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The United Kingdom Science Park Association magazine | Issue 9 | Winter 2019


Long-term thinking Innovation for sustainable growth

AD_127848_UKSPA_Apprenticeships_v1_1-2PageHoriz 26/10/2018 12:00 Page 1

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The ride is only just beginning


New UKSPA Chairman Dr Glenn Crocker MBE looks at how the Association will need to respond…

am delighted to be taking over the Chair of UKSPA, albeit daunted by following in the footsteps of David Hardman, who has performed the role so well. Like many in the sector, I don’t have a traditional property background. I started out as a research scientist with a DPhil in Immunology but quickly realised that the world of bench research would probably be better off without me. However, I still had a strong interest in the burgeoning life sciences field and I felt that there might be a niche for scientists who understand business and business people who understand science. The problem was, I didn’t know much about business so, after a bit of post-doctoral work back in the early nineties, I decided to train as a chartered accountant and build my business skills that way. I chose EY, as the leading life science advisers, and spent many enjoyable years in Palo


T: 01799 532050 E: info@ukspa.org.uk W: ukspa.org.uk l Executive Director Jim Duvall l Communications Manager Adrian Sell l Membership Administrator Louise Tilbrook

Alto, CA and Cambridge, UK working with a wide range of biotech companies, from start-up to huge. Then came a call inviting me to apply for the post of CEO at a new start-up in Nottingham called BioCity. The company was inheriting some redundant former Boots research buildings with the aim of converting them into a bioincubator. It seemed to be an opportunity to do the things I enjoyed most at EY, working with early stage biotechs, as well try out actually building a start-up from scratch. It’s all very well advising on how to run a business but most advisers in professional services firms have never actually done the job - this was a chance to see whether I could walk-the-walk as well as talk-the-talk. Luckily it worked out and BioCity grew from a 50,000 sq ft incubator in Nottingham to nearly 300,000 sq ft in three locations. However, achieving this was not straightforward. It was apparent early on that we would never

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fill a 50,000 sq ft building with life science companies in Nottingham if we didn’t become directly involved in supporting their creation and early development. Over time this activity has become more structured and there is now a venture development team that runs accelerator programmes in Nottingham, Glasgow, Alderley Park, Oxford, Newcastle and Aberdeen. Around 100 start-up opportunities are currently being worked with. Funding is always an issue in the life sciences sector and it became clear we needed to try to do something about that. So we started investing small, pre-seed amounts into the businesses we were working with. This then developed into AstraZeneca providing the capital for a small investment fund we manage and then to BioCity taking third party investment onto its own balance sheet to increase investment capacity further, supplemented by returns from early investments and operating profits.

Breakthrough is published on behalf of UKSPA by Open Box Media & Communications, Regent Court, 68 Caroline Street, Jewellery Quarter, B’ham B3 1UG. T: 0121 200 7820. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the consent of UKSPA.

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T h e B io C it y m od e l o f co m binin g co m pan y cr e ation , in v e st m e nt and prop e rt y us e d to b e q uit e unusua l but I a m s e e in g a g ro w in g nu m b e r o f or g anisations l ookin g to co m bin e pro v ision o f spac e w it h incubation and in v e st m e nt The model is now refined and working well, with the venture development and incubation teams identifying the businesses with the greatest potential and both working with the investment team to bring about the initial financing the companies need to start. The investments are helping to build strong businesses that are growing and taking on significant space in our various centres as well as providing us with good growth in the value of our investments. The BioCity model of combining company creation, investment and property used to be quite unusual but I am seeing a growing number of organisations looking to combine

(l-r) Dr Glenn Crocker MBE, Executive Chairman and former founding CEO of Nottingham BioCity, with Toby Reid, the current CEO

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provision of space with incubation and investment. This is on the back of a significant increase in interest in the “science property” sector as a whole from commercial investors and developers. Historically dominated by public sector funding, the economics are changing to give science property the potential to be an attractive new asset class. This is being driven in part by a combination of a significant growth in both the number and level of funding of companies in the sector, which is increasing demand ahead of supply and moving rental levels upwards in many parts of the country. On the other side, traditional “alternative” asset classes such as

student housing are maturing, with the result that investors are looking for the next growth area. Science assets may well be it. This is causing a significant increase in activity, with organisations such as Stanhope and Mitsui announcing the creation of a 500,000 sq ft life sciences building in King’s Cross following on from their development at White City, which is also home to many life science and tech companies. Meanwhile, Dutch science park developer, Kadans, has made a number of UK science building acquisitions this year including significant investment in Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst. The arrival of TUSPark (China) on Cambridge Science Park also saw the delivery of the new state of the art Biohub on the science park. Manchester-based Bruntwood also entered into a joint venture with Legal & General with the aim of acquiring and building science real estate in the UK, while Trinity Investment Management and MEPC (amongst others) continue to invest in the sector. UKSPA will need to respond to this rapidly changing landscape: the ownership of science parks will change, with increasing private sector and fewer public sector owners; there will be more complex relationships between increasing numbers of stakeholders and there will be consolidation in the sector. The number of individual members of the Association may well reduce but alongside this there is the opportunity to attract new members with new perspectives to offer the sector. UKSPA will need to ensure it remains relevant to this new world but while this is a challenge, it is also a huge opportunity for both UKSPA and its membership. The ride is only just beginning. ■

All comments and feedback should be forwarded to the UKSPA team: info@ukspa.org.uk

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10 UKSPA AUTUMN CONFERENCE A look back at a vibrant two days 14 THE RACE IS ON…. James Diggle, Head of Energy and Climate Change, CBI looks how the UK can compete as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy



OUR FRIENDS IN THE NORTH We speak to Henri Murison, Director, The Northern Powerhouse Partnership on the progress made since its launch in 2016





BIOMEDICAL COLLABORATION AND EXCELLENCE Araminta Ledger, Director of Campus Development, Cambridge University Health Partners explains the rapid rise of Cambridge Biomedical Campus


ON A CREST OF A WAVE Karen Kerr, Project Support Officer, Highlands & Islands Enterprise tells us more about the continued growth of The European Marine Science Park

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36 FEELING SUPERSONIC We speak to Rick Sturge, CFO, Grafton LSR - parent company of the Bloodhound LSR project - on the Gloucestershire based project’s aim to break the land speed record 38 THE ROAD TO ZERO How R&D funding is driving the UK towards a low carbon future 46 CHARGING FORWARD Powering Britain’s battery revolution

76 15 YEARS AND COUNTING Taking a look at Chesterford Research Park, also the home of UKSPA 80 BUILDING A BETTER WORLD TOGETHER BRE Group’s mission to improve buildings and infrastructure, through research and knowledge generation


MAKING THE CONNECTION Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) on the work of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and SEMLEP and the importance of collaboration

60 A THRIVING COMMUNITY Dr Martin Stow, Nexus Director, University of Leeds looks at the significant progress made since its launch in May 60 COMMUNITY AT ITS CORE How the development of Edinburgh Bioquarter is strengthening its links with the local communities 62 OXFORD’S NEW ECO-FRIENDLY HUB Wendy Tindsley, Innovation Director, Oxford Innovation explains more about the centre which has strong green credentials

32 ATTENTION POLICYMAKERS! Dr Robin Chave, CEO, University of Southampton Science Park explains why policymakers must support science parks and the role that they will play in the UK’s economic growth



50 FAST GROWING REPUTATION Newcastle’s global standing in research excellence

26 THE ROLE OF SCIENCE PARKS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE Gudron Cartwright, Environment Director, Business in the Community on the part we can play against climate change

POWERING TOWARDS PROSPERITY York Science Park has been recognised by Northern Powerhouse Partnership. It’s General Manager, Claire Bennett tells us more

IASP 2019 REVIEW Taking a look back at the recent IASP World Conference held in Nantes which focused on the 4th Industrial revolution

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84 ESSENSYS - 7 KEYS TO TURNING YOUR SITE INTO A TECHNOLOGICAL TRIUMPH 86 ECO FRIENDLY INNOVATION Beauhurst highlights companies pioneering new technology across agricultural practices





22 HOW CAN 5G REVOLUTIONISE 4.0? Sophie Weston, 5G lead at Tech UK looks at the impact of 5G and productivity

90 A DAY IN THE LIFE Liz Cashon, Campus Manager, National Agri –Food Innovation Campus (NAFIC) gives us an insight into her working day

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U K S P A R e f l e ctions

Reflections of an outgoing Chairman


Dr David Hardman MBE, Managing Director of Innovation Birmingham, looks back on seven years of innovation…

echnology-led change is today’s norm; there is no standing still. There are new opportunities to grasp, new ways of doing things, new products and new services to access. If businesses are happy with their status quo, they seem consigned to oblivion in a matter of a years. Increasing pressures on public and health services coping with ever more complex sets of requirements and the conflict modern society has with the environment all point to the need for continued and rapid innovation. Out of adversity comes opportunity; a good crisis always creates impetus to innovate. Looking back, eleven years working in Birmingham and seven years as Chair of UKSPA, the pace of innovation has continued to accelerate, so perhaps we can have some faith in our ability to innovate to address societal needs. In 2013 I wrote a piece for the UKSPA magazine entitled ‘Nurturing the innovation ecology’ suggesting ‘that even in a world where distance is far less of a barrier than it has ever been, local relationships are still desired; people want to do business with people and

serendipity is far more likely to flourish when regular face time is an organic occurrence’. In order to secure thriving innovation communities, they must be orchestrated, nurtured and encouraged. They need to be connected to diverse mind-sets and talent, markets and funding so that new concepts can be nurtured and sustained. This is the very essence of our locations - it is what we are about and why our locations matter. We must

access the necessary capital to invest in our growth; but we must ensure it does not come at the cost of our unique selling point. Our thriving, orchestrated innovation communities must continue to be at the heart of what we do. I still fear that our approach is based on GenY innovators, but that the next generation, the digitally innate Gen Zs, are different. We should explore new ways of harnessing this new talent. As well as looking to university talent, given innovators and entrepreneurs‚ think outside the box - let’s also explore innovation through those that never got into a box in the first place. In doing so we will embrace greater diversity, a wider talent pool and promote innovation through new excuisite collisions of thought driven by need. UKSPA must continue to promote the movement, but the Membership must engage more in an altruistic, albeit self-interested, way to promote the cause. I wish the new Chairman, the Board and Executive all the best for the future and look forward to continuing to work as a Member to agitate for, and champion what we do. ■

Lookin g back , t h e pac e o f inno vation h as continu e d to acc e l e rat e , so p e r h aps w e can h av e so m e f ait h in our abi l it y to inno vat e to addr e ss soci e ta l n e e ds constantly sell this to the powers-thatbe; we are innovation engines that will help secure the future. This is also why our property portfolios are successful and why we are attacting interest from the private sector. I believe that this is essential if we are to

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The world according to UKSPA and its Members

A rousing two days at the UKSPA Autumn Conference


Adrian Sell looks back at some thought provoking discussions at Culham Science Centre

eld on 7-8 November, an audience of well over two hundred delegates, including a significant number making their first visit to an UKSPA event, converged on the Culham Science Centre. This conference continued the pattern of increased attendances and member engagement over the last eighteen months or so. The two days reflected the wider interest shown in the Science & Innovation sector and the continued drive and enthusiasm of UKSPA members to share good practice, learn and network

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with like-minded colleagues across the length and breadth of the UK. Early arrivals to the conference enjoyed tours around the RACE facility. This is the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s centre for Remote Applications in Challenging Environments which conducts R&D and commercial activities in the field of Robotics and Autonomous Systems. Running concurrently was a tour around the Oxford Advanced Skills centre which opened in September 2019, the centre offers high quality training for apprentice engineers and technicians at

technology business across the Thames Valley region. The conference considered the drivers for Oxford’s knowledge economy and current national trends for the science and innovation sector. As well as sessions on innovation and business support for SME’s, bio-incubation good practice, supporting life sciences SME’s and a host of supporting keynote and discussion panels which again proved highly engaging. The conference was supported by an exhibiting area which proved successful with both exhibitors and delegates alike.

Tim Bestwick, UKAEA speaks, watched on by (l-r)Rob Buckingham, UKAEA and RACE and Ahmed Goga, OXLEP

Elga Veolia’s Lizz Alexander and Jessica Watkins

A liv e ly s ta rt

Outgoing UKSPA honorary chairman David Hardman welcomed delegates, and proceeded to chair a particularly animated and interactive session which included speakers Ian Chapman, CEO, UKAEA, Tim Bestwick, Director of Business and Innovation, UKAEA, Rob Buckingham, Director, UKAEA and RACE and Ahmed Goga, Director of Strategy and Programmes, OXLEP on driving the knowledge economy from the perspective of Culham Science Centre, the Oxfordshire cluster and from a national perspective.

C h a ll e n g e s a nd O p p o rt u ni t i e s

debate with panellists Wendy Tindsley, Innovation Director, Oxford Innovation, Dr Jane Galsworthy, Director of Development, Oxford Innovation and Dr David Kingham, Executive Vice Chairman, Tokamak Energy who were joined by Dr Melanie Smans, Economic Development Manager, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District councils asking the question: Is the UK suffering from a growth problem and if so why? Jo’s opening statement looked at start up’s and the regional variances along with the productivity issues facing scale-up’s, following which each panellist gave their views on this matter in a lively exchange with a packed audience . Pete Wilder, Head of Property, Oxford Sciences Innovation and David Williams, Partner at Bidwell’s looked at Oxford’s global knowledge eco-system and the lessons to be learnt in another well attended parallel session. The day concluded at Culham Science Centre with the UKSPA AGM which ran through, amongst many things the

Dave Hockton, Senior Operations Manager, MIRA Technology Park opened the sustainable environments session, discussing the sustainability challenges facing them and other out of town locations as well as the global challenges facing HORIBA MIRA. Dave was joined by Nora Claudio Familiar, Senior Associate, from architects and design company NBBJ. Nora spoke passionately regarding sustainable design strategies for the future of science buildings and NBBJ’s approach to sustainable architecture, adaptive reuse, maximising wellness opportunities and environmental responsibility, additionally presenting case studies on recent projects in the UK and globally. In a parallel session, Jo Stevens, Managing Steven Moss chairing the session with Director, Oxford Philip Campbell, Alistair Cory, Piers Scrimshaw-Wright and Elen Wade-Martins Innovation chaired a

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association’s achievements in the past twelve months, plans moving forward and the appointment of Ian McFadzen, CEO, Plymouth Science Park (left) to the UKSPA board and Glenn Crocker of BioCity who succeeded David Hardman as UKSPA Chairman. In his remarks to the AGM Glenn Crocker thanked David Hardman, on behalf of the UKSPA Board and the wider membership, for the energy, commitment and hard work that he had delivered during his terms as UKSPA Chairman. Discussions continued long into the night as the UKSPA conference dinner took place in nearby Abingdon before the first day came to a close.

V i s i o n a nd G r o w t h

Day two started with leading figures from Oxford’s growing innovation cluster: Philip Campbell, Commercial Director, MEPC, Alistair Cory, Director, Begbroke Science Park, Piers Scrimshaw-Wright, CEO, Oxford Science Park and Elen Wade – Martins, Business Engagement Manager, BioEscalator joining together to discuss their current initiatives, plans and vision for the future. This was followed by open discussion with the audience on the future aims, opportunities, challenges and goals

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for the science and innovation sector. Glenn Crocker the newly appointed Chairman of UKSPA and Chairman, BioCity Group discussed the trends in the life science sector and the positive sector impact for occupiers.

I nd u s t ry V i e w

A session that proved enormously popular led by Elaine McKechnie, Oxford Innovation’s Business Development Director (below), asked the question: Do we actually need more innovation spaces in the UK? The overwhelming conclusion was that the UK does need more space for innovation – flexible, low risk and supported spaces that create environments where forward-thinking businesses can innovate to make a difference; addressing local and national challenges that the market has yet to provide a solution to. It was agreed that this is particularly the case in less vibrant economic hubs outside of major cities. Participants shared relevant experiences and one delegate, who had recently visited the USA, commented that innovation spaces there are consistently regarded as an essential part of strategic economic planning. US policy makers see a clear correlation between the development of innovation spaces to nurture ambitious businesses, and the resulting positive impact on growth, solutions to societal challenges and improved productivity. Delegates then broke into smaller groups to discuss a range of deeper topics and debating questions such as: Is it important that innovation spaces are Elaine Mckechnie, Business Development Director, Oxford Innovation leads one of the sessions

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Caroline Livingstone, Head of Property, Culham Science Centre & Elen Wade-Martins, Business Engagement Manager, BioEscalator

recognised by the public and private sectors as ‘different’ from other types of space? With the emergence of commercial coworking spaces, how do we ensure sustained financial support for true innovation spaces? How do we design our space and support to ensure companies are supported through the whole journey, not just the start-up phase? Further details of this discussion can be found by going to www.ukspa.org.uk/ news-categories/member-news A session that looked at the lessons from Oxford was led by Peter Canavan, Associate Partner, Carter Jonas who took a closer look at how science and technology parks are working in new ways, particularly focusing on Oxford’s knowledge ‘spine’ and the science vale as they continue to grow. Turning to life science, the session chaired by George Walker, Park Manger, Pentlands Science Park, John Mackenzie, CEO, Roslin Innovation Centre, Malcolm Tait, Director, KJ Tait Engineers and Philip Macdonald, Managing Partner, Oberlanders Architects spoke about creating the right environments for innovation. Concluding the series of parallel sessions were Rob Hopwood, Partner, Bidwells and Dr Philip Clare, Deputy Director, Research Services (Knowledge Exchange and Engagement) University of Oxford who in front of a full house discussed the lessons to be learnt from the Oxford to Cambridge Arc. Among the many points raised during this session was the estimated growth and significant benefits to the local

economy, as well as a potential £400 billion to UK economy. Infrastructure, sustainability and the development of super clusters were also at the forefront of the discussion. Dr Clare spoke at length on the contribution of Universities to the Oxford Cambridge Arc, and the significant opportunities to drive innovation, growth, productivity and new jobs along the third edge of the golden triangle. He went on to describe how universities can contribute to these ambitious goals, not only in the Oxfordshire region but across the country. Rachel Dickie, Head of Urban Regeneration, Legal and General concluded the conference with a keynote contribution in which she spoke on the new opportunities available to the sector in regeneration and innovation, the importance of collaborative partnerships and the success stories and future plans. The conference concluded with a tour around the Joint European Torus (JET) located at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy - the world’s largest and most powerful tokamak and the focal point of the European fusion research programme. The two days at the Culham Science Centre bought a high level of optimism and a positive atmosphere of what the sector has achieved against an uncertain political backdrop, but also one of huge anticipation of what can be achieved. Our thanks go to our hosts Culham Science Centre, the delegates, speakers and sponsors for making the conference such a success. Thoughts now turn to the next UKSPA members meeting which takes place on 5-6 March at Nexus University of Leeds in a series of events being scheduled by UKSPA for 2020. ■

To view the presentation slides, please go to: www.ukspa.co.uk/Culham

Upcoming events UKSPA SPRING CONFERENCE SAVE THE DATE The next UKSPA meeting hosted by Nexus University of Leeds Thursday 5th and Friday 6th March 2020


Please send your event listing to: louise.tilbrook@ukspa.org.uk

C R I SPR in D r u g D i s c o v e ry 2 0 2 0 From Targets to Therapeutics Dates of the event: 4-5 March 2020 Organiser: ELRIG Venue: Babraham Institute City: Cambridge Country: United Kingdom URL: https://elrig.org/

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The next UKSPA member meeting will be hosted by Nexus University Of Leeds Dates of the event: 5-6 March 2020 Organiser: UKSPA Venue: Nexus University of Leeds City: Leeds Country: United Kingdom URL: www.ukspa.org.uk

R e s e a r c h & I nn o v at i o n 2 0 2 0

Therapeutic innovation for the new decade Dates of the event: 31 March - 1 April 2020 Organiser: ELRIG Venue: The King’s Centre City: Oxford Country: United Kingdom URL: https://elrig.org/


UK and Ireland’s event for medical design and manufacturing technology Dates of the event: 1-2 April 2020 Venue: NEC City: Birmingham Country: United Kingdom URL: https://med-techexpo.com

I ASP W o r ld C o nf e r e nc e

The human factor: People, communities and their innovation ecosystems Dates of the event: 6-9 October 2020 Organiser: IASP Venue: Cartuja Science and Technology Park (PCT Cartuja) City: Seville Country: Spain URL: www.iasp2020sevilla.com

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The race to net-zero is on

How the UK can compete as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy


he public demand for action on climate change is clear. Climate strikes and protests throughout the year, culminating in a global day of action that preceded Greta Thunberg’s appearance at the UN Climate Action Summit are making this an issue global leaders cannot ignore. This level of public concern should come as no surprise given the weight of scientific evidence coupled with the real-world impacts of a changing climate that are becoming common place around the world. But this is not just a problem for governments to solve alone. The business community is acutely aware of its role in delivering the switch to cleaner energy and low-carbon solutions for our transport, heating and industrial activity. But government does have an important role to play in

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James Diggle Head of Energy and Climate Change, CBI

setting targets and creating the environment for businesses to invest and consumers to change behaviours and adopt new technologies. In June, after compelling evidence from the Committee on Climate Change, the then Prime Minister, Theresa May, reformed legislation of the UK’s Climate Change Act to upgrade our emissions reduction targets from 80% to net-zero by 2050.

The new target was backed by the CBI and the business community. Net-zero demonstrates clear UK ambitions on tackling climate change by becoming the first major economy to legislate for this level of emissions reduction. The target also brings UK legislation in line with commitments made at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) in 2015. Meeting a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 will require farreaching changes beyond those already under way in energy, industry, buildings and transport. It means that business and government must work together avoid the most damaging effects of climate breakdown. Achieving a net-zero target will require a huge expansion of renewable and low-carbon power, mass uptake of electric cars, smarter buildings using low-carbon sources of heating, and

M e e tin g a g oa l o f n e t- z e ro e m issions b y 2 0 5 0 w i l l r e q uir e f ar - r e ac h in g c h an g e s b e y ond t h os e a l r e ad y und e r w ay in e n e r g y, industr y, bui l din g s and transport on the road to net-zero. A sharp reduction in the use of coal for power generation, rapid falls in the costs of onshore and offshore wind, restarting new nuclear construction, and integration of new battery storage into our electricity grid are all steps in the right direction. With the support of government policy, power sector emissions have reduced six years in a row, and are now the lowest since 1888. The lessons we learn from this success include the need for ambitious, and predictable government policy that supports market-led delivery of investment and innovation. It is a model that we must use for our other challenges, including transport and heat decarbonisation.

using nature and technology to capture carbon. All this and much more will shape the future of the UK.

