Unit DX Members Raise £20m+ in Two Years
On its second anniversary, Bristol science incubator Unit DX has announced significant growth of the city’s science cluster. Its members have raised over £20m of investment since opening, whose technologies span biosciences, materials science, chemistry and quantum technologies.
Unit DX has reached 100% occupancy and is home to 37 science and engineering companies, who employ over 100 people. Their STEM outreach programmes have now welcomed and inspired over 1000 schoolchildren. The team announced its economic impact figures in a special edition newspaper produced during their second anniversary event at the Arnolfini last week.
Unit DX CEO, Dr Harry Destecroix, said “Bristol is now unlocking much more of its outstanding research base now that the right investment, facilities and support are in place. We all have a responsibility to make sure that the resources and lab space are available to maintain this growth and provide even more jobs for Bristol’s scientists”.
One of the first companies to move to Unit DX was Ziylo, the chemistry start-up whose struggle to find lab space provided inspiration for Unit DX. In 2018 Ziylo was acquired by Novo Nordisk in a staged deal worth a potential $800m. The sale has put Bristol on the map and attracted additional investment to the sector. Some of the former Ziylo shareholders have gone on to make seed stage investments in over 10 Bristol science companies at Unit DX. A significant number of investments have also been made by Bristol Private Equity Club and the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund.
Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise at the University of Bristol, said “The shift in approach to commercialisation and partnerships in Bristol over the past two years has been palpable. The University has seen a step change in the number of academics interested in the spin-out route, and we look forward to working with Unit DX to increase the facilities on offer for science companies in the city.”
With Unit DX at capacity, plans have been set in motion to deliver more space for the growing scientific community. The company plans to achieve this in two phases – Unit DY and Unit DZ. More details will be announced later this year.