The UK’s outstanding reputation for higher education is well known globally and, for this reason, the number of UK university spin-outs continues to grow year on year, along with investment into them. But the road to commercialisation – taking university research from idea to market launch – is paved with obstacles, including finding a site suitable for these fledgling companies, especially when you consider the local support needed to help a business grow and succeed. Companies need an ecosystem that helps research emerge from the lab and into the real world. With numerous spin-outs from across the UK basing themselves here at the Wilton Centre, here’s how we help them.
The Wilton Centre has a reputation as a centre of excellence, and is the only location in the North East that can offer office, laboratory, pilot plant and scale-up facilities on one site. It includes over 90 fully-equipped ‘plug and play’ labs – perfect for spin-outs that haven’t got access to the huge amount of capital needed to set up specialist facilities. But that’s not all; the Innovation Accelerator, dedicated to nurturing innovative businesses within the science, technology, engineering and life sciences sectors, is also based here.
And don’t forget the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC). Together with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), the HVMC is one of seven centres across the UK that promotes the growth and success of the country’s advanced manufacturing. It offers access to world-class equipment, expertise and collaborative opportunities to help technology concepts reach commercialisation.
It’s not just the connections to the Innovation Accelerator and the HVMC though. Spin-outs need a lot of different services, from funding and engineering help, to process development and scale-up support. Fortunately, Wilton has community of engineering and design companies on its doorstep, and is particularly recognised in the chemical processing and manufacturing industries, where there is already an established customer base, supply chain and skilled workforce in the local area. And it’s not just local links; the centre is also part of the Knowledge Factory network of science parks, which encompasses more than 200 businesses over five science parks across the UK. It offers a number of services to assist occupiers, as well as nationwide connections to other scientific and technical businesses to encourage collaboration. Additionally, funding is available for scale-ups with proven concepts or technology.
A number of spin-outs have based themselves at the Wilton Centre over the years – here’s a smattering of the current occupiers that originated from universities.
• Applied Graphene Materials, Durham University – A leading innovator in the manufacture and application of graphene materials – nanoparticles tipped to improve a wide range of products in diverse industries. Read more
• Micropore Technologies, Loughborough University – A specialist in equipment for the production of monodisperse microparticles and emulsions for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, agrochemical, and food and beverage industries. Read more
• Green Lizard, Queen’s University Belfast – The company takes innovative green chemistry technologies and develops them into commercial ventures. Read more.
• Absolute Antibody, University of Oxford – An industry-leading provider of recombinant antibody products and services. Read more.
The commercialisation of university research makes a substantial contribution to the UK’s economy and it is vital provide the right facilities and business support to help them succeed. Check out our news page to see how we help our occupiers or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see what we can do for you.