T h e n e t- z e r o o p p o rt u ni t y f o r t h e UK

It is important that we view the transition as an opportunity for the UK. Society stands to benefit from cleaner technology that can both improve our environment, and at the same time reduce the risks associated with a changing climate. There is an economic case too. As the country continues to debate the nature of its place in a changing world, we can be sure that becoming a leader in the technologies of the future is one way to enable a prosperous future. We can build on the success already achieved. Ambition from the business and academic community has helped the UK achieve some major milestones

T h e Lo w- C a r b o n 2 0 2 0 s

The heightened public and political desire to act on climate change is happening at just the right time. With only thirty years to reach our net-zero target, accelerating progress during the next decade is absolutely critical. In November the CBI will publish a report outlining some of our key recommendations for making this a decade of delivering on our climate goals. We know that by building on the progress to-date, combined with longterm policy frameworks, continued funding for R&D and investment to scale up vital technologies and changes to consumer and business behaviour, we can reach net-zero. Delivering the next stage of emissions reduction through the 2020s will require coordinated action across different sectors, and the CBI has developed priorities to support welldeveloped policy frameworks that

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deliver emissions reduction across power, transport, heat and heavy industry. These include constant review of regulation and enforcement to ensure decarbonisation is a priority; creating a positive environment for investors that will harness the resources of private capital; a strategy that enables the UK to export its lowcarbon expertise, and a focus across society on delivering a ‘Just Transition’. Next year, the world’s attention will be on the UK as it hosts the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. This is a major opportunity to demonstrate the country’s low-carbon expertise and ambition on climate action. It will be the most significant climate change conference since the 2015 Paris Agreement as signatories review their national plans to limit global warming by 1.5°C. Our Government will have the opportunity to manage these negotiations and once again lead international efforts to agree strategies for emissions reduction. By hosting the conference the UK will also have an opportunity to bring together business, communities, scientists, politicians and all of society in our own effort to decarbonise and make the race to net-zero a success. The CBI will continue to drive the business response to climate change, working across sectors to get the right policies in place to help reduce emissions as quickly as possible. ■

For further information, please visit: www.cbi.org.uk/our-campaigns/ powering-the-uk-s-low-carbon-future/

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A d v ocac y

Your Say... Leading figures deliver comment on sustainability and the environment...

“The UK has been going further and faster in tackling climate change by becoming the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050 and helping us seize the opportunities of a greener future. With air pollution thought to kill as many as seven million people a year globally, it’s clear more needs to be done.” Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Business, Energy and Clean Growth Minister

“We are creating a decarbonised local energy system that Bristol can be proud of. City Leap is leading the way on carbon reduction, while at the same time addressing important social and economic challenges.” Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol

“We are immensely proud to have participated in Manchester’s smart city vision and have learned and demonstrated, in equal measures, that with the right blend of investment, technologies, governance and citizen engagement, cities can evolve to be eco-efficient and fit-for-the-future.” Juergen Maier, CEO Siemens UK

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“Charging infrastructure will be a crucial part of our journey to Net Zero 2050 and will require substantial investment from the private sector.” Matthew Vickerstaff, Deputy Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and Head of Project Finance Profession

Have Your Say Tweet your opinions @UKSPA

“We are driving ahead with plans to make travel greener while backing British innovation and technology. Funding will more than double the number of rapid charge points for electric vehicles on our roads.” Simon Clarke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury

“Plastic pollution is a global crisis that affects our oceans and our land. The new investment through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund PreMedia will establish the UK as a leading innovator in Please can you cutout head, resize and prepare smart and sustainable plastic packaging solutions, for press etc... delivering cleaner growth Thanks! across the supply chain, with a dramatic reduction in plastic waste entering the environment by 2025.” Professor Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation

“The first thing you’ll see us deliver is a route map... of how we are going to get to net-zero. This isn’t an ambition or a headline, this has to be delivered. What we can’t do is predict what the world will look like in thirty years’ time, vis-a-vis the electricity generation or infrastructure in the UK. But what you certainly can do, is have a 10-year plan then make sure you deliver that. Then follow up with the next 10 years where you may have to flex your strategy.” Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Industry

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The Northern Powerhouse Partnership An independent body launched in 2016 to represent the voice of business and civic leaders across the North


he partnership is chaired by Rt Hon George Osborne, who first outlined the Northern Powerhouse concept in 2014 and was a key exponent of the vision. Its objective is to increase the impact and contribution of the North of England to the UK economy. Reporting directly to George Osborne, Henri Murison was appointed Director of The Northern Powerhouse Partnership in 2017.


Henri was appointed in 2017 as the first permanent Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP), which has been established by business and civic leaders across the North to drive the economy. During the last decade, he has held senior public policy roles in both the public and private sectors across the North of England

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Henri, could you tell us your background before joining The Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) as Director some two and a half years ago? I was appointed as the first permanent Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership in April 2017. In the last two and a half years, we have established the Northern Powerhouse Partnership as the business led organisation which convenes the North together. From securing further investment to guarantee HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail would work together as an integrated highspeed network, to challenging for a

better deal for the most disadvantaged from the education system, my team are focused on how government, business and partners can drive the North’s ambitions. Before joining the Partnership, I worked in senior research and public affairs roles for the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Yorkshire Building Society, as well as previously serving as Cabinet Member for Quality of Life at Newcastle City Council. What was the main objectives of the NPP when it was launched three years ago and do you feel these are being delivered? NPP exists to increase the impact and contribution of the North of England to the UK economy by bringing the individual cities, regions and counties closer together, so that the whole of the North has a greater economic input than its separate parts. NPP has a business-led board, including industry Chief Executives and prominent city leaders, in addition to former Chancellor George Osborne, former Commercial Secretary Lord Jim O’Neill, Chair of Transport for the North John Cridland and Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell. NPP engages with businesses and communities right across the North to develop consensus on the issues that will enable NPP to drive transformational change throughout the Northern economy.  June 2019 marked the 5th anniversary of the Northern Powerhouse, which was set up by the government to form part of their industrial strategy. Since then, much has been achieved - in our Universities, securing the Royce Institute led in the North and the National Centre for Data in Newcastle; in devolution, with elected Mayors across half of the Northern Powerhouse population able to make decisions on skills to taking London style powers over buses. In infrastructure, it is vital that the government commits to Northern Powerhouse Rail which would have a

very positive consequence for the agglomeration concept that underlies the Northern Powerhouse idea and would be the clearest sign of true fresh central government commitment. However, in areas like education there is more to do. During your tenure at the NPP what highlights have their been for you? There has been progress on key infrastructure, with the Prime Minister committing to the need for Northern Powerhouse Rail between Leeds and Manchester. We have seen the election of Mayors like Andy Burnham, Steve Rotherham and Ben Houchen, all now about to complete their first term of office with significant achievements. We have made the case, as Collette Roche and fellow business leaders did when they published with us the Educating the North report. What is your response to those who question what the NPP has done for the people of the north? The Northern Powerhouse has enabled representatives from across the North to get together and make an argument for better investment in the North. From the creation of Transport for the North, to the ongoing collaborations between Local Enterprise Partnerships, civic leaders and our Metro Mayors, the Northern Powerhouse has provided a means for the North to make its voice heard. But there is still so much work to do. We have to continue making the case for the full £39billion needed for Northern Powerhouse Rail network, to bring the infrastructure in the north into the 21st century. We need to continue to make the argument for investment in our schools to close the attainment gap, and we must absolutely hold the government to account on its promises to the North. The term ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is very prominent in the media but

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do you feel businesses understand what it really means for them? I think initially it took a while for the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ to gain traction amongst the public but it has always had strong business community support, enabling business and civic leaders of the North to come together, across traditional regional and political boundaries, to call for meaningful interventions from government to tackle the inequalities that exist between the North and South. The North has been treated as the ‘poor relation’ for too long by successive governments, Tory and Labour alike, who have allowed social, health and economic inequalities between this region – and the more prosperous London and South East – to widen. Withstanding the current political climate do you feel the government is doing enough to support the NPP in its aims? At a time of unprecedented political turbulence and uncertainty, the fundamental challenge of rebalancing our economy is being held back by Whitehall, despite the unqualified backing of our business leaders and the benefits it will bring in driving forward the North’s ambitions to benefit future generations. In Jake Berry at the Cabinet table alongside Rishi Sunak as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, we finally have strong voices for the North at the heart of government. I welcome the commitment to the North being shown by our Prime Minister, but we now need to see action to match the rhetoric, with powers and budgets devolved permanently to enable long term decisions to be made. The fact we now have a team better placed to drive forward the Northern Powerhouse agenda means a project to create jobs and homes will I hope be seen through, alongside essential progress on devolution, education and skills.

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I t is v ita l t h at as part o f ac h i e v in g t h e g o v e rn m e nt ’ s 2 . 4 % tar g e t o f G D P in v e st m e nt in R e s e arc h & D e v e l op m e nt t h at w e us e t h at g ro w t h to r e ba l anc e it to t h e N ort h In your opinion do you think the North- South gap economy is closing? Five years on, significant questions remain about how much of this has been achieved and whether the Northern Powerhouse vision set out by George Osborne has been realised. While there have been significant developments – not least the establishment of Metro Mayors in five Northern city regions, investment in science and research assets such as the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials and graphene centres and Transport for the North being set up to create a world-class transport network – there remains an unacceptable gap between North in South in a wide range of important areas. The NPP has stated in the recent past that workforce productivity issues in key areas of the north are behind the national average, how do we readdress this balance? The North needs an industrial policy to focus on our key sectors including the health sciences, typified by Alderley Park in Cheshire, and data, with assets such as the national centre which former Chancellor George Osborne funded at Newcastle University. The growth body for the Northern Powerhouse that the government is establishing, focusing on trade and investment initially, gives us an opportunity to make real progress. Furthermore, we need to take advantage of clear opportunities such as building the proposed Eden North in Morecambe in the Lancaster City Region to make step change investments, mirroring what was achieved after the AMRC was created in Sheffield, and working as part of the High Value Manufacturing catapult the Advanced Manufacturing Park.

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Amid recent fears that HS2 could be scrapped, could you tell us more about NPP’s cross party thinktank that is to undertake a review on HS2, and the importance of HS2 to the North? If you talk to the businesses that are going to create the jobs for children growing up in the North today, they’re dependent on infrastructure and connectivity. At the moment our transport system, whether it is North-South or East-West, simply isn’t up to the job. NPP are conducting our own HS2 review to offer a northern perspective and be bold in what the implications of fully committing to rebalancing our economy means. It will make realistic proposals to support Northern Powerhouse Partnership’s long-held view, shared by business leaders and politicians across the North, that major infrastructure investment is needed, and the mechanisms which should be used to ensure the right solution is found to integrate the delivery of North and South links alongside the critical East to West connectivity through Northern Powerhouse Rail. NPP’S role in improving the education and skills gap in the region, and what more needs to be done? Too many of our young people are not achieving anywhere near their full potential and are falling behind the attainment levels of their peers in London and the South East. Disadvantage has a significant impact – more than half of the secondary schools in the UK with the most entrenched levels of economic disadvantage are in the North of England. We urgently need targeted investment of these areas to reverse the underperformance of these schools and create opportunities for our young people right

across the North to shine. The Northern Powerhouse Partnership will be making recommendations to the new Education Secretary on what must be done to deal with the root causes of these problems, with the government’s commitments for funding education needing to include at least a £1 billion each year for 5 years to support the long term disadvantaged in the North, in particular. How do we drive innovation and growth in the region? It is vital that as part of achieving the government’s 2.4% target of GDP investment in Research & Development that we use that growth to rebalance it to the North. The future success of the North should not be at the expense of the Golden Triangle, and I believe there is a strong case for institutions which work across the North to raise our game and enhance our competitiveness globally. The places where businesses cluster, whether it be at West Lakes in West Cumbria in the nuclear industry or in the planned Leeds Innovation District, need to be better connected so that local hubs for innovation, including in sectors like energy, are part of a wider network to enhance their value and impact. What are the next steps for the NPP? NPP will remain a strong supporter and campaigned on the side of those delivering for the North; our Metro Mayors and combined authorities, Transport for the North and the new northern growth body for instance. We will remain business led, continuing to bring together the leading industrialists of our age to convene them along with SMEs and all the leaders of the North, including our Universities, colleges and school leaders. Addressing the education and skills challenges are where least progress so far has yet been made, and at the General Election, whenever it comes, we will make the interventions to ensure the next government and party consensus is full square behind rebalancing Britain’s economy in the national interest. A Northern Powerhouse where we drive our ambitions, and unlock the potential of future generations. ■

To find out more, please visit: www. northernpowerhousepartnership.co.uk

A day that delivered... The UKSPA/S-Lab Research, Translation, Innovation and Learning Conference


hat are the secrets of successful research and innovation in scientific and technical environments? A session by Becky Hayward of BuroHappold at the September UKSPA/ S-Lab Conference in Norwich summarised the state-of-the-art on the topic, and identified three themes – people, place, and process.

• “My lab flows into the lab next to me and that’s the valuable thing. The sparks fly at the boundaries of different areas of scientific research. People are always running into other people” (Allbright, a senior scientist at the multiple Nobel prize winning Salk Institute, often described as the best lab design ever).

health and gut-related clinical care. As delegates saw, it contains open, flexible research laboratories with extensive glazing to showcase the science within and provide excellent visual connectivity between laboratories, offices and floor levels. Two ‘etiquette’ groups, containing a variety of users, for lab and office/write up spaces have also been establish to develop simple rules to help reconcile the objectives of more openness and informal conversations between users with the need for quiet and privacy for specific tasks. Dr. Patricia Hart, a senior manager at Quadram, believes that the “exercise is already making a difference. For example, people are being more considerate when using mobile phones.” They’ve also addressed a concern that group leaders, while conversing with staff in their workspaces, were inadvertently disturbing people around them. Together with the building’s architect, Nora Familar of NBBJ, Patricia ran a session on changing workstyles. For her, the discussion highlighted “how important it is to put today’s early career staff at the heart of designing and planning science and innovation facilities. They will be tomorrow’s research leaders, and they expect their work lives to be similar to their personal ones, with multiple digital technologies and a fluid mix of physical and ‘virtual’ spaces. One takeaway for me was the need for more widespread video and audio conferencing all over the building rather than in just a few spaces, and the need to allow for multiple screens in personal working areas. Another was the value of detailed ‘day in the life’ studies of a building to see exactly how people are using the space in practice and tweaking things to make this easier.” ■

These points influenced the design of Quadram Institute, a £75 million building housing translational research into food, microbiology and

Presentations can be accessed by going to: www.ukspa.org.uk/Quadram


Peter James is Director of S-Lab, who co-organised the Norwich event

She highlighted the importance of:

• The quality of space, which is influenced by factors such as ceiling heights, colour, daylighting, noise, temperature, ventilation/air quality and visual interest through internal connection and views of nature. (Many of which are reflected in the WELL standard of the International Well Building Institute.) • The efficiency of space use (especially through optimising lay-outs and provision to align with actual working patterns, and building in flexibility to adapt to changing requirements). • Maximising interaction between occupants through circulation and informal meeting spaces, siting of food and drink provision and other factors. Becky’s presentation contained many fascinating vignettes and quotes such as:

• “When a person is in a space with a

10-foot ceiling, they will tend to think more freely, more abstractly. Whereas a person in a room with an 8-foot ceiling will be more likely to focus on specifics” (Meyers-Levy).

• “Research productivity was highest for those who regularly initiated contact, next highest for those who were regularly contacted by others and lowest for those whose contacts occurred in meetings” (Serrato).

• “Face-to-face teams have been found to have better performance …, greater efficiency …, better communication, and shorter decision-making time. In contrast, virtual teams clearly are able to generate more ideas. However, the quality of these ideas… is better in only two out of six meta-analyses” (Purnanova). • “More scientists are using the bench as the write-up space, to the point that bench and write-up space are one and the same. This will not only affect the bench setup, but often greatly alters the traditional requirements for office and support spaces as a percentage of the facility footprint” (Skolozdra).

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On and off site services for your business

How can 5G revolutionise Industry 4.0?

B Sophie Weston programme manager – communications infrastructure, TECHUK

Sophie Weston is techUK’s Programme Manager and Lead on 5G for the Communications Infrastructure team. She works with a range of groups including the Communications Infrastructure Council and the UK Spectrum Policy Forum

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uilding on steam, electricity, and automation, we are now at the beginning of the fourth stage of Industrial Revolution, also known as ‘Industry 4.0’. This will be a game changing shift, fusing pervasive connectivity and sensors, robotics (including drones), artificial intelligence, immersive technology and the Cloud, that will enable innovation, new business models, increased productivity, improved safety, and drive economic growth across the globe. 5G will outperform current 4G mobile technology in several ways and has the potential to boost the UK economy by up to £15.7 billion by 20251. 5G offers higher data capacity, higher speeds and lower latency, which will all benefit the industry sector (which currently relies on fixed line networks + WiFi). Connectivity will provide the underpinning for command and control of robotics and 5G will offer manufacturers the chance to build smart factories that can take advantage of the

emerging technology that is changing the industry today.

I nc r e a s e d p r o d u c t ivi t y

5G’s low latency and high data capacity is key for industry sectors where factory information is required to be processed rapidly and reliably. By using a 5G network, information can be processed at little more than 1 millisecond and up to one million sensors per square kilometre could be accommodated. This can provide real or near-time data from sensor-equipped devices to improve productivity. With 5G, machines can be controlled and data harvested from their sensors, where cables would be impractical or unsafe, and production lines can be easily adapted to new requirements within seconds. The Worcester 5G testbed demonstrated that productivity could improve by up to 2per cent by using 5G, an enormous benefit for the UK economy which, scaled up, would make a real tangible difference to national productivity and output levels.

R e a l - t im e d ata a n a ly t ic s

5G can provide ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC), which are ideal for the manufacturing sector. This network will enable highly accurate and reliable real-time data that can be processed and achieved at a scale, both on site and across the supply chain. This is critical in a manufacturing process that involves just-in-time supply. A 5G network that can provide one millisecond latency and greater bandwidth will be able to process and control machinery data in real-time, helping to reduce costs, improve quality and prevent failures before they happen. Manufacturers who use predictive maintenance can extend equipment life and improve the efficiency of maintenance procedures, which can be enhanced with a 5G network. In the maritime sector, there are many different departments operating at seaports, including coastguards and police, customs, transport authorities and other institutional bodies. The ability to share data on common functions is critical in this industry and encourages a smarter, safer and more efficient working environment, and a key factor in this is 5G. The port of Hamburg tested 5G capabilities over three use-cases with different network requirements: 1. Sensors installed on three ships from the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA). These sensors enable the realtime monitoring and analysis of motion and environmental data from large parts of the port area. 2. The Port Road Management Center of the HPA remotely controls the traffic flows in the port of Hamburg via a traffic light connected to a 5G network. The network assists to guide trucks faster and safely through the port area. 3. Using 3D information through an augmented reality application with the help of 3D glasses allowed maintenance teams on site, such as a construction site - to call up additional information such as building data or receive remote interactive support from an expert.

5 G ’ s l o w l at e nc y and h i g h data capacit y is k e y f or industr y s e ctors w h e r e f actor y in f or m ation is r e q uir e d to b e proc e ss e d rapid ly and r e l iab ly These tests were able to demonstrate that complex industrial applications with varying requirements can reliably work over a common physical infrastructure.

N e t w o r k s licin g

With 5G network slicing, a network’s capacity can be divided or “sliced” into layers that can be individually designed, deployed and controlled, and can help businesses optimise latency, quality, time-to-market and costs. This will have a profound influence on how industry use their communications networks to deliver services and goods. 5G network slicing will be the driver of deployment for Industry 4.0, giving industries full control of each process. Highly automated warehouses such as Ocado who have a constant demand of online retail, rely on machine-to-machine communications with many connected devices. Current solutions that are based on WiFi or LTE networks are not able to fully support these services. Ocado currently use LTE technology, which can connect 2000 units per access point, but only those specific units are able to communicate on that network. For other

types of communications, separate network infrastructure needs to be deployed. Using 5G and the availability for network slicing will be able to support a high number of connected devices simultaneously.

G r a s p in g t h e o p p o rt u nit i e s

UK businesses need to recognise what 5G can do for them, and not allow competitors to steal a march. For many, this will be the first time that they operate their own private cellular network. The notion of knowing the location and condition of everything, and potentially everyone, involved in a process will take some getting used to. Industry 4.0 will be a game-changer, and one which the UK post-Brexit needs to adopt early to secure a comparative advantage. Wireless technologies, with 5G first and foremost, is what makes Industry 4.0 work. 5G is the essential input for our future. ■

For more information, please visit: www.techuk.org

1 https://www.barclayscorporate.com/content/dam/barclayscorporate-com/documents/ insights/innovation/5g-a-transformative-technology.pdf

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A regulatory update Regulations aimed at increasing health and safety protection for EU citizens, and adapting to technological and scientific progress S u p p l e m e n ta ry P r o t e c t i o n C e rt ific at e r e g u l at i o n s Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) enable pharmaceutical companies to extend their patent protection by a further five years to take the administrative and regulatory application time into consideration. The EU has implemented new regulations aiming to encourage ‘competitiveness within the EU’ and create a level playing field between Union-based, and third country, pharmaceutical manufacturers. The change allows EU-based makers of generics and biosimilars to manufacture during the term of the SPCs exclusively for exporting their products to non-EU markets where protection does not exist or has expired. It also enables those manufacturers to make, no earlier than six months before expiry of the SPC, and store products, to enter into the market of any member state on expiry of the corresponding certificate. These regulations were published on 11 June 2019 and are now in force in all member states. The changes are expected to generate €1 billion annually in net additional export sales and to create new jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.

Rachel Bradley Partner, IP, IT & Commercial, PenninGtons Manches Cooper LLP

The purpose is to introduce a unified information system for sponsors and regulatory agencies across member states, allowing for a streamlined application process and a single portal for all EU

Regardless, the UK government has confirmed that the UK regime postBrexit will seek to align with this new regulation and to maintain a competitive environment for clinical trials. However, assuming that the UK does leave the EU without a deal, the UK will not have access to the central IT system or be able to participate in the single assessment model.

