35th globally in latest influential rankings The University of Exeter has reinforced its position amongst the leading universities both nationally and internationally, according to the latest influential global rankings. The Leiden University World Rankings 2016, released on Wednesday, May 18, positions Exeter 35th internationally, 8th in Europe and 6th in the UK. The rankings provide a measurement of the scientific impact and performance of more than 800 major universities worldwide and their involvement in scientific collaboration. Positioning within the rankings is based on the number of citations quoted in highly respected and influential journals. Exeter’s rankings are based on the percentage of publications ranked in the top 10% most cited, indicating that the University’s high quality research has been referenced by other academics in major journals. According to the latest rankings, which are based on Web of Science indexed publications from the period 2011-2014, the University of Exeter is: •16th in the world in life and earth sciences (2nd in the UK) •35th in the world in biomedical and health sciences (8th in the UK) •43rd in the world for physical sciences and engineering (2nd in the UK) •69th in the world in social sciences and humanities (10th in the UK) Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter said: “I am delighted with Exeter’s performance in these latest international rankings, which are significant as they measure the quality of research outputs rather than the quantity. Because these rankings are based on the number of citations in highly respected and influential journals, they offer a fascinating reflection of how often Exeter’s high quality research has been referenced by other academics.”

The University has invested heavily in science, engineering, mathematics and medicine research and has a world-class reputation in the humanities and social sciences. It is constantly seeking new ways to engage to build productive, sustainable partnerships and tackle some of the fundamental issues facing mankind. Over 15,000 undergraduates and 4,400 postgraduates study across its campuses with more than a quarter coming from outside the UK. The following represents a snapshot of the University`s relevant primary and acclaimed areas of expertise:Climate Change and Sustainable Futures – The city has unparalleled world-class interdisciplinary capability and research to address the challenges of climate change, and to inform possible pathways to a sustainable future through mitigation, adaptation and geoengineering. Climate change and sustainability are likely to be the most significant environmental phenomena of the 21st century and, working closely with the world – leading Met Office, Exeter is positioned at the forefront of climate change research. The University has diverse expertise encompassing: Earth Systems Science, Climate Dynamics, Attitudes and Behaviour, Ecosystem, Environment and Health Impacts. Together there is extensive expertise in modelling complex systems and managing resilience. Breakthroughs in informatics, satellite imaging, remote sensing, meteorology, precision farming, nutrition, genetics and low impact agriculture are leading to significant opportunities in sustainable growth and major commercial opportunities.

The Global Environmental Futures Campus on Exeter Science Park is being developed with a focus on growing new and existing businesses in this field. Functional Materials - Invisibility screens for radar, artificial bone, solar panels, computer memories and novel sensors all rely on functional materials, whose properties derive from and are controlled by their underlying design. Research focuses on three major sub-themes: Nanoscale Materials, Structured Metamaterials and Photonic Materials. Systems Biology - Research in this theme ranges across scales from the sub-cellular to understanding the organisation of ecosystems. Studies include characterisation of small molecules and proteins, reconstructing gene and protein signaling networks through to application of next generation genomic technologies to cure crop diseases, investigate genetic disorders and developing novel biotechnologies. Central to this research is the application of computational, mathematical and novel imaging approaches to predict and inform experimentation. To facilitate these interdisciplinary activities a new Living Systems building is being built. The facility will accommodate researchers from biology, physics, mathematics, computer science and the Exeter Medical School. The new Living Systems Institute (LSI) will pioneer novel approaches to understanding diseases and how they can be better diagnosed. This will inform more effective treatment strategies for some of the most severe diseases facing humanity, spanning a broad spectrum, from chronic neurodegenerative diseases to the animal and plant diseases that threaten food security. The Institute will build on our significant established research strengths in human, animal and plant diseases, and incorporate innovative diagnostic imaging technologies and powerful mathematical modelling capabilities. The University of Exeter is investing £52.5m in the innovative LSI building. This is the University’s largest single investment in science, and part of an overall investment of £340m since 2008.

