Sci-Tech Daresbury has revealed that more than £130 million in sales was generated by the campus in 2018, according to data revealed in its annual tenants’ survey.

Johnson Matthey (“JM”), the global leader in sustainable technologies, is to open a new battery application centre at the business and science community of Milton Park in Oxfordshire. JM has taken 22,857 sq ft (2,123 sq m) over three floors at 142 Park Drive consisting of a newly built office and laboratory development.

JM is developing next generation battery materials with improved energy density (so the mileage of battery electric vehicles between charges can be increased), pulse power (for improved acceleration) and safety, while minimising the use of expensive and scarce raw material such as cobalt. JM’s family of ultra-high energy density eLNO® cathode active materials delivers improvements in all these critical performance areas.

Dan Baker, financial director, battery materials at Johnson Matthey said: “Our site at Milton Park will be at the leading edge of battery technology. We will use our science and problem-solving ability here to work with leading automotive companies to develop tailored solutions for their applications. JM is a global leader in science, and we believe this site will help us in our mission to make the world cleaner and healthier.”

Philip Campbell, commercial director, Milton Park added: “We’re honoured and excited for Johnson Matthey to join the Milton Park community. We’re proud that the existing community and Park has attracted this global company to make Milton Park a home for their pioneering battery technology centre. The buildings at Park Drive East were designed for optimum flexibility and we’re looking forward to seeing how Johnson Matthey uses the building to house both laboratories and offices. We wish them continued success as they unlock the answers to the exciting future that is battery technology.”

The letting to Johnson Matthey has meant that 142 Park Drive is fully let. RM, a leading supplier of technology and resources to the education sector, supporting schools, teachers and pupils across the globe, and an existing Milton Park occupier, relocated into part of the building earlier this year. RM moved from 140 Eastern Avenue to take 17,927 sq ft (1,665 sq m) across two floors.

The study of 112 businesses has reported another year of strong growth for the Liverpool City Region campus, with annual sales growth of 22 per cent in the past 12 months. 

During that period, 64 per cent of Sci-Tech Daresbury companies saw their sales grow. In total, 73 per cent of companies trading have sales outside the UK, an increase from 62 per cent in 2017. Europe continues to be a key export market, accounting for more than half of export sales, with North America accounting for more than a quarter of total sales. 

Sci-Tech Daresbury is home to more than 140 companies including Syrenis, Kognitiv Spark, Hosokawa Micron and the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), with 26 new companies locating to the site in 2018. 

Leading software company Syrenis has enjoyed significant growth since setting up business at the campus in 2016. The company aims to simplify the management of personal information and stakeholder engagement by providing organisations with solutions that are secure and efficient. 

Earlier this year, Syrenis was announced as one of the ‘Top 50 Fastest Growing Technology companies in the North’ by the Northern Tech Awards.

The company, based in Vanguard House, has more than tripled its team size in the last three years, now employing 23 technical and commercial specialists out of its Sci-Tech Daresbury office, with plans to hire six to ten more employees over the next 12 months.

Syrenis has accelerated its annual turnover from £608,000 to £1,700,000 million since its move to the campus and is projected to further increase its turnover to £2.2 million for the 2019/2020 financial year.

So far this year, Syrenis has already secured a number of significant deals including its first private investment from William Currie Group giants Bill Currie and Sir Terry Leahy, the former CEO of Tesco. The deal has allowed Syrenis to take advantage of new opportunities to expand its market-leading personal information management platform, Cassie.

The company has recently secured its first partnership in the Middle East through leading cybersecurity specialists Paramount.

Glenn Jackson CEO of Syrenis, said:

“Sci-Tech Daresbury offers us a wealth of benefits from access to computer science and technology talent to its excellent connectivity allowing us to access our clients with relative ease. This has enabled direct growth of our business and when you marry that to the inspiring atmosphere and facilities available on site, it makes for a great working environment for our staff.

As we continue our growth journey into 2020, it’s important to be supported by Sci-Tech Daresbury, who are similarly expanding and creating new facilities on site, some of which we would be looking to benefit from.”

The data also revealed that 30 companies on the campus recorded sales of more than £1 million in 2018 and of these, seven achieved sales greater than £5 million over the 12 months. 

Sci-Tech Daresbury also maintained its reputation for attracting some of the best scientific and technology talent with a net increase of 112 FTE jobs in 2018. 

Sci-Tech Daresbury is a private-public joint-venture partnership between developer Langtree, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Halton Borough Council.

John Downes, group chief executive of Langtree and chair of the Sci-Tech Daresbury joint venture company, said: “We’re delighted to be reporting another year of strong business growth on campus, which demonstrates the wealth of benefits on offer to both new and existing companies on the site.

“The creation of more than 100 FTE jobs on site over the last 12 months is fantastic and demonstrates the rich talent pool of skills available right on our doorstep. The skills and talents of these workers are critical for companies based on the campus and will help to drive Sci-Tech Daresbury’s ongoing success. 

It’s also encouraging to see the increase in international sales and the breadth and influence of Sci-Tech Daresbury companies across the globe. Looking ahead to the next 12 months, we want to continue with this positive growth and bolster our reputation as the landing hub for science and technology innovation in the UK. In doing so, we hope to continue attracting a diverse, inclusive and complementary range of businesses who want to call Sci-Tech Daresbury their home.”