N e w m e dic a l d e vic e r e g u l at i o n s

The EU Medical Devices Regulation and EU In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Regulation were adopted on 5 April 2017 but will not apply fully until 26 May 2020 and 26 May 2022 respectively. These will replace the current directives and all manufacturers of medical devices should be aware of the potential implications. The regulations are aimed at increasing health and safety protection for EU citizens, and adapting to technological and scientific progress. No existing requirements will be removed, but more stringent requirements will be introduced and will apply to a broader range of products. A new device identification system will be implemented to enhance traceability and effectiveness of postmarketing safety activities. The new rules will also provide increased transparency with information on devices and studies being made public. ■

T h e E U h as i m p l e m e nt e d n e w r e g u l ations ai m in g to e ncoura g e ‘ co m p e titi v e n e ss w it h in t h e E U ’ and cr e at e a l e v e l p l ay in g f i e l d b e t w e e n U nion - bas e d , and t h ird countr y, p h ar m ac e utica l m anu f actur e rs

N e w clinic a l t r i a l r e g u l at i o n s

We expect the implementation of the new EU Clinical Trial Regulation to follow during 2020, with the new information system currently being prepared for audit. It will be important legislation for all clinical trial providers.

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clinical trials. It also will ensure simplified reporting procedures which will help trials to be carried out across member states, and a harmonised assessment procedure. Ultimately, it will encourage transparency and make the process easier, facilitating quicker and more efficient trials. As the UK has been heavily involved in the development of this new regulation, it would benefit the UK life sciences market for this to be introduced during whilst the UK remains in the EU.

For further information, please visit: www.penningtonslaw.com

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Innovate to Repair and Sustain


Providers of innovation and science parks have a vital role to play in the fight against climate change

ecent weeks have seen increasing public concern about the health of our environment and the impacts that climate change will have on our lives and the future our children will inherit. With the school strikes, the largest global demonstration in history and Extinction Rebellion poised for a month of action, the urgency of redesigning our economy to be fit for the 21st Century is becoming ever more pressing. At Business in the Community, we know that innovating to repair and sustain our planet are at the heart of ensuring that businesses and communities can thrive into the future. As the leading providers of innovation and science parks across the UK, your community has a vital role to play at the heart of the transition. My top tips for action are:


Sign BITC’s Waste to Wealth Commitment As a step towards becoming part of the solution, join over 150 companies who have already committed to doubling

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Gudrun Cartwright environment director, Business in the Community

Gudrun Cartwright is Environment Director at Business in the Community. She leads BITC’s Environment programme focused on ‘smart growth’ - creating prosperity and opportunity through a rapid transition to a resilient, net zero carbon, circular economy that restores the health of water, land and biodiversity in urban and rural areas

resource productivity and eliminating avoidable waste by 2030. Turning waste into value, building circular business models and rethinking how we view resources across the life cycle will be essential if we are to turn the tide. The commitment is simple:

A) Set targets that will enable your business to make the most material difference. B) Work collectively to double the nation’s resource productivity and eliminate avoidable waste. C) Redesign how resources are used in your products, services and operations. D) Collaborate across your organisation, value chain and sector. E) Report and reconvene to share progress. BITC’s Circular Office Guide could be a useful resource to help you think through everything from engaging employees to designing refits and new builds.


Set an ambition to become net zero carbon as quickly as possible At the heart of the transition we need to make is the journey to a net zero carbon economy. This will require new ways of living and working that create opportunities for people and restore the health of nature at the same time. Understanding your current greenhouse gas emission profile and taking rapid action to reduce them must be at the heart of every business’ strategy going forward. BITC’s Net Zero Carbon Taskforce has recently

KNFlab_Teaser_UK_(LABOR&MORE)_Mar_14 06/03/2014 11:21 Page 1

defined net zero for businesses and is working on a strategy to help accelerate progress. It is clear that scope 3 emissions – those across your whole value chain – must be included if we are to be successful, but that understanding the boundaries and avoiding double counting is a tricky area that needs further work to understand. Similarly, the need to develop negative emission technologies and restore nature’s sinks (to take carbon out of the atmosphere) is very much a work in progress. Thoughtful consideration of how offsetting through projects that enable clean development and preserve critical forests and other habitats will also be part of the picture, but must not replace a focus on actual reduction. Remember, we ultimately need to get to zero – the current 2050 target only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5°C this century, so we must go further and faster. Relocating our emissions is not a solution.


Focus your innovations on solutions A strategic approach to tackling these big, shared challenges means they need to be at the heart of business models. As an organisation that represents those at the forefront of science and innovation, it is vital that the focus shifts to being part of the solution. With just ten years to make a real difference, our best brains and technologies are required to make an inspiring new vision of one planet prosperity come to life. The opportunities for those who get moving now are immense. How do we harness the ingenuity of biology, chemistry and physics to revolutionise how we provide energy, food and water? How do we maximise the productivity of precious resources? How do we restore the health of ecosystems? Build new business models and economic pathways that create a just transition? All of these are the most important issues of our time. It is down to us to apply the focused creativity that is needed to turn this ship around. History will not forgive us if we don’t. And today’s young people who will be left to tidy up the mess won’t forgive us either. That won’t make for a comfortable retirement for anyone. So, my parting challenge is this. How will you become the change we need to see? If you don’t see this as critical to your future, why not? Together we can make this transition happen by applying our heads, hearts and hands. ■

For further information, please visit: www.bitc.org.uk/campaigns-programmes/ environment-sustainability/NetZeroCarbon

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Make the connection for innovation success

An artist’s impression of Enterprise Centre, East Northants, which has been part-funded through SEMLEP’s local growth fund

Hilary Chipping CHIEF EXECUTIVE, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP)

Hilary is Chief Executive at SEMLEP, which she helped to establish in 2011. She oversees the £260m programme of investment through the Local Growth Fund and the development of the Strategic Economic Plan. She works closely with central Government, local authority and private sector partners to enable the delivery of infrastructure to unlock economic and housing growth

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his Autumn, government announced £20million investment to create new University Enterprise Zones. These will boost knowledge exchange by helping universities to provide specialist business support, incubators and accelerators in a bid to enhance R&D and drive greater collaboration among businesses who are developing new technology in key growth sectors. This latest investment indicates continued government recognition of the role that science and innovation parks have in creating the environment for firms to generate new ideas, innovate, create new ventures and ultimately, drive economic growth. Through Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), government has already provided over £9bn in capital funds to leverage further investment to deliver local economic growth priorities. Using the Local Growth Fund, LEPs channel public money into projects that boost high-value employment opportunities and develop skills, and enhance business capability, creativity and innovation strengths.

Following the Autumn 2018 competition for capital investment SEMLEP, the Local Enterprise Partnership for the South East Midlands area has now awarded £35million to 15 local projects, as part of a programme worth £265m for the local economy (2015-2021).

I nv e s t in g l o c a lly in t h e inn o vat i o n e c o s y s t e m

£3.1million was awarded to leading engineering solutions business, KW Special Projects. This investment has secured the development of a new Digital Manufacturing Centre to be built at Silverstone Park. The centre will act as a technology innovation hub, providing SMEs with on-site access to digital and additive manufacturing facilities, both incubation and manufacturing space and the ability to tap into industry knowledge and advice. Another investment is £2million towards a new aerodynamic research and innovation centre near Daventry. This project, led by TotalSim Ltd., will provide flexible space to technology start-ups and early growth businesses. By creating a new science park for the area, businesses will be able

T h rou g h Loca l Ent e rpris e P artn e rs h ips ( LE P s ) , g o v e rn m e nt h as a l r e ad y pro v id e d o v e r £ 9 bn in capita l f unds to l e v e ra g e f urt h e r in v e st m e nt to d e l i v e r l oca l e cono m ic g ro w t h prioriti e s to access new aerodynamic testing facilities on-site and connect to wider benefits including new university training courses, expertise and other academic services. These are just two very recent examples of positive public-private collaboration and investment that, by working to a shared vision, will further boost the innovation ecosystem and benefit the local economy. The framework through which public funding is prioritised by the LEPs is detailed in each area’s economic plans. In July 2019, the four areas that form the Oxford-Cambridge Arc published Local Industrial Strategies (LISs). These plans identify the economic strengths, capabilities and assets and growth opportunities for each area and for the whole Arc, setting out interventions and investment priorities to proactively boost growth.

Priorities for growth

To deliver on the commitments set out in each strategy, a crucial role for LEPs

is to convene partners to help unblock business constraints. Picking up on some of the key challenges identified, the LEPs are bringing private and public sector partners together to tackle:

• Constraints around attracting and retaining people with right skills sets by bringing employers together with education providers and learners to both shape the local skills provision to better match local business needs and to inspire and inform people, particularly young people, about the career opportunities open to them; and by investing directly in learning facilities. • Business access to finance, funding and research and development opportunities by connecting innovative, growing businesses to specialist advice and expertise available through universities, government and other providers.

• Both a shortage of investment-ready employment land and market intelligence needed to develop a balanced pipeline of commercial premises to enable growing businesses to scale-up locally.

By focusing on the priorities outlined in Local Industrial Strategies, LEPs are working to a long-term plan for the success of local economies.

• Transport connectivity, specifically

The leadership teams across the network of science and innovation parks have an important role to play in delivering against these priorities. There is great work happening in the science park network that has essentially created the blueprint for what successful business clusters should be for the UK. The innovation ecosystem created in science parks are an engine for the type of growth LEPs want to see and support. The recent investments made by SEMLEP through the Local Growth Fund shows the fantastic outcomes that can be achieved with continued engagement on shared agendas. You can expect LEPs to bring the right people together and deploy the levers we have available to us, to invest in strategic innovation projects that lead to high quality employment and growth. In return, we want to maintain and grow our connections in the science park community to work together to meet your needs and prepare appropriately for the challenges and opportunities of the future. ■

focusing on first and last mile solutions and promoting best practice around integrated, smart systems that better connect people to places and services.

• Ensuring that digital infrastructure is fit for future business needs. • Energy supply and distribution -and other utility- constraints on commercial and residential growth and doing so in a way that furthers progress towards achieving a zero-carbon economy by 2050.

Catesby Aerodynamic Research and Innovation Centre is a project using investment allocated to SEMLEP

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M a k in g t h e c o nn e c t i o n

For further information, please visit: www.semlep.com

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Attention Policymakers!


UK Science Parks hold the Key to Progress

outhampton Science Park was invited to contribute to this year’s Parliamentary Review as a best practice example. Chaired by Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, this annual publication aims to move away from the ‘Westminster bubble’ to get to the heart of the issues that matter most to businesses. It highlights significant developments and concerns for business leaders up and down the country and, in doing so, its non-partisan approach facilitates policy development driven by those who are most affected by it.

A Powerful Role

Accordingly, we took this opportunity to argue that science parks have a powerful role to play in reinvigorating and fasttracking the UK’s economic progress on the world stage in these times of significant change. We stated the case that, unlike business parks, we are differentiated by the value-adding

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Dr Robin Chave CEO, University of Southampton

As Chief Executive Officer at the University of Southampton Science Park, Dr Robin Chave is enjoying being able to make a difference to start-up enterprises and is responsible for all internal operations including project management, facilities, ICT and communications. He is a member of both the Association for Project Management and the Institute of Directors

business support services that we provide and our commitment to facilitating growth. As a fully commercial business, we are undoubtedly leaders in our respective regional property markets, maintaining high occupancy and consistently growing revenue and profit – basic measures of a successful business. However, here in Southampton, we regard our own success as a direct result of building a dynamic and engaged community whose influence extends far beyond our 72 acres. We talk much about the global societal impacts of the technology that emanates from businesses here. That’s because we look beyond the property aspects of business. We focus on quality, not quantity. We emphasise authenticity and building a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem; finding ways to nurture innovation to give it a global launch pad; supporting companies at all stages of development; and creating

networks that intersect and spark off one another to spin-off in new, uncharted directions.

C h a ll e n g in g Tim e s

That the UK has many successful science parks is encouraging but this does not mean that we should be overlooked. Indeed, we highlighted three significant challenges that the UK’s innovation sector faces and suggested ways that policymakers could assist. First, we argued, we must find ways to rise above the inherent risks associated with innovative technologies to help early–stage businesses secure critical founding capital. Whilst recognising that there is always uncertainty involved in any commercial setting, we encourage controlled, measured risk-taking and work hard to mitigate investment risks by enabling investors to make measured judgements. Science parks improve the odds for success by fostering the right environment – one that is dynamic, collaborative, and supportive throughout the business lifecycle. Policy needs to be shaped to encourage and bolster this work. Through organisations like Innovate UK, government needs to focus on assisting companies deemed too risky for conventional investors by providing the early-stage capital required to extend product and market research and therefore reduce investment risk. Second, we suggested rebalancing the tension between technology push and market pull. A huge amount of research is conducted throughout our world-renowned universities, but this often does not translate into commercial success. This is because research outputs are frequently technologies looking for markets and the academic community often finds it

hard to find ways to package this into a product or service that customers want to buy: sometimes it is simply too early to find compelling applications for ground-breaking research. This suggests that world class research is not synonymous with world class innovation. It has been reported that just 5% of a successful business is the technology – the rest is knowing how to commercialise it. Therefore, allowing businesses that understand market needs to lead research endeavour could fast-track the innovation and commercialisation process and balance technology push and market pull. Third, although large and small businesses have their individual strengths, we highlighted the culture gap between them which inhibits effective collaboration. Bridging this gap by facilitating open innovation allows rapid uptake of new technology and access to global markets. In this context, science parks fulfil an important role, connecting agile, small companies brimming with emerging technologies and new ideas with established companies that understand how to take products to market. Indeed, helping start-ups to think big from the outset is a key part of our work here. Fledgling companies joining

W h at e v e r t h e f utur e c h a l l e n g e s , po l ic y m ak e rs m ust support sci e nc e parks in t h e v ita l ro l e t h at t h e y w i l l p l ay in r e l e asin g t h e U K ’ s pot e ntia l f or e cono m ic g ro w t h R e a d o n l i n e at: u k s pa . o r g . u k / b r e a k t h r o u g h

our Catalyst accelerator generally do not have an investable business plan, nor any notion of the management team they need to build or how they will fund the process. By the end of the programme, they have a plan and roadmap that they can take to investors and customers. Science parks cannot tackle these challenges alone: parliament has a key role to play both through greater engagement with the business community and by making it easier for high growth potential businesses to bridge the gap between founding capital and full institutional investment.

Growth Potential

Not unlike a body which requires multiple organs to work in harmony, globally successful commercialised innovation needs a multi-faceted ecosystem which encourages a wide range of different players to come together. A high functioning science park like ours here in Southampton offers this. It is home to SMEs with fresh ideas, multinational companies with established credentials and routes to market, access to research excellence from world-class universities, sources of funding, a local talent pool, and experienced mentors and specialised professional services that are familiar with the challenges that high-growth companies face. Whatever the future challenges, policymakers must support science parks in the vital role that they will play in releasing the UK’s potential for economic growth. ■

For further information, please visit: www.science-park.co.uk

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5G: an enabling technology

T Dr Reza Akhavan Senior Technologist, Future Cities Catapult

Becki Clark 5G Action Learning Network Lead

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he transition to future smart cities is being driven by increased urbanisation, increased stress on resources, inadequate existing infrastructure and rapidly improving technology capabilities. However, the race to become the ‘world’s smartest city’ is being hampered by the uncertainty around new technologies. Will they work as expected and intended, or indeed at all? Will they deliver everything they promise? 5G is the fifth generation of mobile technology. Unlike its precedents, 5G is not just designed to deliver super-

high data speeds, but also to handle a high number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It is also designed to provide ultra-low latency (or quicker response times) and better coverage in data communications. 5G is an enabling technology for more revolutionary uses in several sectors such as manufacturing, transport and healthcare. It will operate in three main frequency spectrums: the sub-GHz low-frequency spectrum, mid-frequency spectrum (2.3, 3.44.2 GHz) and high-frequency (mmWave) spectrum as depicted in the picture below.

From connectivity requirements, 5G use cases can be grouped into three service platforms: Mobile Broadband (MBB), Machine Type Communications (MTC) and Mission Critical Communications (MMC). The MBB service platform enables high mobile data rates, with an acceptable level of reliability and latency. The MTC service platform enables lower data rate services and lower costs that are typically necessary for machines. The MCC service platform enables the highest level of coverage and has the highest level of availability and resilience.

and help address planning concerns such as aesthetics, choices of building finishes and whether or not the development will block views by demonstrating live in the street what new or changed buildings could look like. Live BIM model comes up as an overlay for maintenance - engineers can ‘see’ where the pipes and electricity cables are behind the walls and can add maintenance notes in real time. Health and safety during construction - 5G is being tested and used to track where firefighters are in a live situation in Mid Wales, mainly testing how a mesh network can be set up quickly – the same can apply to tracking construction professionals in any hazardous environment. Robotics in construction - 5G will help signals and the low latency will mean remote control will work in real time. This will be good for tunnelling and enhance health and safety. There will be a transformation in how all businesses operate as a result of ubiquitous fast signal, and the real estate business is no exception.  Real estate in particular has an opportunity because it will own, operate or manage the buildings that small cells are mounted on - an income opportunity. There is a discussion to be had in whether you allow the Mobile Network Operators to lease your site or whether you build your own network and lease it to them (neutral host). Site owners could also operate an internal network and charge tenants rather than have each tenant reach out to a network provider.

T h e 5 G Ac t i o n L e a r nin g N e t w o r k

The 5G Action Learning Network (5GALN) has been set up by Connected Places Catapult to enhance capability and fluency in establishing 5G networks. It will help local government navigate their ambitions as place-makers and leaders in roll out of communication networks as well as national and local planning processes, procurement, private sector partnering and public engagement. It will engage local communities and local authority officers, creating a greater understanding and commitment to the huge opportunities presented by advanced 5G connectivity and digital infrastructure. Engaging with the local authority is key from a property owner’s perspective when it comes to 5G plans. By presenting your property portfolio with the rest of your Local Authority’s assets, you can work together to secure the best network configuration and property value for 5G in your area whilst also benefitting from it being managed. The 5G Action Learning Network is bringing together the owners, operators, managers, maintainers of the public estate i.e. local authorities - very soon there may be opportunities to work with your local council to pool public and private estate together to build a local 5G network for your town or city. ■

For further information, please visit: cp.catapult.org.uk

5 G a nd R e a l E s tat e

5G and the implications for real estate is an interesting one to follow. The following use cases are evolving: Live 3D rendering of BIM models in situ for community engagement to show what the building will look like and dimensions once it is completed – this can address community consultant

R e a d o n l i n e at: u k s pa . o r g . u k / b r e a k t h r o u g h

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Extending the frontiers of UK science and industry

With the need for speed How a Gloucestershire-based project is aiming to make the record books


loodhound LSR is a UK-based project aiming to break the world land speed record using the most advanced straight-line racing car ever built. The Bloodhound LSR project now has new headquarters – the UK Land Speed Record Centre – Gloucestershire Science & Technology Park. The car is currently performing high speed tests with a view of setting a new world land speed record. We speak to Rick Sturge, CFO at Grafton LSR the parent company of the Bloodhound LSR project.

Could you tell us about Grafton LSR, your role and how the involvement with the Bloodhound project came about? Grafton LSR Ltd was incorporated in December 2018 to acquire the assets of the Bloodhound land speed record project as Bloodhound Programme Ltd had been in administration at the back end of 2018. The new investor was Ian Warhurst, a Yorkshire based entrepreneur who had already built up a very successful engineering business and

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was passionate about projects like the Bloodhound given the STEM/ inspiration component to it. My role is as CFO of the company/ project and my involvement came about, following an early semi retirement from the corporate world during 2018, through an introduction from a friend who had been involved with the project for some time. What appeals to you personally about the project? The attraction for me is that the project is one of the most exciting and inspirational British led undertakings and aligns with my personal interest in doing what I can to inspire young people about the opportunities open to them. I am the regional south west

advisory board chairman for Business in the Community, one of Prince Charles’s charities and the skills agenda is a huge part of what we do. Tell us about Grafton LSR’s longer term commitments to the project? Our primary objective is firstly to fulfil our commitment to take the car to South Africa this year in order to complete a number of test runs in the desert at increasing speeds. This will ensure we generate sufficient data and insight for us to be able to complete the work required to make an attempt on the land speed record sometime in the next 18 months. Are Bloodhound founder Richard Noble and driver Andy Green still involved in the project? Andy Green is still the designated driver of the car and is actively involved in the day to day business. Richard, whilst no longer an executive of the company, continues to be very supportive of what the project is doing and is looking forward to the project

achieving its objectives. Graton LSR Ltd is run by a board of directors with Ian Warhurst as the CEO of the company. What attracted you to locate your headquarters at Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park in Berkeley? And the positive impact of your relocation and to the community? The move to the Gloucestershire Science & Technology Park was attractive for a number of reasons, the building offered to us was absolutely right to meet our needs in terms of size for the operations but also in terms of the excellent condition, the accessibility, the relative quiet location along with ease of being able to relocate 20 miles from our old facility – it is a great place to work. We were able to ensure our team continuity due to the proximity of our old location with the Berkeley facility and in turn provides the right environment for us in terms of our security. The educational link to SGS Berkeley Green UTC is hugely exciting given the 400+ students studying technical subjects in the campus next door. Further education is vital if we are to inspire future talent in science, technology and engineering and our project offers excellent synergies with the further education agenda. Our team has provided lectures to the students and the students have had opportunities for hands on experience with the car. SGS is an excellent landlord for us offering flexibility when we need help such as finding additional storage space onsite and they are hugely supportive There are going to be opportunities for us to partner with them in specific projects linked to the future skills agenda. The bloodhound story over many years has inspired many to explore and pursue careers in STEM through its education programme and further afield, under the new ownership can you give assurances this will continue? And if so how? The separate Bloodhound education charity continues to operate

independently from the project and continues the great work in terms of STEM/school outreach programmes.

accommodation for the team close by; in country political support; and excellent communication links.

How is the government supporting the project? The government continues to support us politically and diplomatically through its various offices including MOD, FCO and BEIS. They provide soft support but are accessible and insightful when we need to seek help.

