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Sci-Tech Daresbury (the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus), based in Cheshire in he northwest of the UK, is home to over 100 high-tech companies. These range from start-ups to multinational corporations and employ almost 500 people in advanced engineering, digital/ICT, and in biomedical, energy and environmental technologies.
The site is a public/private partnership between property development and investment company Langtree, the UK Government-funded Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Halton Borough Council.
The Universities of Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester are all active partners. Sci-Tech Daresbury is one of the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund’s partner campuses, and the fund has invested in a number of the companies resident on site.
Sci-Tech Daresbury offers companies and researchers access to support services, and to equipment, and to laboratory and office space through its Innovation Centre and Innovations Technology Access Centre, and in Vanguard House.
Daresbury Laboratory provides a wealth of scientific resources for researchers on the science and innovation campus, as well as UK academic and industrial partners:
“Sci-Tech Daresbury offers excellence in science and world-class technical facilities. This, paired with an open collaborative culture, leading industry expertise and a fantastic network of contacts, creates a rich vein which businesses are able to tap into – with potentially world-changing results,” says John Womersley, chief executive, Science and Technology Facilities Council and director, Sci-Tech Daresbury’s joint venture company in a statement.
The majority of the campus companies at Sci-Tech Daresbury are growing – during 2013, the site’s tenants created 97 new products or services. Over the same period, 70% of the companies saw sales growth and a similar number said that they planned to recruit new employees. A significant amount of this growth could be as a result of increasing working together – around two-thirds of the campus companies were part of collaborations with universities or the STFC, and 60% collaborated with one another.
In a statement, John Downes, chief executive of Langtree and director of Sci-Tech Daresbury’s joint venture company, said: “Collaboration is stitched into the DNA of the campus, which is deliberately designed to encourage connectivity between individual businesses, academic institutions and public sector bodies.”
Sci-Tech Daresbury is also planning to expand, and has acquired a development site next to its main campus. This will provide up to 220,000 sq ft of new office and laboratory space spread across five or six buildings.
“The northwest is becoming a hub of pharma, life sciences and biotech expertise, with an increasing number of innovation campuses and bioincubators, backed up by world-class universities and hospitals. Sci-Tech Daresbury’s expansion and future growth will make it an important player in this vibrant region,” says Andrew Muir, director, Midven and fund principal of the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund and the Early Advantage fund.
Perfectus Biomed Ltd is a medical device contract testing and consultancy facility. The company focuses on biofilms, which have been linked to chronic non-healing wounds, failed medical implants and catheter infections. Perfectus Biomed helps companies in healthcare, medical device, pharmaceutical, and veterinary medicine to develop anti-microbial and anti-biofilm agents, as well as devices including medical implants and contact lenses.
Perfectus Biomed was founded in 2012, and in 2013, received £100,000 in funding. This included £50,000 from The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact, and another £50,000 from Midven. In 2013 and 2014, the company’s turnover and employment have grown significantly.