Exeter Science park: Business down to a science

Published on: 17 June 2015

The Met Office supercomputer will be based at Exeter Science Park.

From leading researchers to one of the fastest supercomputers in the world, Exeter Science Park offers extraordinary opportunities for science and technology start-ups.

Exeter is generating plenty of buzz as an emerging hub for science and technology, and the work at Exeter Science Park is set to catapult it onto the world stage.

It combines the features of a leading business park – great facilities, business support and the chance for businesses to work side by side on shared ideas – with a deep knowledge base coming out of the Met Office and University of Exeter, and it’s growing up fast. Set to become the beating heart of the complex, the Science Park Centre will open in June 2015, complete with meeting rooms, café and full reception services. It will also feature 20,000 square feet of modern workspace, including serviced offices and shared laboratories, which can be hired for as little as a week at a time.

James McNaughton , the park’s general manager, said: “If people want to rent space, there’ll be very short, flexible leases, which reflects the fact that we want high-growth. From leading researchers to one of the fastest supercomputers in the world, Exeter Science Park offers extraordinary opportunities for science and technology start-ups businesses.”

“We want to find they’re growing so fast that we can’t keep up with them, so we have to give them a different office.”

The Science Park Centre will be the second building to open, following Eagle House in December 2013. That was immediately occupied by global technology company blur Group, which relocated from London and has already announced that they want to lease a further building.

Planned developments include grow on buildings, a global environmental futures campus and facilities for the Met Office – one of which will house part of its new supercomputer. In addition, the Park can deliver bespoke solutions over 5,000 to 250,000 square feet, within specific clusters designed to develop sector specialisms and thus collaboration between like-minded companies. All share easy access to the M5 and A303, and the benefits of resilient and high-speed internet connectivity.

‌Exeter Science Park will open in June 2015.

The park’s key selling point, however, is its intrinsic ties with the University of Exeter, a UK top-ten institution with a research portfolio worth £200 million per year. Its world-class capabilities span environmental research, data analytics, advanced materials, agritech and precision medicine – all industries in which the park is looking to attract new tenants.

Sean Fielding, Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer at the university, explained: “We want to make sure that Exeter becomes known not just for the research that we’re doing, but the businesses that grow around that research.” By setting up here, companies can lean on the university’s community of professors, scientists and data analysts, as well as equipment and facilities that would be otherwise unaffordable.

But not only that, they will also benefit from the university’s internationally regarded business specialists and services run out of its Innovation Centre and through SETsquared, the enterprise partnership of the universities of Exeter, Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey. It was ranked the best university business incubator in Europe, and second in the world, in 2014, and has helped over 1,000 companies raise a total of more than £1 billion of investment in the last decade.

Mr Shattock added: "We’re serious about delivering value for people that want to work with us and work with the knowledge base. And we do that by providing the best people in the best environment, which will get them the best results for their area of expertise.”

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