Assuming testing goes to plan what would be the next steps? The testing this year will determine what we need to do to ensure we achieve our primary focus moving forward of achieving a new land speed record. Once we have achieved this we will evaluate whether we go further and attempt another key milestone but will assess this as a potential follow on with suitable evaluation of the technical/engineering and commercial implications. ■

Tell us more about the GREAT campaign and your involvement? Since the formation of Grafton LSR Ltd, we merely ensure we keep the GREAT campaign informed of our activities and if we need help finding contacts internationally they are most willing to assist where they can. Since the takeover what has the response been like from the business community? How can organisations support the project? The business community remain engaged with what we are doing and are waiting to see us running the car in the desert which will demonstrate we are achieving the project objectives. Organisations can support us in a variety of ways either through sponsorship contributions or through ‘value in kind’ support which is attractive for suppliers to the project. Why was South Africa chosen as the location for the high speed testing? Following a global assessment of options South Africa was chosen primarily for the length of and elevation of an available desert track; the right geology of the desert floor; regular flooding and natural relevelling of the track; logistically achievable; availability of

R e a d o n l i n e at: u k s pa . o r g . u k / b r e a k t h r o u g h

To find out more, please visit: www.bloodhoundlsr.com Pete Barrett Group Property Manager, SGS Commercial Services Ltd

“For Gloucestershire Science & Technology Park the arrival of Bloodhound has been a milestone along our journey to date. For a Park which only joined UKSPA this year their presence has been a huge boast to our profile, but the true value added has been in our wider collaboration. To have an exciting and internationally important engineering project operating a live environment at the heart of the engineering hall is an incredibly powerful inspiration for our all learners.”

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I nno v ation


How R&D funding is driving the UK towards a low carbon future

n June 2019, the UK became the world’s first major economy to put into legislation legally binding targets to reduce carbon and pollutant emissions. The Road to Zero report outlined the government’s strategy towards cleaner road transport and transition to zero emission vehicles; sending a clear signal to industry about the UK’s ambitious vision for the future of mobility. The Advanced Propulsion Centre is at the forefront of this vision. Set up in 2013 as a joint venture between government and the automotive industry, the APC, with its partners, has £1 billion to invest in projects that position the UK as a centre of excellence for the research, development and production of low carbon propulsion technology. The projects benefitting from these funds must fit into one of four strategic technologies identified by the

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Jon Beasley Director - Technology & Projects, ADVANCED PROPULSION CENTRE

Jon Beasley has more than 30 years experience in the motor industry working for multinational suppliers and on government and industry programmes. At the APC Jon’s key focus is development and management of the projects funded through the competitions, bringing his technical experience of global product development

Automotive Council - electric motors and power electronics, energy storage and management, thermal propulsion systems and lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures. Through its investment, the APC aims to create or safeguard 30,000 jobs and save over 50 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, whilst supporting the UK’s expertise in technology for a cleaner automotive future. Taking an impartial stance means that the APC can address the future of low carbon propulsion across the board; not just batteries and hydrogen power, but also improvements in traditional thermal propulsion systems. This presents a wealth of opportunity for SMEs and tier ones alike to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of these technologies, both in terms of future adoption, but also design and manufacture. The UK already enjoys world-class engine research-to-manufacture

capability and in 2018 produced more than 2.7 million engines; however each year, the demand is shifting further away from conventional powertrains toward electrified and hybridised ones. Batteries are key to this development.


Whilst still in the early days, there is much activity in UK battery cell development. A flurry of new battery chemistries are being developed, and each one offers improved characteristics compared to the incumbent lithium ion. Solid state and lithium sulphur batteries offer high energy densities, enabling our future electric vehicles to travel further on a single charge. However, getting the chemistry right is only the first step in producing a commercial solution. As such, the APC is funding projects focused on scaling up the manufacturing process and supply chains to bring this technology to mass market. To this point, the APC has facilitated the investment of £108 million in the UK Battery Industriali-sation Centre (UKBIC) - a much needed new industrialisation facility in Coventry, which will support the national and regional industrial strategy for UK design, development and manufacture of battery technology. UKBIC will be key in growing industrial battery manufacturing capability in the UK; thus helping the UK to become a global leader in the manufacture and scale-up of batteries. The Centre will feature worldclass, cutting-edge manufacturing technology, which in turn will attract automotive manufacturers and leading research scientists to the region to develop ground-breaking technology.


Bringing together partnerships between industry and academia to achieve pioneering research and development through collaboration is what the APC does best. The core APC projects are collaborations which can include Industry, Academic and Engineering service partners who are entering into new and fast changing areas of Research and Development, whether through accelerated capability development or more efficient product development. The APC’s experiences to date have demonstrated that the power of shared learning is crucial in levering greater

t h e A P C h as faci l itat e d in v e st m e nt o f £ 10 8 m i l l ion in t h e U K B att e r y I ndustria l isation C e ntr e ( U K B I C ) , a m uc h n e e d e d n e w industria l isation faci l it y in C o v e ntr y value from the project investments, as when all partners are investing monies of their own rather than the conventional ‘work to the order’ approach it is in all their interests to find a workable solution first time and avoid expensive reworking due to lack of knowledge from any single partner. One such example is Project H1PERBAT, which brought together Williams Advanced Engineering (an innovative technology developer) with Unipart (an existing automotive supplier with experience in high volume manufacturing) to create a joint venture - Hyperbat Ltd. The partnership has resulted in a new, Coventry-based, facility. But, it’s not just about the big hitters. In conventional engine and powertrain supply chains, existing OEMs and tier one automotive suppliers have held all the cards and technological influence. However, over the next five to ten years the APC predicts a major shake-up of the industry, presenting new high-volume supply and R&D opportunities to SMEs as well. It is with this in mind that the APC insists all the projects receiving funding through its core competitions must include one SME. Through its team of handpicked specialists, the APC helps these smaller organisations to accelerate their low carbon

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technology to the point of commercialisation through collaborations with OEM and tier one developers, whilst facilitating investment along the way. In its short history, the APC is lucky to have had many success stories for OEMs and SMEs alike. Sunderland-based Hyperdrive took part in a project funded by the APC in 2016 where they worked with Nissan to develop high density battery manufacturing technology. This enabled Nissan to produce 40kWh battery packs for LEAF in the UK, as well as helping to strengthen the electrified supply chain capability. Hyperdrive now utilises Nissan’s UK-manufactured battery cells, replacing ones previously imported from Korea, and has become one of the UK’s largest independent battery system manufacturers. Originally set-up for a ten year period, the APC is now looking to the future with the hope of expanding its remit inline with the UK’s industrial and automotive strategy, with specific focus looking at future trends and creating a consensus for the research agenda to 2040 and beyond. ■

For more information about the APC, please visit: www.apcuk.co.uk or get in touch at: info@apcuk.co.uk

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I nno v ation

Bringing together all the sciences to drive innovation at Oxford Science Park


A science park specialist, Piers is Oxford Science Park’s Chief Executive, responsible for leading the on-site team, asset management and the ambitious development plans


Bellhouse, an eminent biomedical engineer and one of the University of Oxford’s first academic entrepreneurs. Having read mathematics as an undergraduate, he went on to a D Phil in engineering and a Professorship in Engineering Science. His work underpinned the drug and vaccines delivery spin-out PowderJect, which he formed with Lord Paul Drayson (now CEO of clinical AI company Sensyne, also an occupier of TOSP). We were pleased to recognise his massive contribution to interdisciplinary research in having his name on the building, which will hopefully house many more groundbreaking companies. The interface of surgery and robotics is also represented at The Oxford Science Park in the form of the US company Intuitive Surgical, a leader in minimally

t’s been recognised for some time that it’s at the boundaries of disciplines where some of the most exciting discoveries are made and insights gained. Credit: David Fisher/Oxford Mail Healthcare has been the beneficiary of cross-discipline interaction in many ways, with biology, chemistry, physics, maths, engineering and computer sciences underpinning the pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech sectors. The impact, now and in the future, of artificial intelligence and machine learning on drug discovery and development, manufacturing, logistics, clinical trials and healthcare delivery, will be significant. In the future there will doubtless be more new technologies making an impact in the healthcare space. A quick glance at what The Oxford Science Park’s occupiers have been up to in 2019 shows just how diverse its community is, and how cross-discipline interaction is celebrated. In April we announced that the third wing of our Magdalen Centre would be named after the late Professor Brian

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invasive robotic surgery and maker of the da Vinci surgical system. It recently announced that its UK and Republic of Ireland headquarters are located in our Schrödinger Building (named after the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist). It’s not your standard HQ though – Intuitive Surgical has also setup a training suite there for education and training of physicians, and showcasing of its products and services. Not your usual occupier activity. One of The Oxford Science Park’s Schrödinger Building occupiers, Exscientia, also brings an interdisciplinary approach. In its facilities it brings together its computer scientists, drug designers and biologists under one roof to allow it to rapidly expand its platform development and proprietary drug discovery portfolio. Focused on its technology and algorithm development in AI drug discovery projects, the AI drug Dr Alastair Lamb from designers work closely with the Churchill Hospital at drug discovery scientists. This the opening of Intuitive integration is expected to drive Surgical’s new base at progress by rapidly generating Oxford Science Park new data to seed AI algorithms. The exciting news in June that Blue Earth Diagnostics, the cancer molecular imaging company funded by Syncona, is to be acquired by Bracco Imaging of Italy, is another great example of the success of multidisciplinary companies on the Park. With the company planning to stay on the Park, and a 10x investment return for the funder, it’s a successful outcome all round. We take networking and collaboration very seriously at The Oxford Science Park – hopefully helping to generate and foster the next generation of innovative interdisciplinary companies! ■

For more information, please visit: https://oxfordsp.com

Looking for a professional company that relocates scientific equipment?

Large or small, our proven process will ensure a safe and successful move Call Benchmark Services today

on 01480 423810 or visit www.benchmark-services.co.uk

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I nno v ation

Charging forward Powering Britain’s Battery Revolution


he strong progress in recent years in reducing automotive CO2 emissions has stalled as the limits of internal combustion engine technology are reached. A technological transition involving 15m passenger cars is required. Most manufacturers are concluding that the technology that most closely meets the technical, customer and business requirements and can be sourced at scale in the required timeframe is battery electric. We all know how important the automotive industry is to the UK, and how it is imperative to support the industry through the disruption caused by electrification. We need to drive hard now and invest heavily in the research, development and scale up activities to ensure the battery industry in the UK thrives. In fact, a recent study by the Faraday Institution and produced with McKinsey Energy Insights and the University of Oxford predicts that by 2040 there will be demand for 8 gigafactories in the UK.

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Tony Harper Faraday Battery Challenge Director, UK Research and Innovation

But let’s think of things in a different way. In 2025 – a timescale over which many of us will have bought our next car – the report predicts the annual number of new EVs purchased to be approximately 750,000 cars. That’s 750,000 individual or family purchasing decisions. It is imperative that we as an industry don’t forget that demand for EVs will be driven one consumer at a time. We need to examine the perceived barriers to EV adoption –

whether we in the industry believe they are real or not. To take one example, a recent AutoTrader study report quotes 99.3% of all journeys made in the UK are with the average range of EVs. Yet the public worries about range. Further, the gap between public perceptions and commonly held views of the industry may be increasing. There are a multitude of reasons – and surveys – on why individuals don’t buy EVs. But time and again common reasons quoted are: cost, range and charge points. These must be addressed. The good news is that the Faraday Battery Challenge is addressing both technical and public concerns through our research agenda. The Challenge has a huge role to play in developing batteries that cost less, and can support longer EV range, but also increasingly playing a larger role in correcting misinformation and changing perceptions. The Faraday Battery Challenge is structured around the following three strands of work:

• Fundamental research from the Faraday Institution • Innovation -Collaborative R&D projects, cofounded with industry • Scale up - UK Battery Industrialisation Centre – UKBIC

T h e C h a l l e n g e h as a h u g e ro l e to p l ay in d e v e l opin g batt e ri e s t h at cost l e ss , can support l on g e r EV ran g e , but a l so p l ay in g a l ar g e r ro l e in corr e ctin g m isin f or m ation and c h an g in g p e rc e ptions F u nd a m e n ta l r e s e a r c h

takes time but already after 16 months Faraday Institution funding has resulted in: Two patent disclosures, with one to follow and another three to four in the pipeline; fellowship funding to three potential commercial spin outs; over 40 scientific publications – several in top tier journals and multiple industrial collaborations. And in September the Faraday Institution has selected its new five project consortia in 4 research areas that it will fund to the tune of up to £55m. All of these projects will conduct application-inspired research to make step changes in the understanding of battery chemistries, systems and manufacturing methods.

T h e UK B at t e ry I nd u s t r i a li s at i o n C e n t r e

is set to open in 2020 in Coventry. UKBIC will offer industry, via open access, the opportunity to scale up and commercialise advanced technologies central to the development and manufacture of batteries, initially for the automotive sector but with wider application. This means, it will be working to perfect production of the next generation of battery systems across electrode, cell, module and pack levels to allow companies to move to full scale, high volume battery manufacturing (i.e. ‘Gigafactories’) and high volume electric vehicle production as subsequent investments.

But why the need for a UK-based gigafactory? The auto industry is a game of tight margins. Batteries are bulky and expensive to ship and battery production – at cell, module and pack level – will need to be co-located with EV manufacturing. This points to the imperative for a UK-based gigafactory. It is likely that, in order to meet the demand by 2025, the UK will need to attract large scale battery cell manufacturing investment from overseas based on an iteration of known Lithium Ion Technology. This along with a strong UK chemical supply chain, and indigenous OE demand, creates a demand-driven end to end value chain in the UK. If you then combine with multi-fold growth beyond 2025, this creates the industrial backbone and market opportunity for a thriving UK intellectual and physical supply chain in new, breakthrough battery solutions at which the UK excels. ■

For more information about the Faraday Battery Challege, please visit: www.ukri.org/innovation/industrialstrategy-challenge-fund/faradaybattery-challenge/

C o ll a b o r at iv e r e s e a r c h a nd d e v e lo p m e n t projects

Through the Faraday Battery Challenge UK businesses can access grants for feasibility studies and collaborative research and innovation projects that develop new and improved battery technologies that are more cost effective. Projects to get funding so far include improving battery lifespan and range and the reuse, remanufacture and recycle of batteries at their end-of-life. The figures on collaborative R&D are impressive - £114.5 million invested through government and industry funding in 63 projects.

Faraday Winners Round 2 Iconichem WMG: Pictured at International Automotive Research Centre Warwick University (l-r) Beth Middleton, Research Fellow, WMG; Dr Rob Sommerville, Project Engineer, WMG; Emma Kendrick, Reader, WMG; Paul Croft, Operations Director, Iconichem; Dr Vanessa Goodship, Principal Research Fellow, WMG

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I nno v ation

What is the Cambridge Biomedical Campus? Charting the rapid rise of the home for biomedical excellence Araminta Ledger Director of Campus Development, Cambridge University Health Partners

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Araminta is the Director of Campus Development at Cambridge University Health Partners (CUHP). Araminta works across CUHP and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus to develop the community and strategic relationships, while also promoting future expansion of the site in partnership with Liberty Property Trust and Countryside Properties


or some it is the place they were born or the place they go for treatment, for others it is the site of their lab desk or the place they will be moving to. The Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) means many things to many people but ultimately the campus is where the NHS, research and industry come together for the benefit of patients. It is the place where more than 20,000 people go every day to work to help make people better. Whether they are doctors or nurses, researchers, technicians or Nobel Prize winners, each of these people make a contribution to those who come to the site to seek answers, treatment and support. The story of the expansion began in 2009, when planning permission covering over 70 acres was granted to mark the first expansion phase of the CBC, with an additional 18.5 acres released for development in 2016 as part of the second phase. The organisations on the campus act as a who’s who in biomedical excellence: Abcam, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Cambridge Institute, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, , the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB), GSK, NHS Blood and Transplant, IdeaSpace and the University of Cambridge: Clinical School, Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Diseases and the Milner Institute, Cambridge Clinical Research Centre, Institute of Public Health, John van Geest Centre for Brian Repair, Herchel Smith Building for Brain and Mind Sciences and THIS Institute. Next year we will also see AstraZeneca beginning their move into their new global headquarters and R&D centre. All these organisations are based here for a reason – they see the benefits of working together. Being on the campus means companies, researchers and clinicians can collaborate to develop the new treatments and techniques which will save lives every day; not just in Cambridge but around the country and the globe. The development of the site in recent years has been rapid. For example, the

first occupier of Phase 2 was Abcam earlier this year: in February, they moved into their 100,000ft2 new office and laboratory building constructed to suit their business needs by the partnership between Liberty Property Trust and Countryside Properties. With outline planning consent in place for clinical and B1(b) R&D space, Phase 2 has plenty of room to welcome new organisations through multi-storey c.100,000ft2 single and multi-occupancy development buildings up to 511,000ft2 in total.


As you walk around the new landscape you will understand how the campus is an important part of the journey for new healthcare treatments. From early-stage research to clinical trials and finally the implementation of new medicines and techniques in a hospital. To put it more bluntly, the proximity, the skill sets and backgrounds of the likes of the MRC LMB, CRUK, AstraZeneca, GSK, the University of Cambridge and NHS Trusts all in one place allows for new technology, research and data to be harnessed effectively. Nowhere in the UK and rarely across the world do you find this unique set of conditions. As an example, there are AstraZeneca researchers already working within both the MRC LMB and CRUK alongside their staff to develop new treatments and investigate ideas. GSK has a clinical unit embedded in Cambridge University Hospitals and the University of Cambridge has a number of its academics working in buildings across the site. Research covers a broad spectrum from how cells interact to how cancer (in its many forms) develops, to new ways to bring hearts back to life to investigating the causes of dementia and other mental health issues. This is why the campus has played such an important role in Cambridge becoming the UK capital of life science. The Cambridge cluster has the highest patent rate in the UK and is home to multiple world-renowned research institutes, 30 science parks, and 4,700 registered biotech companies generating £12bn in revenue. Our success is based on everyone’s willingness to unite to exert a powerful global influence as the campus and the other life science clusters attract world

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class companies, investment and talent to the area. However, the campus almost seems to have grown under the radar. For a site which spans 170 acres and has seen more than £700 million of investment committed to the campus over the past three years, it is still often and understandably referred to as the ‘hospital site’. Not that there is anything wrong with this but to demonstrate the sheer scale of the growth, we are now the largest employment site in Cambridge. There are currently 26,500 visits to the campus every day from patients, staff, academics, scientists and visitors. There will be 22,000 people working here by 2021 which will increase to over 30,000 by 2031.


As we stand, the campus is gearing up for the next stage of its development with construction due to begin in January 2020 of the new Heart and Lung Research Institute by Royal Papworth Hospital. Designs are being progressed for a new multi occupancy building on Phase 2 and the Government has provided seed funding to help Cambridge University Hospitals begin the business case for a hospital redevelopment. There is also the potential of the phase 3 expansion. This 21.5 acres owned by Cambridgeshire County Council was allocated in the recent Local Plan which will further positively impact the wider region by creating new businesses, jobs and improving skills. As the site grows - we have a daily population nearly the equivalent of town – this inevitably creates challenges for ourselves and the local community which we are working with residents and the local authorities to address. It is worth highlighting that nearly two-thirds of the people coming to work on the campus do so via sustainable means such as by bus, cycle or on foot and we are working hard to make more of a difference. As a place, a group of organisations and as people, our primary focus is simple: to improve healthcare and find ways to help those who are ill. What better goal can anyone have than that? ■

For further information, please visit: https://cambridge-biomedical.com/

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I nno v ation Opening in 2020, the £22m office HQ for software giant The Access Group

Innovation, growth & sustainability The continued rise of Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park


Anna Leather Enterprise Marketing Manager, Loughborough University

Anna leads the marketing team that supports the University’s Enterprise activities spanning business development, research commercialisation, student and graduate enterprise and Science and Enterprise Park development

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ince its origins as the site of the British Gas Research Technology Centre, Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park has developed a thriving diverse multisector community spanning advanced manufacturing, energy and low carbon, health and life sciences, software, sport and transport technologies. Across 75+ businesses ranging from high-tech start-ups to global R&D divisions is a common theme – driving innovation for sustainability and prosperity. In 2008, LUSEP’s energy and low carbon cluster was significantly boosted when it was selected to house the £600m Energy Technologies Institute – the government and global industry initiative to bring together public-private sector projects to accelerate the development of low carbon technologies. LUSEP organisations have formed lasting partnerships through collaborating on major projects successfully delivered by the ETI. These organisations include CENEX, the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell technologies with a specific focus on low carbon vehicles and associated energy

infrastructure, which launched at LUSEP in 2005. Academic partners include the University’s Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology, which is co-located at LUSEP, and its optical engineers which partnered Johnson Matthey and Caterpillar on an ETI project to deliver a high efficiency selective catalytic reduction system for heavy duty vehicles. Also co-located at LUSEP is the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Combustion System Aerothermal Processes – a unique infrastructure for collaboration and the development of innovative technologies for current and next generation lowemission gas turbine engines. This was among the first of the company’s global UTC network, and the 30-year partnership was recently cemented with the launch at LUSEP of the National Centre for Combustion and Aerothermal Technology. Beyond future low-emission aerospace applications, the £12m facility will provide exploitation potential in the automotive and energy sectors, as well as power generation, marine propulsion and thermal management applications.

A cross 7 5 + busin e ss e s , ran g in g f ro m h i g h -t e c h start- ups to g l oba l R & D di v isions , is a co m m on t h e m e – dri v in g inno vation f or sustainabi l it y and prosp e rit y

Also headquartered at LUSEP is Intelligent Energy, with an established portfolio of fuel cell technologies for a range of markets including automotive, stationary power and UAVs. Recent notable developments include the commercialisation of lightweight and compact hydrogen fuel cell power for drones and zero-emissions offgrid welfare solutions for the construction industry. Founded at LUSEP in 2005, Nemaura Pharma is driving sustainable healthcare with drug formulation and medical device technologies designed to radically improve the way drugs are administered through the skin. Its IP portfolio includes singleuse solid micro-dose vaccines which are easy to self-administer and eliminate the need for cold-chain storage. More recently, Interface Polymers established operations at LUSEP and a research base in the University’s materials laboratories. The Warwick spinout’s highly versatile Polarfin additive technology offers enhanced material performance and

reduced production costs, as well as enabling recycling across a wide range of applications in the packaging, construction, agriculture and automotive sectors. The University’s latest spinout Zayndu was launched at LUSEP to advance its innovative technology to promote sustainable agriculture. Designed to work in modern seed processing plants, Zayndu systems sterilise seeds without using chemicals, with machines designed in a factoryready format. As this snapshot demonstrates, sustainability is a recurring theme in the activity of LUSEP’s innovation community, and it is equally important in the expansion of the site. The latest development is a 109,000 sq ft office HQ for software leaders The Access Group which typifies the University and its partners’ commitment to maintaining the biodiversity of LUSEP’s mature parkland.