Translational Medicine - builds on existing strengths and acknowledged excellence in clinical and translational research in diabetes and chronic disease, public health, clinical psychology and mood disorders, and exercise and health science. Latest investments in these fields are facilitating a step –change in research into the mechanisms that lead to a range of common chronic clinical disorders. Translating these fundamental research ideas into practical tools for doctors, clinicians and surgeons will lead to more effective diagnosis and targeted management of chronic health conditions. The University`s Research, Innovation, Learning and Development Centre incorporating the Welcome Wolfson Centre for Medical Research houses renowned expertise in genomics, cell biology, and human physiology. A recent addition to its activities, the University of Exeter Medical School has recently teamed up with World Extreme Medicine to launch the world`s first Extreme Medicine Masters programme to equip healthcare professionals providing them with skills to practice high – quality medicine in challenging environments including at altitude, in tropical or polar climates or in response to humanitarian crises. It will help meet the global need for the highest standard of care possible in any environment. Business and international - There is just so much more, but there is insufficient space here, to cover the University`s world class expertise in research, education and particularly its engagement with business through its Business School. The Business School is highly ranked for its education and research in the multidisciplinary areas of accounting, finance, economics, leadership and management and organisation and development. Students at undergraduate, postgraduate and executive levels are consistently measured at the very top of performance indicators. They also rank amongst the most satisfied and most successfully employed students in the UK. Research conducted at Exeter is internationally respected, and is helping to shape the world we live in. It is important to highlight the international education and business relationships which the University has across the world. For example a new double degree programme offered by the University with Fudan University will give high calibre students access to business and economics expertise from the East and the West from September 2016. The programme will allow students to complement their studies with a year on the opposite side of the world, leading to a Masters degree from each of these prestigious universities. Widely regarded as one of China`s elite universities, Fudan University in Shanghai is one of the world`s top – 100 universities – an accolade it shares with Exeter.

EXETER GATEWAY INTERMODAL FREIGHT TERMINAL A proposed intermodal rail freight terminal to include a distribution warehouse and potential for a bulk air, rail, road freight interchange

Expect Success – Invest in Exeter

Millions of pounds are being invested in and around Exeter. The two page map illustrates the conditions being created where business and industry are thriving.

Exeter Science Park

corner-stone of future growth Exeter Science Park is set to be the corner-stone of a knowledge based economy which has been achieving unprecedented growth rates. The park caters for the full spectrum of organisations from start-ups and spin-outs to second stage funded companies through to the largest multinational. Located on Junction 29 of the M5 and the A30/303, the park occupies the perfect location in a grassland campus setting with immediate access to the motorway and trunk road networks, rail lines to London and the Midlands and Exeter International Airport. The Exeter Science Park Centre is filling up as new tenants move into dedicated work space in this purpose-built centre for fast growth businesses. Not just anyone can rent space in these new bespoke premises nor indeed on the rest of the Exeter Science Park. The applicant’s business must involve significant research and development within the business model to qualify as a prospective tenant. Science parks also operate as centres of collaboration and open innovation between the private sector and the knowledge base. In the case of Exeter, the knowledge base includes the world leading Met Office and a Global Top 100 university. In terms of the private sector, whilst Exeter does have some significant global players, there has not been a distinctive sectoral focus in the area but there is a strong entrepreneurial tendency, especially in technology and data analytics. Gerry Shattock, general manager of the Science Park, says: “It feels like we are getting critical mass in the Centre. We are starting to see a steady stream of like-minded people joining the exciting companies who have already located themselves here. I am very pleased with the quality of the people coming in. This is good for Exeter, good for Devon and good for all those talented graduates who will be looking for jobs in years to come.” The latest companies to take premises in the Exeter Science Park Centre include Dashboard, Concept First, Koncept, Routeshoot and Canopy. More announcements are expected shortly. The most recent major investment relating to the park includes the new Met Office computer, part of a 97million project. The first two phases are now operational at the Met Office’s HQ on the nearby Exeter Business Park. These two phases taken together are six times faster than the previous high performance computer and represent the largest operational supercomputer platform in Europe. Once the final phase is installed and operational at the Science Park, the ‘enhanced processing power of the ‘supercomputer’ will increase to three million calculations per second for every man, woman and child on the planet. This will help the Met Office to protect life and property and will also enable the organisation to turn more science into services for the benefit of government, business and the public. Adjacent to the main computer hall will be a “collaboration building” aimed at working with businesses to develop commercial applications for weather data. The location of the most powerful weather computer in the world in Exeter is a huge vote of confidence both in the Met Office and in Exeter as the place to do high performance computing and big data analytics. A programme of further buildings are being progressed on the park. For more information look at or contact

