The Minister of State for Universities and Science has visited the new wing at Liverpool Science Park and met with a number of thriving businesses.
The Rt Hon David Willetts MP met with Liverpool Science Park board member and Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, Professor Nigel Weatherill and toured the new four-storey, 40,000 sq ft building.
The structure connects to Innovation Centre 1 (ic1) on Mount Pleasant and has already welcomed a host of new tenants including Karm Research Group which is developing products in the chemistry sector and Contract Analytical Laboratories which provides pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical development solutions.
Other new businesses which have moved into the development include the architects behind the scheme, Ryder Architects, and new intellectual property company Bartle Read.
On the visit, Mr Willetts met with the technical director at Karm Research Group, Mark Jones who showed him around the new laboratory facilities and explained the technologies being worked on. These include an antimicrobial product for the healthcare industry and a revolutionary new type of gravure printing cylinder.
Mr Willetts also met with some of the other tenants at the park including education software development company, Angel Solutions which is led by chief executive Andy Kent. Angel Solutions has grown considerably since moving to the park and now supplies every local authority in the country with assessment and analysis tools.
The team off 20 even find time for a little fun as they operate from a circus-themed office complete with gypsy caravan, fairground mirrors, popcorn machine, mini grandstand and bar. Mr Kent says that the themed office helps to create a better working environment and increases levels of productivity as well as being popular with its clients.
The final stop on the tour for Mr Willetts included visiting Open Labs, a Liverpool John Moores University project set up to help small businesses link up with researchers at the University to create new, innovative products and services which can be turned into high growth opportunities with a global market reach.
Mr Willetts said: “It was fantastic to see the brand new purpose built office and commercial laboratory space at Liverpool Science Park and also to meet the talented businesses which have moved there.
“The Liverpool Science Park model is a perfect example of how creative and innovative companies are benefitting from being in start-of-the-art space and part of a community of like-minded knowledge-intensive businesses. Companies can also benefit from the strong links to university academia, cutting edge research and access to funding.”
Professor Nigel Weatherill, Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, said: “Ideas are the lifeblood of both universities and business and this visit was an excellent opportunity to show the Minister how Liverpool Science Park is driving economic recovery through new business formation, nurturing and developing companies from across a whole range of sectors.”
Chris Musson, chief executive of Liverpool Science Park, said: “It was an honour for Mr Willetts to visit the park, to showcase the building and its benefits, as well as highlighting some of our recent successes.”