Pathways connect LUSEP parkland to the University’s academic, business and leisure facilities

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Key features of the Access building include the installation of photovoltaic panels across the entire length of the upper roof; a SuDS system comprising a grass swale running to a pond which sits against a retaining terramesh wall; and paving around the building in a pre-cast modular format as defined by the BRE Green Guide. A comprehensive landscape scheme will incorporate planting of 110 new native trees and large expanses of wildflower and grass meadow running through the scheme and shaping the landscape along a meandering footpath connecting the University campus with ancient woodland within the LUSEP site. A 40m long trellis fence was included in the scheme at the pre-construction stage to safeguard brown long-eared bats, a protected species which were found to roost close by. LUSEP also makes a major contribution to sustainable economic development. It is the largest site of the Loughborough and Leicestershire Science and Innovation Enterprise Zone. Within 20 years, LUSEP is expected to triple in size to provide more than 200,000 sq m of floor space to accommodate businesses employing 6,000 people. ■

For further information, please visit: www.lusep.co.uk

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I nno v ation

Commercialising research


Forging links between academia and industry

urrey Research Park has been working on building closer and more productive links between the University of Surrey and our 170 tenant companies. And we have been making huge strides due to the acceleration of entrepreneurs making a social impact, and the ecosystem we have put in place to nurture, support and encourage entrepreneurism The number of people engaged in entrepreneurial discovery and the scope of the technologies that can be applied has increased dramatically. Successful entrepreneurs are looking for business opportunities in the context of changes in technology, the political, regulatory and social environment and changing demographics. Businesses, particularly those seeking to take advantage of Government funding, are needing to demonstrate that they are able to make a social impact. Over the last five years, using entrepreneurial discovery and demonstrating that technologies can link to a market or deliver social impact has become imperative for businesses looking to bid for Government research funding.

Dr Malcolm Parry OBE Managing Director & CEO, SURREY REsEARCH PARK

Dr Malcolm Parry’s involvement with the Park dates back to its origins in 1981 when he left an academic post with the University of Surrey to plan, develop and now manage the site

steering our R&D efforts and the new challenges require collaboration across all of the disciplines of engineering and technology. We are continually working together to find commercially founded solutions to global challenges, and successfully maximising our chance to tap into Government investment on research to deliver economic growth and employment.

O ur strat e g y is c l e ar ly pay in g di v id e nds - Last y e ar w e doub l e d t h e r e v e nu e va l u e o f our r e s e arc h l inks f ro m t h e pr e v ious y e ar This has prompted entrepreneurs, start –up companies and the academic community to focus on a range of revolutionary exponential technologies when developing research bids. At Surrey Research Park, the opportunities lie in technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, data, digital biology, biotech medicine, nanotech and digital fabrication, networks and computing and robotics and automations. Today the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes is

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When we conducted an internal audit of the strength and type of links between campus and our tenant companies from 2014-2017 we found that among our 174 companies there were 190 links, with some companies engaging in several collaborative projects with the University. These links were categorised into four areas: Research, Consultancy, Studentships and PTY Placements In terms of value, the Research category was the biggest earner with

interestingly just under a half of the value attributed to micro companies, an indicator that our Park is home to a thriving entrepreneurial environment. However when we looked at it more closely, all but one of the links were based around a grant to the company through the Government’s Collaborative R&D projects. As our entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to thrive, we are increasing our efforts to collaborate further. The Research and Innovation capabilities within the University are widely recognised for its vital role in building distinctive capability and supporting start-ups and spins-outs at all stages of their journey. Surrey Research Park has an excellent track record of providing support through access to services, networks, funds and infrastructure support. Our overall success is illustrated by the fact that nearly half of all startups based in our multi-occupancy building have successfully grown and made the step-up to have their own premises elsewhere on the Park. In addition, we have recently made several high profile appointments at the University of Surrey to enhance partnership and R&D collaboration with our tenant firms. We have developed more collaborative and contract research by actively engaging with, forming and supporting investment for our tenant businesses. Our strategy is clearly paying dividends. Last year we doubled the revenue value of our research links from the previous year. Recognising that entrepreneurship gives science its modern economic significance has been the starting point for the development of our wider research and innovation ecosystem to ensure we continue to make great strides in commercialising the research of the future. ■

For further information, please visit: https://surrey-research-park.com

The Rotronic Universal Monitoring System – RMS

Monitoring environmental conditions in any industry requires a fully integrated continuous monitoring system. The modular Rotronic Monitoring System – RMS is the perfect solution. It provides installation flexibility and full data availability, anywhere, and on a variety of devices. Rotronic can meet all your requirements, incorporating multiple sensors for parameters on a secure network. We can service the entire system. www.rotronic.co.uk/rms ROTRONIC Instruments (UK) Ltd, Crompton Fields, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 9EE T: 01293 571000, instruments@rotronic.co.uk

A PST Company (www.processsensing.com)

R&D FUNDING AND INCENTIVES The commercial R&D landscape can be bewildering, as there are complex interactions between funding, intellectual property and commercial strategy. Tax incentives should not be overlooked as a key element in the planning, and the position can be improved with appropriate liaison between advisers. A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER: >

Most R&D grants require prior approval before the expenditure is incurred.


The timing of cashflow should be considered as R&D tax credits are claimed at the end of the accounting period.


R&D tax incentives can be claimed for a project in addition to grant funding.


Corporation tax on profits can be significantly reduced if the company is eligible for Patent Box.


Grant audits: 24 Independent Accountants Reports completed in support of


of grant funding


R&D tax claims giving tax savings of

Patent Box claims and structuring providing tax savings of



Specialist tax advice should always be sought before commercial agreements are drafted for R&D claims. Tel. 01242 680000 www.hazlewoods.co.uk / @HazlewoodsInnov We strongly recommend you take professional advice before making decisions on matters discussed here. No responsibility for any loss to any person acting as a result of the material can be accepted by us. Hazlewoods LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales with number OC311817. Registered office: Staverton Court, Staverton, Cheltenham, Glos, GL51 0UX. A list of LLP partners is available for inspection at each office. Hazlewoods LLP is registered to carry on audit work in the UK and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.

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Sharing your success, best practice, and lessons learned

Fast growing reputation Why Newcastle is becoming a leading location for the Life Science sector


ewcastle is fast becoming a leading location for commercial life sciences, with a global reputation for research excellence into healthy ageing and a UK hotspot for clinical trials. The city has opened a specialist lab facility tailored to commercialisation of life sciences. This building was a significant investment for the local economy, marking a clear commitment to growth within sector. Located on Newcastle Helix and surrounded by a £1.1bn life science eco system, The Biosphere offers both biology and chemistry laboratories and high-quality office space. So much has been achieved since 2015, the design, construction and operation of this new facility that is now home to twelve dynamic life science businesses who have global lifechanging ambitions. It’s a building and a new business that

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is strategically important and is changing the shape of the commercial life science sector in Newcastle. It isn’t just the building that is adding value for occupiers, it’s the eco-system of support available to new or existing business. From workshops, events and advice around funding and access to a network of experts, the support is there to support the commercialisation of ideas and help businesses to grow. Businesses also get to benefit from co-working spaces, on-site conference and event facilities on Newcastle Helix that are used as a platform to foster collaboration between businesses and academics. Iksuda Therapeutics were among the first companies to move into The Biosphere, who are leading the way in creating next generation biopharmaceutical drugs that target difficult to treat cancers. Dr David Simpson, Co-founder and CEO at Iksuda Therapeutics said: “We were actively looking for centralised

laboratory space to enhance our position in the bio tech space. Once the region had committed to the build, and with the opportunity to create a bespoke space for Iksuda our relocation to The Biosphere was never in doubt. As well as the specialist cutting edge facilities, the eco-system at Newcastle Helix was a key driver for us. The model for clusters and scientific centres of excellence is well proven globally to enhance the success rates of biotech companies. The region has a growing biotech cluster and is well positioned to access key technical skills needed to deliver our research programmes. We are delighted to be part of the Helix community and a fast-growing life science sector here in the North East.” Dr. Fiona Marshall, Global Head of Neuroscience Discovery, MSD who visited Newcastle to launch The Biosphere was impressed by the quality of the facility and the level of infrastructure to help companies to develop and grow.She said: “The Biosphere is remarkable, and I have

no doubt that more and more academics and entrepreneurs will choose Newcastle as a base to commercialise their products and new discoveries.”


The North East is now home to more than 200 life science companies, including those with global operations such as P&G, Accord Healthcare, MSD, Leica, Piramal and QuantuMDx, with this cluster growing fast. It has a growing reputation for research excellence in life sciences and innovation and the Newcastle Hospital NHS Trust is one of the UK’s largest, with more specialist services than any other group of hospitals. It has built a global reputation as a UK hotspot for clinical trials supported by pioneers at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities. The North East is also one of the strongest regions in the UK for exports of medical and pharmaceutical products, with the commercial base underpinned by a broad range of expertise in biotechnology and novel therapeutics. Assets that support the entire bench to bedside pathway, are all within a hours’ drive of the city centre based Newcastle Helix development. Newcastle Helix is a £350m development that brings together a community of academics, industry leaders, businesses and top researchers to facilitate growth and innovation. It is the UK’s biggest urban development of its kind outside of London and is purposebuilt to enable the commercialisation of new products and services. It is fast becoming a landmark location for science,

Representatives from the innovative businesses that call The Biosphere home

technology, business, living and leisure with more than 40 businesses already on site co-locating with academics.


Newcastle’s vision is to address the challenges of an ageing society to facilitate innovation-led economic growth and help people live better for longer. Newcastle Helix is also home to National Innovation Centres for Ageing and Data and the city has one of only two UK Aging 2.0 chapters, an international network of ageing innovators across more than 20 countries. This combined with the city’s strengths in life sciences and research is putting Newcastle and the UK at the international forefront of innovation. Jen Hartley, Director, Invest Newcastle, said: “Businesses who choose to locate on Newcastle Helix are really seeing the value in its unique ecosystem, world-class research facilities, national innovation centres for data and ageing The National Innovation Centre for Data (left) and The Biosphere (right)

and a supportive business community. It’s not just a site with lots of great buildings, it is a test bed for new products and services and a place where global innovation and collaboration happens – the culture of collaboration cannot be underestimated. There has never been a better time to bring new products and services to market, diversify, grow or set up business on Newcastle Helix. “Collaboration and embedding an entrepreneurial culture play a vital role in driving the city’s ambitions forward, facilitating open and transparent collaboration across public, private and academic sectors. I believe this is what makes us different and make us leading location for life sciences.” The Biosphere has secured significant funding through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the Government’s Local Growth Deal through the North East LEP. Both funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. Newcastle Helix is a test bed for new ideas, innovative technologies and solutions that will tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing cities around the world. All 24-acres is dedicated to helping everyone live better lives, now and in the future. ■

To find out more about The Biosphere and the innovative community on Newcastle Helix, please email: hello@thebiospherenewcastle.co.uk or call 0191 580 6150

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Great minds fast-forward our vision Nexus at University of Leeds’ progression since its May launch


ack in May when we launched Nexus, the University of Leeds’ new innovation hub, we partnered with the CBI to unveil a major new report which highlighted the impact that collaborative innovation can have on the UK’s future success and prosperity. It confirmed that universities have a vital role to play in driving innovation and productivity, to help businesses harness the new growth opportunities and competitive advantages that can be gained by embedding innovation in their core strategy. Professor Lisa Roberts - Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research & Innovation at the University of Leeds - told the audience that the ambition of Nexus was to give businesses seamless access to the wealth of opportunities and world-leading expertise across the University to support innovation and productivity and supercharge R&D. And so it has proved.

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Dr Martin Stow Nexus Director, University of Leeds

Dr Martin Stow leads on the delivery and implementation of Nexus, and plays a significant role in leading the strategy, business development and operations for external research partnership activities. He is responsible for implementing a culture of innovation and enterprise within the University and beyond

Nexus is now home to a thriving community of innovators, all benefiting from the University’s research expertise, facilities, talent and skills and backed by some truly innovative support networks and advisory business partnerships. Companies such as ground-breaking start-up Vet-AI, which is set to overhaul the pet healthcare industry. The company are now employing some of the University of Leeds’ brightest AI talent through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) - meeting of minds between academia and industry, which sees graduate or postgraduate placed full-time within a business to solve a strategic challenge. The KTP associate will work with Vet-AI on the company’s latest project further developing its flagship app Joii to include video-based machine learning models which will diagnose conditions, such as arthritis, in pets.

And Scaled Insights, which is revolutionising training across the NHS, through the development of AI-based behaviour insights. The company, which was founded in Canada but has made Nexus its UK home, has appointed Dr Stuart Flint, Associate Professor in the Psychology of Obesity at the University, to be their company president. And global freight and supply chain management provider, Ligentia, which recently relocated its software development function from Asia to Leeds. In addition to establishing its new tech hub at Nexus, Ligentia have maximised the opportunities available within our network to attract and recruit talent to the growing team, including its new Global Technology Director, Doug Brady.


This network is something our engagement and collaboration teams have carefully cultivated, ensuring that the Nexus community – both physically located here and across the wider Leeds innovation ecosystem – is a vibrant one. Just like a concierge service, we’re making meaningful and valuable connections for our members as our community continues to grow. We’ve also established strategic partnerships to give members vital commercial advice and investment connections. For example, KPMG is providing members with essential guidance on a host of business issues including access to finance and international expansion. While NorthInvest – the Northern Powerhousebacked tech investment platform – is

helping to connect early stage tech start-ups to angel networks and funds, enabling them to scale up and grow. And the Leeds City Region Growth service, delivered by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) – is giving members access to a dedicated Growth Manager, whose role is to understand the challenges and opportunities of their business and better connect them to the wealth of grant support and advice available. Our own team has also expanded and we’re delighted that Dr Mark Tock is joining us as Nexus Operations Director. He has been a Board member at UKSPA for almost six years and brings a wealth of expertise from the innovation and start-up landscape having led a number of incubation and science park projects including; Liverpool Innovation Park (LIP), Sheffield Bioincubator and Nottingham University Innovation Park (UNIP). He has also provided advisory and mentoring support to developing incubators in Malaysia and China. Mark’s extensive experience working with university enterprise zones, brings international expertise to Nexus. This experience will be invaluable as we prepare to play a key role in a prestigious international programme early next year, in partnership with one of the world’s most famous universities – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Professor Lisa Roberts, is leading the Leeds cohort for the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Programme (REAP). Which is designed to

Nexus Innovation Centre at University of Leeds launched in May 2019

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tap into the expertise of some of the world’s foremost business leaders, academics and government representatives to accelerate economic growth. The initiative will put us at the forefront of the Government’s drive for national growth and increased competitiveness. Leeds has also been chosen to host the only workshop to take place outside of Boston during the programme. Our fellow international cohorts will join interactive workshops at Nexus and have the opportunity to witness the inner workings of the Leeds City Region innovation ecosystem through a number of tours and events. We will be following in the footsteps of Beijing, London and Tokyo in hosting the programme and showcasing the region to our international counterparts. In the same way that MIT in Boston is known for being the place to go for businesses who want to work with academics, I want Nexus and the University of Leeds to be the benchmark for collaboration both in the UK and globally. Thanks to the brightest entrepreneurial and academic minds, our members are fast-forwarding that vision with some truly innovative and ground-breaking results. ■

For more information, please visit: https://nexusleeds.co.uk

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New space, New opportunities Oxford’s new Technology Park offers nurture and growth The Oxford Technology Park will be a new home for innovative, science, and technology based businesses where they can be nurtured and grow right in the heart of Oxfordshire. The Park is a major new science and technology park providing much needed space for innovative businesses in the county, it is strategically placed just to the north of Oxford City, adjacent to London (Oxford) Airport and a short distance from the new Oxford Parkway Station, providing excellent access to both Oxford and the surrounding transport infrastructure. A total of 14 hi-tech high quality units are planned for the Park. It is now on the first phase of its development, with the first two units being finished and ready for occupation in in 2020. The hi-tech buildings can evolve and adapt to the ever-changing needs of

STEAMhouse Birmingham City University’s new centre aimed at encouraging the collaboration of the arts, science, technology, engineering and maths (STEAM) sectors STEAMhouse has been created in partnership with Eastside Projects, and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England. STEAMhouse will drive innovation and research to create business solutions that fuel long-term economic growth. Their experimental STEAMlabs workshops focus on product development, collaborative making and societal challenges, led by industry talent. Access to fabrication facilities support creative SMEs and individuals with the development of new products. It will host networking events and learning activities to build a community of practice, and will forge new relationships and partnership projects

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the innovation landscape. The units will be built to provide a high-quality office style frontage but with the flexible internal space that can allow the office content of the buildings to vary from 25-50% in order to suit the occupiers’ requirements. The result will be a contemporary design you would expect from a Grade an office development but with the internal functionality to suit the companies’ exact needs. The team behind the Oxford Technology Park have a wealth of experience from around Cambridge and East Anglia in the hi-tech market, and identified the opportunity in North Oxford for a full science and technology park sometime ago. The Hill Street Holdings team, have worked through both the planning and Local Plan Allocation processes, in order to create a location that provides all the amenities required for a thriving workspace community. While the park

with venues, organisations, artists, festivals and conferences. Thirty £2,500 grants will be offered to selected SMEs and sole traders to cover materials for early stage prototyping. The first phase of STEAMhouse will be a free and open opportunity for businesses to make use of the facilities.

Phase 1: D i g b e t h Hi g h S t r e e t

The first phase of STEAMhouse, which will initially be housed on Digbeth High Street from spring 2018, will enable businesses to develop innovative ideas and creative products in a collaborative setting. The building will have specially designed spaces to encourage businesses to incubate new ideas, and prototype new creative products and services. It will also house a new fabrication facility focusing on experimenting with digital, wood, metal and print production. The project will engage with at least 200 SMEs in the Greater Birmingham, Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBS LEP) area over a three-year period.

is privately owned, works are currently starting on the speculative build of units 1, 3 & 5, due for completion summer 2020. Bespoke pre-lets are currently available on further plots. In the past five years they have had extremely positive feedback from the local community validating that there is demand for a new site focusing on Science, Technology and Innovative businesses wanted to be in this convenient, vibrant, superior and beautiful corner of Oxford. All site residents will have access to a variety of well-established nearby amenities; gym, nursery, cafes, and as of end of 2019 an onsite hotel and restaurant providing much needed catering and accommodation facilities to the residents of the Oxford Technology Park. ■

For further information, please visit: oxfordtechnologypark.com

P h a s e 2 : I N V EST M E N T

During the second phase of the STEAMhouse project, £22.2 million will be invested in a large-scale collaborative centre made up of mixed incubation, collaboration and maker space in the heart of Birmingham. A new STEAMhouse education facility called STEAMacademy will create interdisciplinary courses with industry input to drive talent.

T h e s t o ry s o fa r …

Rajinder Dudrah, Professor of Cultural Studies and Creative Industries, reflects on the birth of STEAMhouse and the importance of the facility as a centre for new ideas in his featured blog at www.steamhouse.org.uk/blog/ steamhouse-story-thus-far/ Download an introductory e-guide or send an enquiry, selecting ‘STEAMhouse’, and briefly summarise your challenge, to see how you can be part of the project. ■

For further information, please visit: www.steamhouse.org.uk

A leading professional services firm that specialises in real estate and investment management JLL’s vision is to reimagine the world of property, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of nearly 92,000 as of June 30, 2019. JLL helps owners, occupiers and investors of all sizes make the right decisions beyond simply buying, selling, leasing and investing in property. With 2018 revenue of $16.3 billion, JLL’s colleagues served clients across the globe from nearly 300 corporate offices. JLL is an industry leader in property and integrated facility management services, with a portfolio of 4.6 billion square feet

worldwide. During 2018, the company completed 37,500 leasing transactions for landlord and tenant clients, representing 1.07 billion square feet of space and provided capital markets services for $179 billion of client transactions in 2018. In the UK JLL has over 3,000 members of staff in 15 commercial office locations and a 2018 turnover of £404.2m. JLL has won numerous awards and recognitions which reflect the quality of services it provides to clients, the integrity of the people, and desirability as a place to work. JLL believes that embracing diversity, inclusion and equality creates a welcoming workplace culture and ensures it attracts the brightest talent focused on innovative and creative solutions for clients. Of all its accomplishments, JLL takes pride in the excellence of its work, the opportunities for personal growth it provides to its people, and the contributions made to communities.

JLL has also been recognised as one of the Top 10 employers in the UK who have taken the most action on the issue of social mobility in the workplace. JLL was ranked 4th in the Top 75 employers in the Social Mobility Employer Index 2019 for its extensive skills and education work with young people, delivered through its Communities programme, and for recruiting graduates from a range of over 20 universities. The company has also adopted the One+1 work experience programme, a Social Mobility Foundation initiative that means for every young person with connections to the industry, JLL will also offer experience to a young person with no connections to real estate. Working together JLL want to create sustainable workplaces, buildings and cities. In doing so, their aim is to build a better tomorrow for their clients, their people and their communities. ■

For further information, please visit: www.jll.co.uk

THE UNITED KINGDOM SCIENCE PARK ASSOCIATION UKSPA promotes, represents and supports Science Parks, Incubators, Innovation Centres and other areas of Innovation in the United Kingdom and beyond. Contact us today to discuss the many benefits of joining UKSPA www.ukspa.org.uk | 01799 532050

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Powering towards prosperity York Science Park recognised by Northern Powerhouse Partnership


n August 2019 York Science Park announced that they were the latest company to join the prestigious Northern Powerhouse Partnership Programme. The announcement rounded off 12 months of exciting changes for York Science Park, most notably the launch of their new startup business incubator, Phase One. York Science Park, an entrepreneurial ecosystem at the heart of the University of York, was established in 1991 and has supported more than 400 budding start-ups, spin-outs and entrepreneurs to grow their business by providing high-quality, serviced office and laboratory space, along with virtual offices and hot-desking facilities. The Northern Powerhouse is the Government’s vision for a more prosperous North with good-paying jobs for hard-working people, better roads and railways, higher-performing schools and world-beating universities, with the Northern Powerhouse Partner Programme an essential part of creating the Northern Powerhouse.

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Claire Bennett, General Manager of York Science Park, explained what joining the Northern Powerhouse Partnership meant to them. “Being appointed members of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership was a great achievement for our whole team. It is recognition of the incredible work we do here in supporting the most innovative and creative startups. York Science Park has always been a home to innovation and we have always tried to provide valuable support and resources to the most dynamic companies. We acknowledge what a huge contribution they make to the economy, not just to the city but to the UK as a whole, and we’re aware that we have a key role to play in helping these companies to grow and develop. “York is an amazing city to live, work and do business. The University of York leads the world in so many areas and the access our residents have to research, knowledge and facilities on campus is such a valuable part of being based at York Science Park.

