£100m government investment to back rising stars of science and innovative small businesses

Research England has awarded £1.5 million to the University of Bristol towards developing a new state-of-the-art life sciences incubator with Unit DX, as part of its University Enterprise Zone [UEZ] programme.

The funding is part of nearly £100 million government investment that will allow both UK researchers and small businesses to seize the vast opportunities in science and innovation and industries of the future. Bristol is one of 20 universities to have been awarded a share of £20 million by Research England – part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to develop a new University Enterprise Zone that will provide vital specialist support to small businesses in pioneering industries – like Artificial Intelligence (AI), clean growth, smart energy and agri-food.

Around £78 million is being invested in 78 scientists and researchers including Dr Victoria Bates from Bristol’s Department of History through the government’s Future Leaders Fellowships scheme. The funding will enable the most promising researchers and innovators to become leaders in their fields, working on an array of diverse subjects to help maintain the UK’s position as a global science and research superpower.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and Bristol has a thriving ecosystem of local businesses and entrepreneurs whose creativity and determination help underpin the UK’s position as a leading innovator.

“Alongside this, many of Bristol’s research community are right on the precipice of turning ground-breaking ideas into real products and services which could change the lives not just of people in the local community, but people around the world.

“Today’s funding will not only help local scientists take their ideas from lab to market – but will also support an enterprise hub at University of Bristol. Providing space for local businesses to forge crucial partnerships, the UEZs will create jobs, drive local growth and provide SMEs with a vital steppingstone to succeed.”

Dr Harry Destecroix, co-founder and CEO of Unit DX, said: “We have already achieved great things with Unit DX. In just two years our community has raised over 28 million in funding, created over 120 jobs and is now at 100 per cent occupancy, supporting 32 deep tech companies. 

Submitted on 20/09/2019