Join the real people doing real innovation in Exeter if you are wanting to rub shoulders with like-minded purposeful businesses, looking for business premises where you can attract new employees with brilliant minds and innovative practices, you need to go to a place that fosters creativity and scientific excellence. Exeter is such a place. Here are just a few case histories that demonstrate that Exeter is a place of enterprise and innovation:


Crowdcube, based in Exeter, launched in 2011 and was the world’s first investment crowdfunding platform. The platform enables anyone to invest and become a shareholder in businesses they believe in. Fundraising through Crowdcube, the biggest UK investment crowdfunding site, has now topped £150m. This is a milestone for both the sector and the multi-award winning Exeter-based company itself. Among its many accolades Crowdcube, led by Luke Lang and Darren Westlake is winner of the Best Equity Crowdfunding Platform for Start-Ups 2015 from Alt-Fi proving that Exeter is a great place to be – not just for that innovative entrepreneur but also for a successful company looking for additional funding to relocate or to develop.


Toby Mottram, MD of E-Cow, has written over 50 scientific publications about many aspects of improving dairy cow management. He invented the eBolus to measure what was going on inside the cow. This allows skilled nutritionists to balance diets and feed cows in a more sustainable way. The eCow farmBolus provides real time pH and temperature data collection inside the rumen of the animal, recording pH and temperature data accurately, every minute for up to 5 months. This data is averaged every 15 minutes to provide 96 readings per day. Stored safely on the bolus, this data can be retrieved wirelessly every time the mobile phone handset is brought within range of the cow. Once the data has been collected by the handset it can be sent back to eCow for checking and concatenating where it is viewable by the farmer or advisor on eCow’s desktop software. After a data collection it can also be instantly viewed on the handset for immediate analysis. Raw data is always available. This is just one of the agri-tech products that this expanding company has developed.

Stovax testimonial Stovax Group, based on the Sowton Business Park, encompasses 3 companies engaged in the production and distribution of ceramic tiles and domestic heating appliances. We employ 230 full time staff along with 80 out workers; sourcing component and dispatching finished products to over 50 countries worldwide. The benefits of continuing to invest and growing our group in Exeter include: • An excellent resource of local skilled and semiskilled labour, particularly with regard to language and higher education skills; where Exeter has developed as a centre of educational excellence. • On-going supply of available space from advance land allocation planning by the local council and buildings from property developers. • Excellent communications link-up, both electronically (now enhanced by Exeter being situated in “Silicon Bay”), and by the old traditional requirements of road, rail and air routes. • Where necessary we have always been able to recruit and relocate skilled staff as Exeter is regularly voted the “best quality of life/ environment centre in the 100,000 - 250,000 population category in the UK”. • Exeter also provides the base for most service-orientated companies operating in the Devon area; providing a fast supply of support into our group. This list is not exclusive! Guy Brook, Group Managing Director, Stovax Holdings Limited


This Exeter software company started in 2000 as a spin-out of Professor Philippe Young’s research work at University of Exeter - the software is used to create high-quality computer models from 3D image data (such as MRI and CT). The company has expanded significantly in recent years and now employs approximately thirty staff in both Exeter and international offices. Simpleware’s success in terms of its innovative software development and international sales have been recognised by prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in 2012 and 2013. In July 2013, Simpleware also received an Institute of Physics Innovation Award for its success in generating computational models suitable for cost-effective advance engineering, medical simulation and non-destructive evaluation. Simpleware has a strong organic business model, and has enjoyed sales success in key markets such as the United States, as well as in Japan and many other countries through dedicated sales teams and resellers. The company’s software has many potential applications: Simpleware’s work has helped to predict avalanches in India, to increase scientific understanding in areas like pollination studies and rock analysis, and to assess the medical impact of an artificial hip on a patient-specific anatomy. Their software has even been used to investigate (from a fossilised bone) the possible uses of Tyrannosaurus Rex’s silly little arms!