“We’re very proud to be recognised as key partners in supporting innovation in the North. We think it not only acknowledges the hard work we’ve been doing to support startups and SMEs, but helps to boost the reputation of the city as a home to creatives, entrepreneurs and innovators. “York is sometimes overlooked in favour of larger cities in the North, but it’s a city with a rich history and its sights set on the future. We have a huge amount to offer any business looking for a new home.” Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, Minister for Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth said:“Providing an environment to support businesses and start-ups grow and flourish is essential to boosting economic growth across the North. “That is why I am delighted to welcome York Science Park to our expanding network of Northern Powerhouse Partners. Currently home to 130 companies, in the heart of York University Campus, they are best placed

(l-r): Olivia Chatten - Business Development Executive, York Science Park; and Claire Bennett – General Manager, York Science Park

O ur p l an w as a l w ay s to bui l d a p l ac e w h e r e cr e ati v e s , inno vators and pion e e rs cou l d co m e to s h ar e t h e ir e x p e ri e nc e and id e as , e stab l is h t h e ir busin e ss e s and g o on to g r e at t h in g s to help us realise the economic potential of the North and promote the success of the region throughout the rest of the UK.” 2019 was also the year that York Science Park launched their new startup incubator, Phase One. The project was 4 years in the planning, and the launch was met with great success. It is currently home to 8 businesses, representing a mixture of startups, spinouts and spinins. Olivia Chatten, Business Development Executive at York Science Park, explained: “We have been planning a specialised incubator for startups and pre-startups for quite

some time. Our previous startup support programme Springboard was launched in 2010 and supported more than 20 businesses under the age of 12 months. We knew we had all the skills and contacts to help us build an environment for very early stage businesses, and that the connections and location within the University of York would be invaluable for businesses at that stage. “Our plan was always to build a place where creatives, innovators and pioneers could come to share their experience and ideas, establish their businesses and go on to great things. “We have seen first-hand how businesses can flourish and grow in

York. Sometimes people think of it as a historic city but in reality it’s so much more. It’s a city that’s already home to a bustling ecosystem of creative, tech and science business and Phase One is going to be an integral part of that story. “We knew that these startups would need access to a great network of skilled professionals in a wide range of areas, so we called upon our existing network to build a group of trusted local advisors to help our Phase One businesses. These advisors work in the same space as our startups to give them and their teams direct access to expert advice. We’re also running a calendar of seminars and events aimed at helping startups with key challenges they may face. “We are sure that they will go on to play major roles in developing the economy of the North, working at the cutting edge of fields like MedTech, InsureTech, Software and App development and much more. Our role is to support them with the challenges they face and to build and support an environment that fosters innovation. ■

Prospective Northern Powerhouse partners can email NorthernPowerhouse@communities.gov.uk for more information about the partner programme and how to apply. For more information about York Science Park, please contact Catherine Conolly: Email: Catherine.conolly@york.ac.uk or call 01904 328458

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GROWTH MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine’s Community Science Engagement Project was a winner at the Community Partnership Awards

Edinburgh BioQuarter Community at its Core


David Ridd Communications, Marketing and Business Development Manager, Edinburgh BioQuarter

David leads on strategic business development, marketing and communications. Prior to his appointment, David managed external communications for Scotland’s second largest health board, NHS Lothian

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hen world-renowned humanitarian Jean Vanier said that: “one of the marvellous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals,” he wasn’t talking about the development of a medical innovation campus in Scotland. However at Edinburgh BioQuarter it is exactly that philosophy which permeates to the core of its vision. Where the development of the onsite community of top researchers, clinicians, students, scientists and entrepreneurs is impacting directly on people living in its neighbouring communities.

Located just a few miles from Edinburgh’s historic city centre, BioQuarter is overlooked by Craigmillar Castle, once the transient home of Mary Queen of Scots and hence the affectionately named area of, Little France. The more than 100 acres of farmland has since been cultivated into the remarkable community of worldleading medical innovators we see today. Strengthening BioQuarter’s links with its local communities sits as a top priority for its four partners – City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian, Scottish Enterprise and the University of Edinburgh. The goal is to provide a welcoming place where people can interact and influence projects that are truly revolutionising global health and wellbeing.

Anna Stamp is the Interim Programme Director at BioQuarter. She said: “It’s about BioQuarter being seen as a neighbourhood in its own right, one which supports the wider community and enhances the opportunities available to local people. We can actually begin to drive innovation and collaboration through the development of community initiatives, but also through the physical design and development of the campus as it transforms dramatically over the years ahead. So from both a corporate and a social perspective, this is definitely something which is key.”


Amongst the vast array of community activities offered across BioQuarter is the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine’s Craigmillar Community Science Festival, where the stars of the show are the young people from local schools who lead STEM activities for parents, friends and family. The Zoom in on Zebrafish project sees young people from the local Castlebrae High School telling the science of zebrafish using smartphone microscopes made in class, and all done in collaboration with the Queen’s Medical Research Institute. The Science Mentors Programme pairs senior school pupils with PhD students and Post Docs, who offer them mentorship and tuition with their studies. Dr Cathy Southworth is BioQuarter’s Community Science Engagement Manager. She said: “We all grow from our community engagement.

t h e d e v e l op m e nt o f E D I N B U R GH B I O Q U A R T E R ’ S onsit e co m m unit y o f top r e s e arc h e rs , c l inicians , stud e nts , sci e ntists and e ntr e pr e n e urs is i m pactin g dir e ct ly on p e op l e l i v in g in its n e i g h bourin g C O MM U N I T I E S As a result of our programmes the campus community reports greater motivation and connection through their shared experiences, skills development and a sense of community spirit and we have great impact results and feedback from our local communities.” These educational activities are even more pertinent given BioQuarter’s location within an area which is in the top two per cent on the Scottish Index for Multiple Deprivation. “The campus sits in an area with low progression to Higher Education and lower levels of science capital. As a result, instead of one-off activities and interactions, we have developed longer-term projects, multiple interactions and connections,” Cathy continued. “This can mean leaving behind all assumptions, being open to new possibilities and ideas of engagement, creating the most meaningful interactions with long term benefits.” This ethos of long-term The Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic was founded at the University of Edinburgh by author J.K. Rowling in memory of her mother Anne

community-led partnerships has seen the team win the Rolls Royce Science Award 2019 and the Eden Award for the local Primary School Castleview. The annual award recognises excellence and innovation in the teaching of STEM, and was developed in partnership with MRC Centre and Edinburgh BioQuarter. There are plans for further community programmes involving more of the award-winning SMEs based in the campus’ Innovation Centre. Whilst the site also offers: jogging and walking clubs, yoga classes, business networking events, an academic lecture series and the recently established BioQuarter community choir, which is open to all. “The choir only started this summer but already it’s seen a great deal of interest from people involved across each corner of the campus,” Anna Stamp added. “These activities help deliver a sense of belonging – they improve satisfaction and wellbeing, and clearly we want people to want to come to BioQuarter. At the heart of all this work is an objective to deliver positive impacts for society at large; be it locally, nationally or internationally.” It is no exaggeration to state that the talent and global connections at Edinburgh BioQuarter are truly outstanding. The work that is done genuinely change people’s lives. Though amid the groundbreaking science, medical development and discovery that happens on campus, it’s people who remain at the heart of all that it stands for. ■

For more information, please visit: edinburghbioquarter.com

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Gro w t h

Wood Centre for Innovation Oxford’s new eco-friendly hub for science and tech businesses


he newly-opened, state-ofthe-art Wood Centre for Innovation (WCFI) has a prime selection of flexible office and lab space, impressive meeting and conference facilities as well as a dedicated package of support for local science and tech businesses. Not only that, it has great environmental credentials, is located at the heart of the city’s health and data sciences quarter, and attracts a vibrant community of like-minded start-up and grown-on businesses. With more and more small businesses adopting sustainability practices, WCFI is hoping to attract more clients who have sustainability high on their agenda. Set in 15 acres of picturesque woodland at Stansfeld Park in Headington, the two-storey innovation

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Wendy Tindsley Innovation Director, Oxford Innovation Ltd

centre has strong green credentials. Orientated east-west, the building maximises beneficial solar gain and protects against unwanted solar gain with an over-hanging roof that provides solar shading. Not only that, there is 30kW solar array of photovoltaic panels on the southfacing roof that helps to power the

building, and there are air-source heat pumps that provide energy for the underfloor heating. The materials used for the build have been sourced locally where possible, including the British poplar that clads the exterior. In fact, WCFI is the biggest building in the UK that’s clad in heat-treated timber. The centre is also big on wildflowers with its green roof and mixed planting all around the centre that creates a wonderful display during the summer months. Together the eco-friendly measures at the new centre provide the perfect platform for businesses to promote their green credentials. Professor Jose Maria Pena, co-founder and CTO of Lurtis, an artificial intelligence research company resident at the centre, said: “The practical location and stunning

surroundings immediately attracted us to WCFI. We are currently working on developing technology for an architectural firm, so it has been excellent for us to promote our services from a base consistent with ecofriendly measures.”


Owners of the building, The Oxford Trust has been environmentally conscious throughout the building process, and working with Oxford Innovation, who manage the centre, are starting to rollout a green transport initiative. Users of the facilities at Stansfeld Park are encouraged to cycle, walk or use public transport. The centre has also installed a number of electric car charging points and cycle racks. Professor Pena added: “All of our staff walk or cycle to work, so having an office which supports this was important to us on a practical level. We’re located right in the heart of a woodland, so the surrounding area is stunning and something always noticed by our clients. It’s also great to enjoy a walk and during the busy day.”

diseases. Others include Sportside, the developers of an all-encompassing app and web-based communication platform. Those at OCFI range from audio specialists, healthcare researchers and environmental data analysts and anything in-between. Both centres are run by Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres that provide office, laboratory, workshop and meeting space throughout the UK. The company also provides innovation services to entrepreneurs, including business-planning advice, fund raising, coaching and mentoring.

Wit h m or e and m or e s m a l l busin e ss e s adoptin g sustainabi l it y practic e s , W C F I is h opin g to attract m or e c l i e nts w h o h av e sustainabi l it y h i g h on t h e ir a g e nda

Located on Quarry Road in Headington, the centre is close to the city’s fastgrowing health and data sciences quarter, centred on the University of Oxford’s Old Road campus, clinical research facilities at the local hospitals and Oxford Brookes University. It is also close to major road and rail links. Part of WCFI’s attraction is the vibrant community of science and tech start-ups based there but also at its partner centre – the Oxford Centre for Innovation, or OCFI – in the centre of town. Clients include medical product design and development consultancy firm, Triteq, and Ultromics, a business that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to build diagnostic aids for cardiovascular

WCFI’s Commercial Manager, Kelly Carter, supports businesses on their journey and helps them overcome challenges to success. She also helps to link up clients with the Oxford Innovation network of Innovation Directors that offers practical support and advice. As Kelly says: “The wants and needs of our clients are taken seriously by the team. When you become part of the Wood Centre for Innovation, you’ll gain lots of support you didn’t even know you needed. Our team is well connected within Oxford’s science and technology sectors, so businesses will have the kind of support you just won’t get anywhere else.”

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As part of the support package offered to clients, WCFI hosts a programme of sector-specific and business-building workshops throughout the year. These sessions are open to all customers and are included as part of the licence fee.


The Wood Centre for Innovation (WCFI) and the Oxford Centre for Innovation (OCFI) are both owned by The Oxford Trust; an independent charitable trust founded in 1985 by entrepreneurs Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood. The Trust’s mission is to encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise. Through their innovation centres, the Trust has enabled hundreds of innovative companies to begin, develop and grow, including Mirada Medical, Perspectum Diagnostics, Natural Motion and Oxford Computer Consultants. The Trust’s sustainable business model means that income from WCFI and OCFI is reinvested in the Science Oxford Centre at Stansfeld Park and their Science Oxford education and engagement programmes. The strength of the Trust’s business model is that it supports both ends of the innovation ecosystem, from inspiring young children about the wonders of science to helping start-ups develop and grow. Could you see your business at the centre? The Wood Centre for Innovation currently has a number of offices and lab space available, ranging from 384 sq ft and 1048 sq ft, for growing companies that work in the science and technology sectors. ■

For further information, please visit: www.wcfi.co.uk

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Become a part of the UK’s largest life science professional organisation The Royal Society of Biology seeks to ensure a good supply of highly skilled biologists across the sector; support biologists’ careers, increase public engagement with biology, and inspire future generations to study life sciences. Organisations can support the future of the life sciences by becoming members, which additionally allows them to: • • • • • •

Contribute to sector-wide project work Attend high-level networking events Promote events and jobs to our network Benefit from free course approval for CPD Receive The Biologist magazine Network with other members at RSB events

Support their staff, via discounted membership, which provides: - Access to a flexible CPD scheme - Eligibility to join one of our professional registers - Discounted attendance at RSB training courses - Their own subscription toThe Biologist

For further information on our work, visit our website or contact our head of membership:

rsb.org.uk/membership | mark.leach@rsb.org.uk

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Angels join the ranks of the BioCity collective Biocity’s new investment platform and co-investment strategy, twelve months on


t’s been quite a year. In October 2018, we launched a co-investment strategy and a dedicated platform through which angels could make equity investments alongside BioCity, in early stage life science ventures. In the twelve months that followed, our angel network has grown dramatically, we have looked at >150 opportunities, completed five new deals, made several venture development loans, secured NEDs, CEOs and Chairs for investee companies and, (unsurprisingly) grown our in-house investment team. True, BioCity has been a keen investor in young businesses for many years, specialising in pre-seed and seed funding; however, the landscape in which life science businesses are starting up and growing; is changing. As many funds become more risk-averse and move from early to later stages of funding, angel investors are increasingly meeting the challenge of early stage funding. And it is challenging, but not impossible, as there are angels and funds like ours who want to invest in promising young ventures. The real challenge is connecting the two.


Finding investment opportunities is easier, surrounded, as we are, by promising young ventures, whether they are graduating from our Accelerator or setting up in our incubators. We are also blessed with an incredibly experienced team of investment experts who are adept at spotting the ‘ones to watch’ amongst this ever-growing community. That we identify the opportunities, are a guiding force and reassuring presence who angels invest alongside, is crucial; as early stage investment sits very firmly on the riskier end of the spectrum. This type of investment is not for everyone, and although there is no ‘standard angel’, typically those who invest alongside us are looking to make an impact. Many have extensive investment portfolios and are looking to move into healthcare and life sciences. Others have

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spent careers in commercial science and want to continue their direct involvement via investment. Others wish to pay forward the opportunities given to them as they began their own businesses. Others are looking for an investment they can watch grow, evolve and succeed; first-hand. All, however, want to positively impact the future of the life sciences. Co-investing alongside us allows them to directly support the next generation of science entrepreneurs who are tackling global health and environmental challenges. Twelve months on, the signs are good but, the nature of early stage investment, particularly in the life sciences, requires patience. The next twelve months are set to be even busier. For those who secured pre-seed funding, they become established businesses. For those who secured seed, they continue to grow and evolve, and we will be right there with them — entering follow-on funding rounds and larger investments, putting the full force of BioCity and our collective, behind them. ■

Find out more about the BioCity Investment platform at: biocity.co.uk/investment

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Bigger, Better, Faster


Data infrastructure trends that will affect research

nternet networks are vital to the world as we know it. They enable us to shop, organise our finances, connect with family and friends, educate ourselves and collaborate across geographical divides with colleagues. They’re pretty young, too. Just 30 years ago, science parks and research organisations were taking the first steps in creating high-speed connections with partner organisations. Back then, ‘highspeed’ meant 10Mbits per second, but since then, computing power and the demand for bandwidth has skyrocketed. In the 1990s, the first gene sequencing for living organisms took ten days to process just one gene sequence; today, it takes hours - and it’s getting faster by the day. Super-fast, secure private networks are the backbone of research – enabling the processing of huge amounts of data in multiple locations. Research into genomes, machine learning, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and

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Jeremy Sharp chief technology officer, JANET NETWORK

other areas now operate on connections running at 10Gbit/s per second – while 100Gbit/s connectivity is increasingly required by research centres connected to the UK’s national research and education network, Janet, which is run by the UK’s education technology solutions not-for-profit, Jisc.


According to the latest figures from GÉANT - the European collaboration

of national research and education networks (NRENs) - the Janet Network is the busiest in Europe by volume of data carried, ferrying around 1 Exabyte of information every year. That’s enough capacity to stream 1.2 million hours of 1080p high-definition video every day – and it’s a figure that is growing by 30 percent year-on-year. To put that into context, the total global data traffic exceeded 1 Exabyte for the first time in 2004, so Janet today matches the capacity of the entire world just 15 years ago. The vast majority of traffic that goes from the UK’s Janet Network through GÉANT is research data exchanged between the likes of CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, the European Bioinformatics Institute, the Elixir project and other research environments. Janet is optimised to support very high levels of data transfer in terms of capacity,

resilience and raw bandwidth and its capacity is upgraded every 18 months as required to keep in pace with the growing demand. Janet is becoming increasingly important, as Oliver Hemming, Head of Central Computing Group CODAS & IT at UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), explains: “As an internationally renowned centre for fusion energy research running some of the world’s largest fusion research machines, we depend on robust infrastructure. It’s the life support of all we do here. That’s why we have recently upgraded our network connection through Janet and increased our bandwidth.”

O p t imi s e d lo w l at e ncy lin k s

More and more big data intensive research organisations are looking for high-capacity, low-latency connectivity services to ensure data sets are quickly and securely transferred between disparate locations. Dr Robert Akers, Head of the Advanced Computing Programme at UKAEA and who researches fusion energy and related technologies also recognises the need for fast and secure connections between sites, saying: “A great deal of our computing is off-site and we are increasingly collaborating with partners outside the walls of our institution. At the moment, we don’t move “Big” data around so much but that is soon to change with experiments like ITER in France planning their data acquisition systems to produce 2PetaBite of raw data per day. Increasingly our modelling and simulation work is being performed off site on some of the world’s largest supercomputers and we will soon become much more exposed to remote data generation, especially when our new research centre opens in Rotherham. This £22 million fusion energy research facility in the North is set engage industry in commercial fusion energy development when it opens next year.” Much of our research would simply not be possible without UK wide, high bandwidth, low latency network infrastructure. Information from large research projects that use massive High-

S up e r - f ast, s e cur e pri vat e n e t w orks ar e t h e backbon e o f r e s e arc h – e nab l in g t h e proc e ssin g o f h u g e a m ounts o f data in m u ltip l e l ocations

Performance Computing (HPC) platforms and require extensive IT infrastructure investment, is, for the most part, hosted in shared data centres. Jisc provides two such facilities for its members in Slough and Leeds. For instance, the Francis Crick Institute has a presence in the Slough data centre, connected directly to Janet, and enabling the sharing of resources with other institutions, particularly in terms of scientific analysis. As David Fergusson, Head of Research Services at the Francis Crick Institute, says, “The shared nature and scale of the data centre makes it a unique research capability. It allows researchers to share large data sets in an unprecedented manner and to address fundamental questions by searching across collections of data that were previously split across distributed locations. It represents a new level of collaboration between different research institutes.”

C lo u d s a nd h o r iz o n

Another significant trend is the increased use of cloud computing. Cloud computing enables researchers to rapidly scale experiments to many thousands of cores and processing nodes on demand without having to commit to long-term ownership or be constrained by hardware limitations. The Janet Network is well equipped to support research in implementing clouds strategies; with high capacity resilient peering to cloud providers and bespoke and direct cloud connections Janet is ‘cloud ready’. European researchers are increasingly transferring data off-site into the cloud. In its planned €94.1 billion Horizon Europe programme, the European Commission has committed

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€600m to provide a cloud environment for sharing research data: the European Open Science Cloud will provide a safe environment for researchers to store, analyse and re-use data for research, innovation and educational purposes. Hybrid cloud approaches are also coming into their own and potentially offer the most appropriate solution. Research organisations are combining solutions by storing and reusing some data on home premises as well as through shared data centres and the cloud. For instance, a research organisation will do first pass data analysis in house, then move that data to a shared data centre and choose to burst additional data across to public clouds when they run out of capacity. In this way, savings can be made on the cost of the home shared data centre build. More advanced data-oriented technologies are now becoming mainstream on the cloud. Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and other data processing technologies are making cloud environments much richer and sophisticated environments which will enable researchers to use the cloud more effectively. Cloud will play a pivotal role in shaping research for the future. But rather than thinking of cloud as just a place to store and reuse data, it will be a place that will offer enhanced collaboration that will come with a myriad of tools and technology to facilitate that trend. ■

For further information, please visit: www.jisc.ac.uk/janet

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Dynamism and buzz


Another record breaking year for Lab Innovations

ab Innovations celebrated its 8th edition on 30 & 31 October 2019, trumping all records for the event, attracting over 4,000 attendees an impressive 24% increase on the previous year, making it the largest Lab Innovations to date. Over 160 exhibitors displayed a diverse and innovative product offering to visitors from more sectors than ever before, emphasising the event’s place as the UK’s largest annual trade exhibition dedicated to the entire laboratory industry. Returning once more to Birmingham’s NEC, Lab Innovations saw an increase in lab managers of 9%, scientists 9%, procurement managers 32%, chemists 65% and lab technicians 24%, with decision makers making up 75% of those in attendance - demonstrating a true hunger for future-proofing laboratories across the UK. Josh Chapman, Managing

Director, Scientific Laboratory Supplies emphasised the growth and quality of professionals, commenting: “Lab Innovations is interesting and very useful for us, and every year it gets a bit bigger and better. Importantly, the quality of delegates this year has been even better than in previous years.” The buzz of activity across the two days of the event was bursting with business, networking and innovation. Home to a host of sustainable solutions and technologies to future-proof laboratories, Lab Innovations featured exhibitors showcasing products applicable to a plethora of sectors including food & drink, cleanroom, pharmaceuticals, academia, medical and more. Paul Vanden Branden, Director at SciMed commented “Lab Innovations is the only show where we can display everything we do. Pretty much everyone in this room will be

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interested in something. Over a couple of days, we can meet existing and new clients from across the country, which would usually take us two or three months of visiting different sites”. Building on its reputation as the largest annual gathering of the entire laboratory community, Lab Innovations invested in a new meetings concierge service for 2019, enabling visitors and exhibitors to pre-book meetings in advance and make business connections prior to the event. The new matchmaking tool added a further dimension to the available networking opportunities to maximise value for the entire industry. Visitors were able to source hundreds of products, technologies and solutions for their laboratories from 162 exhibitors. With so many products under one roof, novel products were highlighted in brand new guided ‘Innovation Trails’ and featured:

