Keele University has published a Prior Information Notice (PIN) inviting early market engagement from potential strategic partners to support the continued growth of its Science and Innovation Park.
One of the longest established Science and Innovation Parks in the UK, and fully integrated into Keele’s 600-acre campus, the Park is home to over 1,000 employees across more than 50 diverse and thriving businesses. The Park benefits from Europe’s largest smart energy network demonstrator*, two wind turbines, and 12,500 solar panels, which together generate up to 50% of campus electricity requirements.
Over the last five years Keele has grown the Park’s employment base by over 25%, adding a further four Innovation Centres, hub-space for businesses, a UK charity HQ, and a Courtyard by Marriott hotel. The Park includes significant clusters in medtech and healthcare, energy and environment, and digital technologies, attracted by Keele’s science base and graduate talent in these areas. Keele’s Business School and innovation-led Veterinary School are also now co-located with businesses on the Park.
The University already generates around half a billion pounds each year to the West Midlands economy, with the Science & Innovation Park contributing £75m a year. As such, it is central to achieving the ambitions of the A50/A500 Growth Corridor as a focus for low carbon energy and transport technologies and decarbonisation of the route between Merseyside and Felixstowe.
This early market engagement exercise seeks feedback and insight from interested parties to support the University in realising its longer-term ambitions for the Science and Innovation Park and development site. 20 acres of shovel-ready serviced development plots remain, with outline development approval for use classes E (B1) (office, R&D and light industrial) and C3 (residential).
Joe Caine, Head of Keele’s Science and Innovation Park (KUSIP), said: “The Science and Innovation Park’s growing reputation, first-class facilities, University research base, and a future graduate workforce, has been in great demand by businesses in the life sciences, medtech, healthcare, energy, and technology sectors. As a result, the Park is embarking on a major expansion that has seen the creation of a number of shovel-ready, serviced plots adjacent to the Park’s 12 existing facilities.”
Joe Caine and Ann Pittard, Keele’s Director of Engagement & Partnerships and KUSIP, will be showcasing its investment opportunities as part of We Are Staffordshire’s presence at the UK Real Estate Infrastructure and Investment (UKREiiF) Conference on 16-18 May 2023. This includes a formal launch in the Industry in Focus Pavillon at 9.30am on Wednesday 17 May and a discussion at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology‘s ‘UK as a Science Superpower’ event in the UK Government Pavillion the same morning.
Interested parties are invited to express an interest in this project through the In-tend portal (https://in-tendhost.co.uk/universityofkeele/aspx/Home) and completing and returning the questionnaire in the Early Market Engagement document through this portal by no later than 12pm on 19 June 2023.
The Early Market Engagement document is intended to support the Prior Information Notice (PIN) predicated under Regulation 40 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. This is not a formal tender process or a call for competition. It remains at the sole discretion of the University as to whether a subsequent procurement exercise will be undertaken following conclusion of the early market engagement.
*The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator project (ref. 32R16P00706) is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme, and is available to ERDF eligible companies. The project is also receiving funds from the Midlands Engine.