The Surrey Research Park is wholly owned by the University of Surrey’s Foundation Fund.
The Surrey Research Park is a major centre of excellence in technology, science and engineering, and is widely regarded as the best of its kind in the UK. The Research Park is owned, developed and managed by The University of Surrey and is close to its campus in Guildford. The 70 acre (28.33 ha) low density development provides a high quality working environment, with room for further expansion. Over 150 companies are currently located in 30 buildings on the Park, are engaged in a broad spectrum of research, development and design activities across a range of technologies.
The Surrey Research Park is the first Science Park to have undergone the newly formed UKSPA ASPIRE performance review process, and received an outstanding report. This revealed that the Park contributes an estimated annual contribution to the regional economy of between £450m and £625 million. This has been endorsed with a figure from a wider study of the contribution of the Park’s host University of £1.4bn GVA annually of which the Park in 2012 contributed £450m of this addition to the economy. Companies on the Park have been responsible for a substantial increase in employment in knowledge based sectors of the economy in Guildford and Surrey as a whole. Today the Park has a net asset value which exceeds £100m.
History and Objectives
The Park was one of the founders of the UKSPA in 1984. After an initial period of planning, construction on the site began in January 1984 and the first occupier moved to the site in 1985, when the Surrey Technology Centre Incubator opened.
In developing The Surrey Research Park, the University of Surrey has five clear objectives which complement its existing industry/University links. These are:
- To assist with the economic development of the national, regional and local economy
- To raise the profile and international reputation of the University of Surrey and Guildford as a centre of excellence in technology
- To create an opportunity for technology transfer by strengthening the links between the University and industry
- To help European-based industry maintain its competitive edge through fostering innovation
- To create independent income for the University of Surrey and to create an opportunity for academic staff to act as consultants to companies on the Park.
To achieve these objectives the University has built appropriate accommodation for small, medium and large technology companies. The Surrey Technology Centre offers both pre- and full incubation as well as operating as a business centre for innovative technology companies. The incubation offer is part of the SETsquared consortium, which has been selected as the most successful incubator in the World assessed by UBI Index.
Progress to Date
The diverse range of companies on the Park are active in innovation in science which involves discovery in inventing new products, engineering that involves part science and part problem solving, and customer focused innovation which addresses customer needs, products and services and business models. In addition, efficiency driven innovation requires developing new ideas that save time, production costs and delivery of goods. The companies operating on the Park help to create a powerful engine of innovation providing a significant level of economic activity and pioneering output.
The Surrey Technology Centre – Incubator/Startup Building
The centre is a 7,400 square metre, two-storey building which offers 78 fully-serviced units from 15 square metres, which are available to occupiers with the primary objective of helping to drive technology up the value chain and to create wealth through its exploitation. These units provide tenants with a range of business support services including an excellent broadband connection, reception service, telephone system and access to meeting rooms. The building also offers a range of business development services which are part of the incubation programme. Around 40% of the current tenants in other buildings on the Surrey Research Park graduated from this building.
Guildford is in the county town of Surrey and a regional centre for business, education, shopping, culture and leisure. Over the past twenty years Guildford has emerged as a strong and successful commercial and technology centre in its own right. It is located 30 miles to the south west of London, at a point where north/south and east/west routes intersect, and is at the centre of a comprehensive communication network, which is highly accessible to UK, European and world markets. Central London is connected to Guildford by excellent road and rail links. It has easy access to London Heathrow and Gatwick Airports.
Site Management Arrangements
The Research Park is a private estate which has been funded and developed by the University of Surrey and is managed by the University of Surrey’s dedicated Research Park team. Some units are leased on fully insuring leases, others are on short licences and in these cases the management is the responsibility of the University. The University of Surrey provides automatic membership of the University Library and access to other University facilities through occupation of the site.
The Park has been ducted to enable buildings to be linked with a private network and offers tenants access to superfast broadband services.
The Park’s management team works closely with the University’s Technology Transfer Office (Research and Enterprise Support) that has been awarded government funds for supporting business acceleration services for tenants.
University of Surrey and its Facilities
The University is organised into a number of academic faculties that include the following:
- Facility for Arts and Social Sciences
- Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
- Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Together these faculties are responsible for an extensive research portfolio and teaching around 16,000 students.
Surrey is one of Britain’s leading technological universities, having been voted the Guardian University of the Year 2016. The teaching and research emphasis is towards science, engineering, technology, social sciences as well as offering courses in a business school. The University is committed to collaborating with industry as well as providing academic excellence.
Close links are maintained with industry through contracts and annual placement of undergraduates on their industrial and professional training year, which is part of the degree programme offered by the University. The University is successful in attracting research funds from industry.
Contact with tenant companies includes active participation in research contracts, consultancy and personnel exchange. The latter includes:
- project work with students
- sandwich course or co-op programme students taking placements with companies onthe site
- graduate employment that retains this human capital in the local labour market
- training and exchanging employees between companies on the Park
- collaborative research activities.
Social and Recreational Facilities
The University and Guildford have much to offer in drama, music, fine art, film, literature and other activities which contribute to the intellectual and cultural life of the community. The University offers sports facilities for a wide range of activities and the £38 million Surrey Sports Park is a major attraction and welcomes participation by the companies on the Surrey Research Park.
In addition, Guildford, as one of Britain’s major retail centres, offers a range of housing and attracts a number of existing “acts” to the G-Live Civic Centre. The town centre and Guildford Station is easily accessible from the Park by car and a very frequent bus service. There are at least four fast trains an hour from Guildford Station to London.
The access to general purpose technologies, an increasing number of investors and a breadth of skills from the University’s graduates and past graduates increase competition in many technology sectors. To drive innovation forward there is an observable trend towards entrepreneurs driving more deeply into earlier stages of technology readiness on which to develop technology business.
To ensure this the University of Surrey Tech Transfer Office continues to develop its relationship with technology entrepreneurs and tenant companies to assess the commercial potential of commercial opportunities, it has improved access to the University of Surrey Business School, and runs a number of important events through SETsquared to link entrepreneurs to the University’s research base. This is enhanced through student placement, academic research activities and support for access to Innovate UK and investor funding.
Surrey Technology Centre
The Surrey Technology Centre provides space for small technology (research, development and design) companies in one of the most prestigious Science Parks in the UK and Western Europe.
Units ranging in size from 120 to 880 square feet (11 – 82 sq.m) are fitted to quality office standards with carpet, air conditioning (heating and cooling), telephony system, broadband service, lighting and a 13 amp single phase ring main. Units may also be adapted to create wet or dry laboratories for some technologies.
All offices lead off from spacious central corridors with access control.
Each unit is serviced to assist new businesses by releasing companies from both the task of managing property and the burden of providing such facilities as an internet connections,fax, photocopier, postal services and a telephone system.
Occupiers therefore have an excellent opportunity to start a business or develop an existing business in a prestigious environment without some of the significant costs associated with a start up position.
For more information on The Surrey Technology Centre follow the link.
For more information on current lettings click here.
Faraday Court benefits from a high degree of prominence, fronting onto the main ring road around the Park. The rear of the site is screened by mature woodland providing an outstanding business setting.
For more information on developing a site at Faraday Court follow the link.
George Stephenson Place
George Stephenson Place is located adjacent to the northern feature lake and with its western boundary screened by natural woodland, provides a scenic and tranquil backdrop to the buildings.
For more information on developing a site at Faraday Court follow the link.
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