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inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES) with new revolutionary Dual Side-On Interface (DSOI) technology

• Shimadzu’s Nexera UHPLC with A.I.

that detects and resolves issues automatically to simplify lab management and increase throughput; SCP Sciences’ NovaWAVE SA standalone microwave digestion tunnel system for improving productivity through automation

• A&D Instruments’ Apollo GF-A/GX-K

series multi-functional precision balances with impact shock detection

• BRAND’s HandyStep® touch, the first repetitive pipette with touchscreen operation • Eppendorf’s new Conical Tubes

25mL that fill the gap between the volumes of traditional conical tubes for cell biology applications

• Appleton Woods’ BioEcho

EchoLUTION cell culture DNA Kit with proprietary single-step technology Needing more time to see all the items on display, Lab professionals returned for a second day to ensure they were up-todate with all the possibilities for their laboratories. Alice Thomas, Chemist at EDF Energy commented: “We came back for a second day because there were so many stands that we could not get through them all in one day. We came to find certain things to upgrade our lab and searching the internet doesn’t do the products justice. We were able to ask indepth questions and there is a real value

to having face-to-face discussion rather than through phone or email.” The subject of sustainability in the lab remains pertinent and continued to be a big focus for the event. The Sustainable Lab feature returned by popular demand for the second year running, showing visitors how even small improvements in technology, procurement and best practice can reduce running costs to make funding go further. Director of Green Light Laboratories, Andy Evans, hosted hourly tours in the Sustainable Lab, demonstrating case studies on smart equipment monitoring, fridge performance and fume cupboard loading. Polly Warwick, Laboratory Analyst at Oscar Mayer, summarises the event: “It has been really, really interesting because we can actually interact with each company exhibiting. We are always on the lookout for new things to buy for the lab and someone from our company comes every year. It is great that sustainability is being really thought about now, especially at this year’s show.” The sustainability theme was extended into the conference programmes with sessions advising on the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF), the recycling of metal from electronic waste and the separation of the rare earth metals, along with the recycling of lithium ion batteries. With new technological developments and digitisation expanding the boundaries of research and science, the Insights and Innovation seminars supported lab professionals in futureproofing their laboratory and learning best practice for lab management. Expert speakers demonstrated new technologies that will help

accelerate or improve processes, benefit research and keep their laboratory at the forefront of the industry. Topics included ‘Combining AI and Computer Vision to Address Research Challenges’ and ‘Using Virtual Reality in The Lab’, ‘Evolution of UKAS Assessments” and ‘New Approaches to the Skills Crisis’. Plans for Lab Innovations 2020 are well under way and the organisers have clear plans to grow the event further next year. Easyfairs Divisional Director, Alison Willis commented: “Lab Innovations 2019 has been the biggest and best event to date with a clear dynamism and buzz from both exhibitors and visitors, who are keen to return next year. Over 84% of the current floor space has already been rebooked, and we are expecting yet another triumphant event in 2020.” ■

Lab Innovations 2020 will take place on 4 & 5 November at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. Register your interest to exhibit or visit on the event website: www.lab-innovations.com

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Taking care of your people, places and public perception

Marine business growth at The European Marine Science Park (EMSP)

Riding along on the crest of a wave Karen Kerr Project Support Officer, Highlands & Islands Enterprise


ban’s European Marine Science Park (EMSP) businesses are making waves in the search for sustainable solutions to marine-safe packaging challenges. The EMSP, located right beside the sea on Scotland’s west coast, is the most northerly member of UKSPA. It is a renowned location for marine science. It is part of a thriving cluster of innovative marine businesses. Situated close to the region’s strong

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aquaculture sector with its demand for bio-tech innovation, the Park is at the centre of a sea change in marine business growth. The world-renowned education and research institute Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) shares the site with the EMSP. With beaches on two sides of the Park, the sea plastics agenda is always present. On the one hand SAMS research projects are exploring microplastic pollution in the deep sea. On the other, EMSP businesses are working on the development of compostable plastics to reduce that waste. Biotechnology companies, Cuan Tec Ltd and Oceanium Ltd are exploring opportunities for making compostable packaging, from shellfish waste and

seaweed respectively. Their innovations have been successful in receiving investment from Sky Ocean Ventures (SOV). This is an impact investment fund led by Sky and the Scottish Investment Bank, aimed at supporting early stage businesses working on scalable solutions to the growing threat of plastics in the marine environment. Cait Murray-Green, CEO of CuanTec said: “The world has awakened to the problems that we have created with single use plastic. We are working to provide compostable alternatives that will eliminate single-use plastic from the food industry. We are delighted with the support of SOV and Scottish Investment Bank in enabling this early stage technology to move forward and to help create scientific jobs in rural Argyll and

in Motherwell. Increasingly, the investment community has also taken up the challenge and SOV has proven to be a valuable partner who believe strongly in our team and in what we are trying to achieve – to make plastic pollution history.” Dr Charlie Bavington, CEO of Oceanium Ltd, said: “We develop seaweed-based products to provide sustainable solutions for the increasing demand for marine-safe packaging and plant-based food sources. We are very pleased to announce that SOV has invested in Oceanium alongside grant funding from Innovate UK. This funding will be instrumental in accelerating our progress and delivering on our mission to help eliminate plastic waste and enable a sustainable seaweed farming industry to mitigate climate change and create jobs.” Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the Scottish Government’s economic development agency for the

Highlands and Islands, completed Malin House, the first phase of the EMSP, in 2013. The Park now hosts 14 businesses all working in the marine sector. Malin House is designed to accommodate the needs of a wide range of occupiers. It encourages collaboration between tenants and promotes links with education and research led by SAMS. Cross-organisation working is now well established on several development projects. The Energy and the Bioeconomy (ENBIO) project is one example of a project bringing EMSP tenants together. In this innovation, ALIEnergy and Xanthella, are collaborating in a pilot project using off peak green energy to

don’t need to push the boat out – HIE can offer a desk on affordable, simple terms and one charge covering shared facilities and services. Morag added: “All our EMSP companies are able to benefit from collaboration opportunities and assets like SAMS’ culture collection of algae and protozoa, as well as world-class lab equipment that would be hard for any small start-up to afford in the early days.” With so much focus on the health of the oceans and farmed fish as a sustainable source of food, PatoGen Ltd, the well-established Norwegian fish health services business, is a tenant in The Moorings co-working suite. Teresa

power cost-effective algal bioproduction in a remote rural area of the west coast, creating much needed income and employment. “The EMSP really is a fantastic place for people with good ideas”, said Morag Goodfellow, HIE’s area manager. “There is excellent business advice on hand, a pipeline of brilliant students looking for employment and Oban offers so many great lifestyle benefits – it’s a really buzzing place to live.” Last autumn HIE opened The Moorings - a flexible co-working suite. This gives start-up businesses the opportunity to join the EMSP community and access its facilities with low start-up costs and no need for long term commitments. Morag continued: “The Moorings offers not only a modern work base but the chance to collaborate with other marine researchers and companies already at Malin House and at SAMS. Businesses tying up at The Moorings

Garzon, PatoGen key account manager, said: “This is a great opportunity for PatoGen to get a foot-hold in this renowned location for marine expertise and to join the thriving cluster of innovative marine-based businesses working in Malin House.” With plans well advanced for EMPS Phase 2 and a Marine Industry Training Skills Centre, options will be available for companies to grow without the need to leave the marine cluster environment, and space will be available for inward investments. Far from being a science park on the edge of the UK, the EMSP is ideally located to continue to attract new marine sector businesses to join the vibrant community ‘beside the seaside, beside the sea’. ■

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For further information, please visit: www.europeanmarinesciencepark.co.uk

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Developing a commercial approach to Intellectual Property (IP) management


Where to focus and realise the full potential of IP assets

cience parks are a fertile environment for innovation, and having a robust way of identifying and protecting valuable IP is hugely important for science park enterprises. Richard Wells, patent attorney and life sciences specialist at leading European IP law firm, Potter Clarkson, provides guidance on putting an effective strategy in place. Intellectual Property (IP) is a general term for creations arising from innovation. IP can be protected by different types of ‘IP right’ – for example, protecting a device using a patent or protecting a logo using a Trade Mark. These rights can be used to stop competitors from copying an innovation, so are important in helping to secure a unique selling point.

securing IP rights. It is also important to find out if others have relevant rights that might impact on what you want to achieve commercially.

S t e p 3 : Ac t Richard Wells SENIOR ASSOCIATE, POTTER CLARKSOn

Richard works with a wide range of clients, and has particular expertise in the drafting and prosecution of patent applications concerning screening assays, recombinant DNA technologies, antibody therapeutics, vaccine technology and peptide therapeutics

r e g ard l e ss o f co m pan y si z e and l e v e l o f inno vation , d e v isin g an appropriat e strat e g y can g r e at ly h e l p a busin e ss d e v e l op an I P port f o l io to support its co m m e rcia l g oa l s Consequently, IP is a key asset that a business must manage and protect. So, where should innovative businesses focus their efforts to realise the full potential of their IP assets? We recommend a simple four-step approach:

achieved by fostering an IP-savvy culture, so that key personnel, including researchers, scientists and project managers, can easily identify potentially valuable IP in work they are responsible for.

S t e p 1 : A u di t

S t e p 2 : An a ly s e

To successfully manage and protect valuable IP, it is critical to understand what IP-worthy innovation is occurring. For this to work in practice, there has to be a clear understanding among those directly involved in innovation projects of what constitutes IP. This can be

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The next step is to consider what IP rights would be useful for your organisation. As innovation occurs, it is important to analyse how what is being created fits with the business’s commercial goals, as this will help to prioritise where you want to invest in

Once you have identified the IP rights you want to secure, it is time to take action. Often, this will involve applying to IP offices for particular ‘rights’ (such as a patent). This is a complex process, where small mistakes can make the difference between obtaining protection for your innovation or missing the opportunity. Although IP specialists can help you at any step of the journey, this is where their benefit is really felt.

S t e p 4 : Ad a p t

Finally, it is important to keep reviewing your approach to ensure that it is fit for purpose as the business grows. For example, as your product develops, it is key to consider whether it is sufficiently protected by your current IP rights. It is also important to keep an eye on how the IP rights of your competitors develop to ensure that they do not change what you can achieve commercially.

Ta ilo r in g t h e a p p r o a c h

All businesses are different, and so require different approaches to managing their IP. When a company is starting out, it might have an initial concept or a single product and so its scope of IP is relatively narrow, making aspects of managing its IP more straightforward. Conversely, a large corporate might have a number of different products and therefore a larger amount of IP, making its management more complex. Ultimately, regardless of company size and level of innovation, devising an appropriate strategy can greatly help a business develop an IP portfolio to support its commercial goals. ■

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15 years and counting Taking a look at Chesterford Research Park - the home of UKSPA


s Aviva Investors celebrate 20 years involvement at Chesterford Resesarch Park, UKSPA, now in its 35th year, is celebrating 15 years at the Park. Building on 60 years of continuous research and development at Chesterford, today the Park provides high quality, flexible and future-proof facilities for both established and early stage technology R&D companies. Park occupiers, which include AstraZeneca, Arecor, Cambridge Epigenetix, Isomerase, Oncologica and UKSPA thrive in state-ofthe art buildings and enjoy modern,

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central facilities, all set within a stunning parkland environment. Aviva Investors commitment to an ambitious, but low-density, development masterplan and the willingness to invest speculatively to bring new facilities into being has created a Park with a diverse portfolio of buildings - enabling not only established organisations to call Chesterford home, but also supporting companies from conception through scale-up and beyond. Existing buildings have been re-furbished and re-purposed and where new buildings have taken shape; the design has always been sympathetic to the idyllic country estate aesthetic which makes Chesterford so unique. Developers, the Churchmanor Estates Company, has been at the heart of these transformations over the years.

Wit h a m ast e rp l an f or around 1 m i l l ion s q f t, o f w h ic h appro x i m at e ly 3 5 0 , 0 0 0 s q f t is a l r e ad y occupi e d C h e st e r f ord ’ s e v o l ution is f ar f ro m co m p l e t e

Paul Wright, former CEO of UKSPA recalls: “When UKSPA opened its offices at Chesterford Research Park in 2003/2004 the Park was very much a development site with ambitious plans to create a low density hub of around 600,000 sq ft of R&D space. Chesterford had been a single occupier research location for 50 years but building developments were piecemeal. The promotional material of the time recognised that ‘many buildings had fallen into disrepair’. “This was particularly true of Garden Cottage, the first permanent home of UKSPA which required extensive refurbishment and at the time of my first visit was derelict to say the least. I recall viewing the cottage with the property agents, and the tree growing through the downstairs windows, pushing up through the floor and out through the upper windows didn’t exactly give me the impression that it could ever be renovated to an acceptable level. But the Park agents obviously had more vision than me, and agreed to re-develop the cottage to a high standard. The development was superb, and offered UKSPA a comfortable home, in a great location at a point in time when the Association itself needed a new start.”


With a masterplan for around 1 million sq ft, of which approximately 350,000 sq ft is already occupied Chesterford’s evolution is far from complete. The Newnham building is the current focus of attention; a detached, two-storey laboratory/R&D

The Newnham building,; a detached, two-storey laboratory/R&D building, is due for occupation in May 2020

building within a prominent position on the Park. Currently being reconfigured, the Newnham Building will provide a newly constructed double height glazed reception entrance to the western entrance as well as a new entrance to the eastern end of the building. Passenger lifts will be incorporated at each entrance, in addition to passenger/goods lift facilities. The floorplates are broadly rectangular in configuration, benefitting from the core facilities at each end. The first floor will also have access to a new terrace overlooking the wider Park and landscaped areas. The flexibility of the building gives it the capability to cater for a range of

The Garden Cottage at Chesterford Research Park was the first permanent home of UKSPA

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needs in terms of technical configuration, as well as sizing. Due for occupation in May 2020, such is the demand for space at Chesterford, that three quarters of the building is already pre-let with just one unit remaining. ■

To discover more about Chesterford Research Park, please visit: www.chesterfordresearchpark.com

Jim Duvall Executive Director, UKSPA sums up the benefits of locating at Chesterford Research Park:

“UKSPA benefits enormously by being based on a member science park. It allows us to speak with credibility and authority when explaining the benefits that occupiers receive. Not simply to sample the quality of facilities and working environment offered but also by interacting with other occupiers and getting a real insight into the impact that innovation locations like Chesterford Research Park deliver to their business community and beyond.”

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Science at scale is the future of healthcare


he history of the Wellcome Genome Campus makes it a science park with an unusual level of focus. The Campus was set up by the Wellcome Trust in 1993, and developed as a key contributor to the international effort to sequence the human genome. Consequently, the Campus has a niche focus on genomics, and associated technologies, which lends it a unique outlook and atmosphere (If, indeed, you can really describe a market estimated to be worth somewhere north of $15.8 billion as niche1). Today, the Wellcome Genome Campus hosts two world leading Institutes with complementary functions, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute; both share a fundamental remit of open innovation, and disseminating knowledge is at the core of their mission. The institutes have over two thousand scientists, and supporting staff, drawn from 77 countries across the world dedicated to decoding biology, with wet labs and computational resources built to work at industrial scale.

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Dr. Gary. P. Dillon Business Development Manager, Wellcome Sanger Institute

Sc a l e i s im p e r at iv e f o r in s i g h t

At its core, genomics is an attempt to understand biology through comparison. Looking for the similarities and differences between us as individuals provides clues we need to decipher the mechanisms that keep us alive, or break down when we are unwell. The ever increasing pace of technological development in genomics means that, whereas the first human genome took over a decade to complete, today whole genomes can be sequenced in a matter of minutes. This generates a vast amount of data that only a few facilities in the world


Front entrance of the BioData Innovation Centre at the Wellcome Genome Campus

Before joining The Sanger Institute, Gary was Head of R&D at Abcam. He now helps scientists commercialise and share their ideas for the benefit of society

can generate or have the resources to analyse to its full potential. Consequently, we are mindful of our privileged place as a global leader in genomics and informatics research. Indeed, the Campus is strategically developed to optimise our contribution to the broader genomics and healthcare ecosystem.

W o r k in g t o g e t h e r t o s o lv e t h e b i g g e s t h e a lt h c a r e c h a ll e n g e s

This is why our partnerships prioritise externalising our strengths like our ability to scale, rather than focusing


on revenue alone. This has attracted innovative companies onto Campus, for example Genomics England and Health Data Research UK have strategically chosen to co-locate here. Residing on Campus lowers their barriers to accessing the brightest and the best in genomics and biodata research. Pharmaceutical companies also have chosen to work closely with us: Open Targets, for example, is a target validation platform developed in partnership with several pharmaceutical companies. Open Targets aims create more effective drugs by applying state of the art genomic and analytic approaches to validating new avenues for therapeutic intervention. The partnership brings together expertise from seven complimentary organisations, drawing on the diverse sets of skill, backgrounds, evidence and types of technologies that each of them brings. Open Targets is committed to openly sharing their platform and data with the global scientific community via opentargets.org Alongside the institutes, our BioData Innovation Centre hosts innovative genomics and bioinformatics companies who share our passion for exploring applications of genomics. Examples of companies present on Campus include SciBite- a data and software company with a mission to computationally unlock the potential of scientific literature and Congenica- a Sanger spin-out, using genomic data to aid clinical decision making thus helping to improving patient care and experience. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, as scientists we gain from industry-led applied insights, and industrial partners come to us for early competitive insight into emerging areas of science. In the fast moving field of genomics, and its ever increasing pace of technological evolution, opportunities can pass quickly- by the time you are reading the news, it’s probably already history.

upon knowledge-sharing, mutual gain and collaboration. Our chosen unique approach to clustering world-class expertise in the niche field of genomics and bioinformatics, sets a clear direction and allows us to propel scientific discovery forwards, whilst keeping pace with the technological revolution happening all around us. For more than 25 years the Campus has made vital contributions to the understanding of human biology. We were the single largest contributor to the Human Genome Project, and have sequenced over 50,000 individuals in the UK Biobank. We plan to sequence a further 225,000 making the Sanger Institute the majority contributor to a world-leading effort. Our other projects include the Deciphering Developmental Disorders programme that has provided diagnoses for over 4,500 people with rare diseases who would otherwise never know what caused their illness. This is only possible because we have the critical mass of skills, infrastructure and strategic focus to deliver.

T h e f u t u r e o f h e a lt h c a r e

Globally, the importance of genomic technologies for human health is generating exceptional enthusiasm and expectation. The UK government, in particular, recognises the importance

that genomics, and associated new technologies will play in improving patient care. The NHS Genomic Medicine Service plans to expand on existing programmes such as the 100,000 Genomes Project, led by Genomics England, by sequencing 1 million whole genomes from UK Biobank in the next five years. Furthermore, from 2019, seriously ill children and adults with certain rare diseases or hard to treat cancers, will be offered whole genome sequencing as part of their care. The Wellcome Genome Campus and its community are looking forward to leading the next 25 years of impactful discovery and bringing more of our science to the clinic for the benefit of all. â–

For further information, please visit: www.wellcomegenomecampus.org

C r i t ic a l m a s s o f e x p e rt i s e a nd f o c u s

Companies looking to maintain a competitive edge benefit from free association with academia and vice versa. A key function of the Campus is maintaining and supporting interactions between academia and industry, helping to create an innovative ecosystem built

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The Wellcome Genome Campus

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Built for innovation

The BRE Innovation Park in Watford is the flagship development of an international network of innovation parks

David Kelly BRE Director of Innovation Parks & Centre for Resilience

Harry Vigus Sustainability Graduate


e live in a world where the pace of change is relentless. Society is getting to grips with the climate crisis we face which has led to political action in the form of a commitment to net zero as well as increased industrial awareness of how we need to adapt to a different future. This is particularly the case with the built environment where climate resilience has become a major focus of business. The built environment needs to play a role in both the mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The construction

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industry is typically resource intensive and contributes significantly to the global carbon emissions, therefore it needs to reduce the impact it has on the environment. Additionally, it also needs to ensure that buildings are adapting to the changing climate and will be able to withstand and perform in the future. Professionals are becoming more concerned about the performance of their assets over the long term. How will buildings perform in a future where summer temperatures are several degrees hotter than now, with extreme weather also more frequent? Buildings need to stand up to challenges which haven’t been faced before, whilst being designed in a way that supports our net zero ambitions. There is also a growing demand for buildings which take the health and wellbeing of occupants into account. Tackling so many global megatrends is a big challenge which will require proactivity from the whole of the industry. Furthermore, innovation must be encouraged, new technologies need to be tested to help address these trends.

T h e r o l e o f BRE

BRE is an international, multidisciplinary, building science organisation with a mission to improve buildings and infrastructure through research, knowledge generation and their

application. BRE is owned by a charity called the BRE Trust, which delivers one of the largest programmes of built environment education and research for the public good. BRE uses cutting-edge collaborative research to develop a range of digital products, services, standards and qualifications which are adopted around the world to bring about positive change in the built environment. Throughout its existence, BRE has been at the forefront of construction innovation and research. BRE’s unique position within the industry ensures that it remains a key enabler in the development of policies, regulations, standards and innovation, shaping the future of the built environment. This position is as important as ever because of the challenges facing the built environment. BRE’s position also ensures that it is valued by the private sector as an organisation that can foster, evaluate and promote construction innovation which often leads to market penetration and commercial gains. The role that BRE plays in the shaping, developing, demonstrating, and promoting construction innovation is unmatched and provides ongoing opportunities for the business both nationally and internationally.

BRE I nn o vat i o n Pa r k s N e t w o r k

The BRE Innovation Park concept has been established to support the development and implementation of Government policies in relation to issues such as construction innovation, sustainability, energy efficiency, resilience and climate change. The role of the Innovation Parks is to inform the industry and policy makers on the viability of construction innovations which can deliver improved performance and sustainability within the built environment. Our vision for the BRE Innovation Parks is to establish a unique and unparalleled research and demonstration network, which inspires and develops innovative solutions which will inform the development of the global built environment. This network works with local and international stakeholders to identify and support innovation which demonstrate true sustainability and deliver social, economic and environmental benefits at national and international levels. The Innovation Parks Network now extends across four sites within the UK, and across four continents - includes links to facilities in Canada, China, South America (Brazil and Chile).