An Exeter-based motor vehicle firm is launching pioneering new technology to the consumer market which could significantly reduce road traffic accidents. Lightfoot is a driver improvement system originally developed to help businesses cut fuel costs and CO2 emissions but is already helping fleets cut their accident rates. The technology was developed by Lightfoot Managing Director Mark Roberts and his team of engineers in Exeter. The firm originally set out to make hybrid motors to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, but have adapted over the years to meet the needs of the changing motor market. The Lightfoot system was first used in fleet vehicles by firms South West Water, Autoglass and Vospers, who, says Mark, found that were not only saving up to 15% on fuel costs but that their drivers were up to 60% less likely to have an ‘at-fault’ accident as a result of their improved driving. An Exeter trial in 100 cars is underway and, if rolled out to a larger trial, could drastically reduce carbon emissions.

Vytran, a division of ThorLabs

This Exeter-based company has developed a unique method of splicing fibre together. It offers the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of precision fibre splicing and glass processing equipment for use in R&D and manufacturing settings. Vytran’s current product portfolio includes fully integrated workstation and individual tools for every process step from fibre stripping to proof testing. For added efficiency and versatility and no contact with fibres for greater reliability, all of their products use fibre holding blocks, so operators can easily transfer a fibre from one process step to the next without sacrificing time or compromising precise fibre positioning. Vytran has a long history of developing solutions for markets ranging from telecom and aerospace to fibre laser. Their workstation approach to fibre splicing enables efficient, consistent, high-volume production in markets such as telecom, sensing and aerospace. They also provide unique solutions for mid- to large-diameter fibre processing; essential in fibre laser and medical applications. Vytran is now a division of American company ThorLabs.

BarkerMad testimonial

“Exeter had all the right signs for my relocation”. – Richard Veal, MD of BarkerMad

South African entrepreneur Richard Veal described Exeter as ‘absolutely gold’ after relocating to the city (in late summer 2015) with his wife and children in a bid to grow his business. BarkerMad specialises in the production of promotional signage, barcode holders and shelf edge labels for retailers. Having spent nine years heading up a similar business in South Africa, dealing with international retailers such as Walmart and Spar, Richard hoped that relocation to Europe would help him expand the business overseas. Narrowing down potential locations, the Veals looked for a city with a bustling business community, good schools, excellent lifestyle opportunities and efficient connections to the rest of the world. They quickly concluded that Exeter ticked all the right boxes and was the best place for both home and business life.

The acknowledged characteristics of Exeter’s city-based economy are:

Exeter Science Park Centre

Expect success invest in Exeter! In Exeter, you will be in good company

Some say that to run a successful business you need to be based in London, Manchester, or another large city in the UK. You will not find that perception in Exeter. Luke Lang, the founder of the UK’s first crowd funding company Crowdcube, has attracted impressive talent including a key employee from Google who has relocated from Silicon Valley to the Exe Valley!

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High levels of economic success Knowledge-based activity A diverse industry base High level research and education institutions Transfer of knowledge to business

As important are an acclaimed education sector, strong communication, infrastructure, cultural and leisure facilities, and good transport links within the city and to other cities by air, rail and road. These drive growth into Exeter’s wider region. Working with strong leadership from a number of individuals and organisations around an economic vision, Exeter is supported by proactive networks and partnerships. Independent studies have identified the city’s economy as outperforming larger cities in the UK, confirming its positive regional economic impact.

Current programme of growth Ongoing developments are shown on the map overleaf.

Exeter’s economy is growing having ridden out the recession successfully. Developments within the city and in the surrounding area are making this location a business destination of choice particularly for scientific and technology enterprises.




(well above UK average since 2004)




GDP per inhabitant increased by 32 percent in the decade to 2010. Source: Eurostat








1 IN 3

EDUCATED TO DEGREE LEVEL (higher than UK average)

£97 Million



This will make Big Data analysis easier, benefitting the Met Office and others

SUPER FAST BROADBAND to take coverage to 90%+ more investment through ‘Connecting Devon and Somerset’



£27 Million

3 hrs



tackling some of the world’s biggest healthcare challenges M5



Exeter Science Park • Skypark Exeter Gateway • Innovation Centre Sowton Industrial Estate Marsh Barton Estate • Matford Green

say they have no problem retaining staff

Just over 2hrs

Research and development in next generation science

< 100 sq ft 250,000 sq ft +


1 hr – LONDON CITY AIRPORT 1 hr 10mins – MANCHESTER 1 hr 15mins – NEWCASTLE 1 hr 30mins – BELFAST 1 hr 15mins – DUBLIN 1 hr 35mins – EDINBURGH

£94 Million


feel their staff have all the skills necessary to be proficient at their job





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