The University of Reading is one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities. Phase I of Thames Valley Science Park is now well established on the University’s main Whiteknights campus as a community of innovation led and technology based companies. The Science and Technology Centre comprises approximately 30,000 square feet of lettable space divided between office and laboratory space while the Reading Enterprise Centre (pictured ) is a dedicated business centre comprising a further 45,000 sq ft of quality business incubation and grow-on space. These two centres, together with RSSL, the global R&D Centre for Mondelez, bring the quantum of commercial space on the campus to close to 150,000sq ft.
Phase II of the Science Park is a newer development immediately adjacent to the M4 motorway to the South of Reading. Buildings include the 70,000sq ft ‘Gateway’ building (pictured) comprising offices and fitted laboratories for biomed, biotech and health sciences related companies as well as facilities for companies requiring high internet connectivity, clean rooms or similar specialist requirements.
Facilities and on-site Services
The Science and Technology Centre offers high-quality laboratories with excellent facilities and offices adjacent. There is ample parking, reception and meeting room access, while the ‘InnovationWorks’ provides a different environment for brainstorming and problem solving or for networking and collaborative working. The facilities are well suited to early stage and growing companies in the bioscience, environmental, chemical or food sectors that require laboratory space.
The Enterprise Centre offers flexible office accommodation in units of 100 to 10,000 square feet, under flexible leases. The Centre currently houses a community of small high-growth-potential businesses mainly in the IT, digital, software and electronics sectors. As well as offering high quality accommodation, high performance internet, meeting rooms and ample car parking, the Centre has a large atrium area with coffee shop to facilitate networking and collaboration.
As a recent addition to our facilities, a vibrant ‘student hub’ has been established which links students and recent graduates with an interest in entrepreneurship and starting their own business with the Centre for Entrepreneurship that is part of the Henley Business School and provides mentoring and support and provides low cost start up space in a communal environment.
As well as offering easy access to campus amenities such as the library, restaurants, conference and sports facilities, the University offers excellent opportunities for research collaboration, access to numerous specialist technical services and for recruitment of students or graduates for placements, work experience or for specific projects.
Opportunities and Links to the University
The University of Reading is one of the UK’s top 20 research-intensive universities, covering a broad spectrum of disciplines, while the Henley Business School at Reading is one of Europe’s leading business schools. Research interests and expertise is thus both broad and deep. Specific strands have been established to enhance and develop research areas of particular strength which are in Sustainable Construction and Environments, Climate Systems Science, Computational Science & Informatics and Preventative & Therapeutic Health Sciences.
Within these areas, a number of specific research centres and initiatives have been established. These initiatives are supported by significant investments in research infrastructure which include the Chemical Analytical Facility (offering advanced analytical technologies, including microscopy) and the fMRI scanning unit (see www.thamesvalleysciencepark.com for further information).
This breadth and depth of excellence provides an ideal platform for collaboration and support for companies choosing to locate at the University. Opportunities for interaction include research collaboration, consultancy, access to professional development programmes either related to technical disciplines or through the Henley Business School or opportunities to recruit high calibre students or graduates. The University runs a number of very successful schemes to encourage University-Business collaboration such as the Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme, which is open to organisations of all sizes and where businesses contribute only part of the cost. Each partnership is a three-way collaboration between a company, the University and at least one of the University’s skilled, high-calibre graduates.
Business Support is available to companies locating at the University through a number of network partners with expertise to help technology and knowledge-based companies with pioneering ideas become thriving commercial concerns. In addition, and with partners, the Henley Business School at the University runs a very successful ‘Start-up’ and ‘Growth Accelerator’ programme aimed at helping entrepreneurial companies develop thriving businesses. In particular a close relationship is maintained with initiatives supported by the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP including the TV Berkshire Business Growth Hub, based out of the Science Park and offering advice and mentoring on all aspects of business growth and development as well as connection to other national support programmes such as UKTI, Innovate and Growth Accelerator. In addition, the highly successful Thames Valley Funding Escalator has been established to provide funding support to start up and to growth orientated tech companies requiring commercialisation or expansion finance. There is also a close relationship with the ‘Grow’ incubator run by ConnectTVT which provides a dynamic start up co-working space and events programme for early stage and aspiring tech entrepreneurs.
Companies established at Thames Valley Science Park
The current Science Park, established on the University’s Whiteknights campus, comprises approximately 80 knowledge-based companies ranging from start-up and more-established SME’s to global enterprises such as Mondelez. The types of companies in the centre range from early stage diagnostics and health care companies such as Lein Applied Diagnostics and Biointeractions, through to more established pharma companies such as Dextra, part of New Zealand Pharma, through to a broad range of IT and digital companies including Emulate 3D, Assuria and Opsview to Metra and Assimila who are both involved in meteorology and earth observation.
“Lein works extensively with collaborators in the Statistical Services Centre, the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences and the School of Pharmacy. For such a high technology company, having easy access to these expert academics is invaluable”
Dan Daly, CEO, Lein Applied Diagnostics Ltd
“The Reading Enterprise Cente provides a company-friendly environment for a growing tech company like Emulate3D – employees enjoy the relaxed campus atmosphere and visiting clients are impressed by both the modern building and the verdant site”.
– Ian McGregor, Director, Emulate3D
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