I nn o vat i o n – O p p o rt u ni t i e s & b a r r i e r s

Government policy around energy and climate change, and the subsequent changes in building regulatory compliance, provides a positive backdrop for innovation in construction. Recent years have seen greater focus on offsite construction, renewable energy and storage, and the use of technology in the construction and operation of buildings. These are all positive moves and have been supplemented by UK Government’s commitment to support innovation through the Construction Innovation Hub, launched in 2019. Stimulating innovation within construction is often challenged by two specific items; 1. The ‘conservative’ and risk-averse nature of the industry; and 2. The lack, or perceived lack, of demand from clients and customers.

Taking the first point, the construction industry, in general, is naturally averse to step-changes in delivery of buildings. The phrase ‘evolution’ as opposed to ‘revolution’ is often cited and is based around the need to manage costs and risks within any commercial project. To overcome these barriers data, research, certification, knowledge-sharing and education all have a part to play. Creating confidence based on knowledge and data is key to manage risk in a way that creates greater opportunities to deploy innovation in buildings. BRE’s Innovation Parks provide a ‘safe’ environment to do this and they continue to see a vast array of product and technologies being deployed. The second point touches on individual preferences and priorities of consumers. Clients are increasingly aware of the retail or lettable value of highly performing buildings. This ‘value’ can be supported by a certified rating scheme such as BREEAM and this provides a recognised measure of performance. How innovation is delivered in buildings is often less visible to the client. Consequently, greater awareness and education amongst clients and consumers is required so they are armed with the knowledge to ask questions of their development partner. Asking questions of architects, specifiers, and contractors will encourage the use of innovation to meet the needs of an informed customer.

C e rt ific at i o n

Certifications such as BREEAM, HQM and CEEQUAL recognise high performing assets across the built environment lifecycle. BREEAM and CEEQUAL can be used to assess and certify the sustainability performance of a range building types and infrastructure, whilst HQM has a residential focus assessing the design quality and sustainability of new homes. Third party assessment allows for an impartial confirmation of an assets environmental, social and economic sustainability performance. In a time where sustainability is ever increasing in consumer consciousness, companies can demonstrate their sustainable credentials by pointing to assets which have achieved certification demonstrating this. Certification also

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provides a mechanism for benchmarking the progress of industry towards addressing the above-mentioned global megatrends; In helping to measure and compare asset performance against competitors, driving industry improvement. The standards set out in BREEAM, HQM and CEEQUAL are also science-based, meaning assets which achieve certification have evidence-based proof that they are performing beyond current industry standards. This helps the built environment move more rapidly with changing social expectations. Certification schemes make it clear to clients what’s required to create a highperformance asset. By providing a framework and setting out clearly defined goals in a variety of areas, BREEAM and other certification schemes allow teams to discuss ways for their asset to meet the requirements, encouraging innovative thinking in order to do so. In finding solutions to meet the standards set out by certification schemes, projects can give customers untapped competitive advantages in the form of innovation. BREEAM dedicates a category to innovation, rewarding assets which meet exemplary performance levels for a particular issue. This helps to encourage, publicise and accelerate uptake of innovation by the whole industry which is essential as the built environment adapts to the various global megatrends. Certifications schemes and innovation parks both play a huge role in driving innovation and sustainability in the built environment and they must continue to do so. The world moves forward quickly and at times construction has been accused of being conservative and slow to adapt. Innovation parks and certification directly and indirectly stimulate the implementation of innovation, meaning they are valuable tools in moving away from the ‘slow to adapt’ reputation associated with the built environment. As technology and construction methods evolve, it’s essential that there is a means to test new techniques and materials. It’s also essential that there is a mechanism which encourages the private sector to aim high with their assets by embracing innovative thinking. ■

To discover more about the BRE Group, please visit: www.bregroup.com

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Respecting the ecosystem

The launch event for the Essex Plant Innovation Centre (EPIC) took place in September


ne of this issue’s themes of environmental sustainability is timely as two businesses with Invest ESSEX connections were acknowledged for their efforts in this field recently. Both George Thompson Ltd and Tuffon Hall Vineyard received nominations in the ‘Sustainability’ category at the Business Excellence Awards Essex (BEAE) 2019 held at Five Lakes on 26th September. Tuffon Hall, who were also presented with the ‘Family Business of the Year’ at the ceremony, is a modern vineyard in Halstead that produces award-winning wines. More pertinently, they have a deepseated connection to their land and are committed to treating it sustainably and with respect. This was also evidenced by their winning of top prize in the Essex County farm competition for conservation in 2018. Through respecting the land and local ecosystem, Tuffon Hall has a commitment ‘to make sure that their wines carry a sense of place through to the glass’. Meanwhile, the Thompson family have been farming fruit and vegetables at Brook Farm, near Harwich in Essex, since 1948. Today, George Thompson Ltd are market leaders in specialist products for the oriental food service sector and niche crops for premium food service customers – from apricots to figs and wild garlic to sea purslane, as well as growing apples and pears for retail.

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Dave Russell-Graham Inward Investment Manager, INVEST ESSEX

The company is increasingly taking on innovation projects for third parties, hosting trials and undertaking research for clients. This element of the business will establish a more prominent role in 2019 when the ‘Holt Farm Innovation Centre’ opens. A purpose built hi-tech glasshouse featuring integrated solar PV transparent glass and home to integrated aquaculture and horticulture, the Centre will feature a development kitchen and meeting room at which George Thompson Ltd can showcase new products. Another company with an Essex base is Bioline AgroSciences Ltd in Little Clacton, which supplies high-quality Biological Control products, containing natural beneficial insects and mites, for use in Integrated Crop Management programmes. Bioline recently became part of the French InVivo group, a tie-in that should see the business’s work in the sustainability sector go from strength to strength. Following an introduction from Invest ESSEX, Bioline are set to offer six internships to Writtle University College

David works with the Life Sciences and Healthcare sectors for Invest Essex, the inward investment and business support agency

students from 2020. All such positions had been recruited from France in the past but, in light of potential Brexit implications, this solution provides a boost to the county’s local workforce. Essex is at the forefront of research into environmental sustainability thanks to work being undertaken at Writtle University College as well as the Essex Plant Innovation Centre (EPIC) at the University of Essex (UoE). EPIC – whose launch event I attended in September - brings together the research skills, expertise and technologies across UoE’s science faculty (Life Sciences, Computer Science and Electronic Engineering) along with the Institute for Analytics and Data Science (IADS) and Essex Business School to address the grand challenges facing farmers, technologists and all those in the agricultural and horticultural sectors. They are looking to build partnerships and collaborations across the private and public sectors so there will be plenty more to be heard about the Centre in the years ahead. ■




keys to turning your site into a technological-triumph

Security This year’s hot topic. Security. It’s never a problem until it’s a really big problem. With the increased global scrutiny on tech security, your tenants are going to become increasingly focused on ensuring that their information is protected by more than just lock and key. With few operators understanding how vulnerable their sites are to cyber-attacks it’s imperative that action is taken to protect your tenants. If you plan to implement a technology solution or expand upon what you already have, ensure that your provider offers robust and resilient security. ‘It’s always too late to think about security. Make sure you get it right first time and make sure it’s scalable.’

A u t o m at i o n One of the biggest time sinks for science park teams is onboarding new tenants and running in out of comms rooms – resulting in much less time focused on tenants and creating an environment that fosters innovation. To cut down on wasted time, your technology platform should provide you with extensive automation tools so that complex tasks can be set up with a few clicks of a mouse which in turn allows your team to turn frequently occurring headaches such as service delivery into a seamless and pain-free process.

Sim p lici t y Technology should make your site run better and make your life simpler - If it’s not achieving these key tasks – it’s time for a refresh. Your tech platform should make your site’s day-to-day operations a breeze and most importantly, it should be simple enough that it can easily be picked up, leant and controlled, even for users without technical backgrounds. With a technology platform purpose built for your site, your team should be able to manage everything from the minutiae day-to-day ops to complex IT provisioning tools all from a single log in or tablet and even while on the fly. This level of simplicity also helps deliver an excellent experience and service for your members, greatly reducing churn.

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F u t u r e P r o o fin g

C o nn e c t ivi t y With marked improvements to technology, connectivity and infrastructure, there is a key opportunity for science parks across the nation to create a collaborative and completely connected community of innovation. Additionally, with a vast range of skillsets spread geographically, this collaborative network allows science parks to aid both skill development and job creation to ensure that high level employment opportunities are prevalent across the nation. With government led initiatives such as the gigabit scheme supporting the advances of infrastructure and connectivity, there has also been a boon of innovation concerning science parks based in remote locations who are fast becoming as amenity-rich as their city-based counter parts. Ensure that your technology platform has the capabilities to provide you with connectivity that goes beyond just a solid Wi-Fi connection as this will result in greater experiences for your members and will support the industry as a whole.

The technology landscape is fast developing and meeting your occupier needs is paramount to creating an innovation-centric environment, but over the past few years, occupier needs have begun to develop and vary drastically. As a result, science park operators are struggling to keep up with their member’s increasingly complex and demanding needs. To ensure the continuing success of your science park, it is now imperative to ensure that your operation is sufficiently prepared both from a technology and amenity standpoint to cater to the growing range of occupier needs. Through working with an experienced and enterprisegrade technology provider, operators are better positioned to deliver on customer needs. So it’s vital to ensure that the technology platform you decide to support you is going to help you drive success today and in the years to come.

S e a ml e s s Sc a lin g As your operation scales – it’s hard to keep countless operational plates spinning across multiple locations, especially if they’re spread out across the country. This means that if you have aspirations for growth, you need to find a technology partner whose software empowers and matches your growth plans, while also matching your customers culture. Even if your locations are on the relatively low end of the technology spectrum, a strong technology partner is going to help you create a frictionless experience when you scale and provide you with uniformity and consistency across your brand.

C o mm u ni t y C o n t r i b u t i o n s The community aspect within the science park industry is at a stage where it can begin to drive innovation and collaboration, chiefly when operators unify communities across different sites. Operators are leveraging enterprise-grade software and technologies to integrate the physical and digital environments across their entire portfolio, offering a wider network and community, and better experience for their members.

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Quantitive and qualitative analysis of the innovation ecosystem

Eco-Friendly Innovation Companies pioneering new technology across agricultural practices


Ava Scott Research and Consultancy Associate, Beauhurst

Ava is an expert data cruncher and business analyst in the Research & Consultancy team. She provides research and insights for multiple clients, contributing to industry leading reports. She holds a BA in Human Sciences from the University of Oxford

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igh-growth and technologically innovative firms are important players within the mounting effort to tackle climate change and environmental degradation. While some have reached household-name status, such as the alternative energy providers OVO Energy and Bulb, many others are working away to make a difference in their respective sectors. Critical supporters of these innovative companies are the investors that provide financial fuel for their growth. While many funds will invest in such companies, there are 26 funds that have explicitly marked themselves as exclusively investors into carbonreducing and eco-championing

businesses. They have invested £82m into UK companies with these ambitions so far. Wheatsheaf Investments backs companies that are developing resourceefficient solutions; they backed a £15m fundraising by Gilkes Energy, a company that develops and implements hydropower systems. ClearlySo’s Angel Network is also investing into the space, backing Exosect’s £2.65m fundraising, a company that designs and develops biological pest-control solutions for the food industry. A key area that is ripe for innovation is the agricultural, forestry and fishing sectors; high-growth companies in the UK in these sectors have raised £111m in equity since 2011. It has also been a target area for granting bodies, who have

awarded these companies £37m since 2011. These industries act directly upon our environment, and often have a negative ecological impact. We have selected five innovative companies that are pioneering new technology across agricultural practices to make their processes and British consumption more sustainable.

A r ni a

Current stage: Seed Location: North East The food system and the global environment rely heavily on bees as pollinators. Arnia has developed hive sensors that monitor the environment and health of bee colonies, hoping to improve their welfare. They hope to create a global community of beekeepers, where new health and behavioural data can be shared, creating new insights that could help bee populations to thrive again. The company has received £575k through grant awards, from both UK and EU granting bodies.


Current stage: Seed Location: London Global demands for meat and dairy are increasing, and alongside it, so are the emissions associated with livestock. Zelp have developed a wearable for cows that monitors various bodily metrics, include temperature, indicators of

disease, and the production of methane. They hope this will help shape future herds to become less polluting and more environmentally friendly. They have raised £1.04m in equity so far to facilitate this vision, from the Royal College of Art fund and further undisclosed investors.

W e e din g t e c h

Current stage: Venture Location: London

U b iq u t e k

Current stage: Venture Location: West Midlands Chemicals in herbicides can contaminate ecosystems for miles surrounding the original treatment source. Weedingtech and Ubiqutek have developed different solutions to tackle this problem. The former, who has raised £12.2m so far, has developed a foam-based technology, which combines hot water and plant oils and sugars to kill unwanted weeds. Alternatively, Ubiqutek have harnessed electricity as a weed-killer, branding the product as RootWave. This chemical-free option can tackle common, harmful and invasive weeds. The company has received £1.71m in grants from Innovate UK and EU granting bodies.

D ryG r o

Current stage: Venture Location: London

ClimateKIC, amongst others. Through this support it has secured £1.51m in equity and £267k in grants.

LettUs Grow

LettUs Grow are revolutionising indoor agriculture, by developing a way to grow food without soil. Their systems are modular and use intelligent control systems; while it is still pending patent, the technology is set to reduce costs and increase growth rates of indoor crop species by 70%. They have secured findings from ClearlySo Angels, and the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund, as well as grants from Innovate UK £455k) and Postcode Lottery Green Challenge ($100k). Current stage: Seed Location: South West ■

Beauhurst reports on all equity fundraisings in the United Kingdom, both those announced in the press and those that go unannounced. Alongside this, we track all grants awarded to UK companies, as well as their financial accounts, key people, accelerator attendances, university spinout events, management buy-ins and more. Through this private research and data curation, we have built a database of more than 30,000 high-growth private companies in the UK, many of which are solving global problems and pioneering new technology.

With more people on the planet, and an increasingly warm climate, food solutions will be needed desperately in environments that traditionally could not support agricultural activities. DryGro has developed a technology that can grow animal feed on arid, dry land, using 99% less water than standard methods. This reduces the cost of feeding animals and allows farmers in increasingly environmentally marginalised areas to continue production. It has received backing from the European Space Agency, Mass Challenge UK, Innovate UK and Zelp have developed a smart cattle nose-ring for cows that converts up to 80% of belched methane

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2019 IASP World Conference, Nantes Digital transformation and the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution

New CEO of IASP, Ebba Lund, on stage at the 36th World Conference


he 4th Industrial Revolution affects modern societies in myriad ways, as new economic, social, political, and environmental challenges emerge through new means of production. Its impact is felt across all sectors and communities, but areas of innovation (AOIs) and science parks (STPs) are uniquely placed to ensure that this impact is sustainable for the economy and society as a whole. The annual IASP World Conference, which took place from 24-27 September in Nantes, France, brought together nearly 800 innovation ecosystem experts, corporates, startups, public sector leaders and academics from over 60 countries to discuss “The 4th Industrial Revolution: areas of innovation and science parks as key boosters for a successful transition,” and to explore how new technologies can improve both human wellbeing and productivity.

through the address from keynote speaker Alain Tropis, head of digital manufacturing and services at Airbus, who reflected on the new operating models and customer demands faced by big companies in the digital era. Other speakers echoed the theme of rapid industrial change and responding to customer needs, emphasising the clear

D i g ita l t r a n s f o r m at i o n , a cc e l e r at in g c h a n g e a nd s u s ta in a b ilit y

The accelerating pace of change facing major industry was the thread running

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Networking dinner at Les Machines de L’Ile

competitive advantages of digital intelligence, addressing the myths and realities of AI as well as the importance of maintaining a human focus as machines grow increasingly complex and autonomous. Finding the balance between technology and the human factor is one key way in which STPs and AOIs are supporting their companies and

communities into the 4th Industrial Revolution, with human needs and bottom-up innovation a recurrent trend that we will return to for IASP Sevilla in 2020.

T h e c h a n g in g r o l e o f STP s a nd AO I s

Even as they support their companies and cities through the 4th Industrial Revolution, STPs and AOIs are feeling its impact on their own structures and ways of working. The different management and ownership models of science parks and areas of innovation were on the agenda, as well as how they are embracing new trends such as co-working spaces with their “managed serendipity” to spark interdisciplinary innovation. Public-Private Partnerships were also debated at a session linked to IASP’s collaboration with JRC, the science and knowledge service of the European Commission. Outgoing IASP CEO Luis Sanz led a special talk-show session with his “Late Morning Show,” interviewing park leaders from the UK, Italy, Russia and the USA as they reflected on their mission, relationship with universities and the public sector, and the different regulatory and cultural challenges across the world. Specialisation versus a multi sector approach, private versus public, self-contained science park campus versus city centre innovation district: the key theme from this no-holds barred session was that all these models have more similarities than differences. They all work for the prosperity and well-being of their cities

Debating the roles relevance and results of STPs & AOIs in the 4th Industrial Revolution

Findin g t h e ba l anc e b e t w e e n t e c h no l o g y and t h e h u m an f actor is on e k e y w ay in w h ic h S T P s and A O I s ar e supportin g t h e ir co m pani e s and co m m uniti e s and regions, they are all increasingly connected to their local community, and they all create spaces and places where innovative people come together to live, work and play. With this special session, Luis Sanz finished on a high note after 24 years leading IASP, handing over to new CEO Ebba Lund.

Glo b a l n e t w o r k in g a nd F r e nc h c o nn e ct i o n s

As at every IASP World Conference, the opportunity to increase global connections and build international relationships added to the rich scientific programme, networking, and the chance to discover the innovation ecosystem and culture of the host city and country. Local host Atlanpole offered the chance to discover the French innovation ecosystem and its main industries including technical tours to Toulouse, home of Airbus headquarters and the Aerospace Valley cluster, and Paris & region, taking in the Open Innovation “Systematic” digital and software cluster. In Nantes itself, delegates explored the Technocampus Composite dedicated to

The Late Morning Show - Luis Sanz interviews park leaders

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composites materials manufacturing, industrial research at the Jules Verne Institute, and the city’s creative district where startups, SMEs, R&D, higher education, and cultural organizations come together. The industrial past of Nantes was also on the agenda, with a networking dinner at the Machines de L’Île. This former shipyard is home to a truly original art project, combining Jules Verne’s “Invented Worlds” and the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci in a fantastic open space. The gala dinner took delegates even further back in time to the Château de Goulaine, one of the famous castles of the Loire Valley. Still inhabited by its original owners after 500 years, the château opened its doors to IASP Nantes for an experience complete with musicians, jugglers, historians and a spectacular firework show that even the rain couldn’t spoil!

I ASP 2 0 2 0 S e vill a

Next year’s IASP World Conference will pick up the people-focused theme of IASP Nantes: from 6-9 October 2020, speakers and delegates from around the world will meet in Seville, Spain, to explore “The Human Factor: People, communities and their innovation ecosystems”. ■

To find out more about the next IASP World Conference, please visit: https://www.iasp2020sevilla.com/

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National Agri-Food Innovation Campus (NAFIC), YORK, UK

Biography As Innovation Campus Manager at the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus (NAFIC), Liz Cashon is responsible for the operation and commercial development of the site, a fully-serviced science campus north of York

Liz Cashon

Facilitating growth plans to bolster Yorkshire’s bioscience sector Mornings are a rush, so at the end of each day, I always make sure everything is organised for the next day ahead. After a quick school run, I start my commute into work. NAFIC is surrounded by lots of greenery, so the journey is always scenic and I enjoy listening to the radio. SEP


P r e p a nd p l a n

As soon as I’m in, myself and the team are busy making sure the site is ready for the days’ events. NAFIC is not only a world-renowned science campus with tenants working on site, it is also home to Lakeside Conference Centre, our designated events venue. We have one of our regular clients in today, Sava, which uses the centre to deliver building and surveyor training. As a science campus, levels of security are high, so we need to make sure all relevant departments know who to expect on site that day. We check the centre is set up to Sava’s requirements and check in with catering. Our conference centre facilities

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are not only available to external organisations, but also to our tenants, so next on the list is a meeting with our largest tenant, Fera Science. They’re looking to bring a three-day international conference to the site next year and we have a planning meeting to start pulling together the programme. There’s lots to arrange as we’re working alongside the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as well.

space. We chat about how we can brand up the area, as well as how we can profile the business across the site – something we are doing with all tenants. I keep in regular contact with all tenants – it’s my role to understand their business needs and help facilitate their growth plans, not only to further develop NAFIC as a site, but to help bolster the bioscience sector in the Yorkshire region.

S u p p o r t in g t e n a n t s

At NAFIC, there are constantly new facilities being installed. The latest is a unique aquatic facility that has been introduced by Fera. I work closely with our facilities management team to help our tenant’s projects and ambitions come to fruition. We are currently making final tweaks to the installation and we are looking forward to seeing it up and running! Finally, I have a meeting with the wider team to discuss the next business planning phase for 2020. We strive to look after our tenants, but we also want to attract new ones, so further businesses can utilise our incredible working environment. ■

It’s a very exciting and busy period on site, as two of our SMEs are expanding! I check in with Labskin – who creates artificial human-like skin that can be used to test skincare and healthcare products - to see how its new lab fit out is coming along. Labskin has been with us since 2014 and we’ve supported them as they have grown exponentially. Their success meant they needed more space to continue this growth, which we were able to cater for. Next stop is a visit to Abingdon Health, who have just converted a vacant office into a boardroom

C o n t in u e d g r o w t h


Powering the economy through Science and Technology The Surrey Research Park is recognised as a centre of excellence in technology, science, health and engineering. To date, it houses over 170 businesses, including leading players such as SSTL, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence Limited, IDBS, Optegra as well as many start-up R&D businesses, all of which enjoy the value of a great environment in an innovation district. The University of Surrey The Research Park is owned and managed by The University of Surrey renowned throughout the globe for its exceptional performance across teaching and research. The Park maintains close links with the university both physically and through its knowledge base. The Surrey Technology Centre The STC allows opportunities for opportunity led entrepreneurs and established companies to locate in serviced offices on flexible licence from 120 up to 900 sq ft. This centre incorporates a business incubator and an on-site support team. Larger units for corporates and high growth companies The Park has accommodation for companies requiring up to 60,000 sq ft. Outstanding amenities The Park sits at the edge of the thriving university campus with the ÂŁ40m Surrey Sports Park and Hotel within walking distance. There is easy access to the historic county town of Guildford which offers exciting retail and leisure facilities as well as a rail station, serving London Waterloo. Communications The Park enjoys outstanding communications with fast links to major airports, road and rail networks.



Email: sales@surrey.ac.uk


Profile for Open Box Media & Communications

UKSPA - Breakthrough Issue 9  

UKSPA - Breakthrough Issue 9  

Profile for open-box