University of Essex Knowledge Gateway

university of Essex Knowledge Gateway

Research and Enterprise Office
University of Essex


Through the Knowledge Gateway, the University of Essex is driving business innovation and growth across the East of England region.

The Knowledge Gateway, on the University of Essex’s Colchester Campus, is fast becoming the location of choice in the eastern region for knowledge-based enterprises in science, technology and the creative sector.

It’s growing apace as more hi-tech companies and organisations choose to locate on campus with a research-intensive university.

The Knowledge Gateway lies at the heart of our commitment to help businesses innovate and grow, as we make a significant contribution to the delivery of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy through job creation and improving productivity.

We are the largest recipient of ESRC funding in the UK, and we are delighted to be ranked in the top 25 for research in The Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. We’re also home to world-leading expertise in analytics and data science, and we are pioneers of quantitative methods, and artificial intelligence techniques.

We have also received the highest rating of Gold in the government-led assessment of teaching quality, the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Our economic impact is local, regional, national and international – we contribute £500 million each year to the UK economy, and we have already invested a total of USD $66 million (GBP £50 million) in creating the Knowledge Gateway.

Within easy reach of London and with excellent transport links, the 17.5 hectare Knowledge Gateway project brings together great infrastructure, talented academic researchers, space for start-ups, and opportunities for anchor tenants to establish new regional centres.

Our vision is to create more than 2,000 high-value jobs within 15 years, welcoming more start-ups, SMEs and global businesses who will benefit from the campus co-location.

See our video: £12m Innovation Centre emerging at Knowledge Gateway

Membership of our community

Businesses joining us on the Knowledge Gateway are more than just tenants; they’re valued members of our University community, with access to all the services, support and activities that the on-campus location offers, including:

  • A full range of research facilities across our academic departments
  • Four-star corporate hospitality in the luxury Wivenhoe House Hotel
  • Event management from meetings to conferences
  • Wivenhoe Park day nursery for childcare, open 8am to 6pm
  • Print Essex offering graphic design and print services
  • Sports Centre and Evolve gym offering fitness classes and sports activities
  • Cafes and restaurants serving breakfasts, lunches and dinners, plus three bars
  • Other high street facilities, including our 24-hour mini supermarket, Santander and Lloyd’s Banks, and Post Office
  • Our Lakeside and Art Exchange gallery with regular performances and exhibitions
  • More than 200 acres of beautiful landscaped Wivenhoe Park to enjoy

Excellent transport links

  • Road: The Knowledge Gateway is accessed from the A133 dual carriageway. Colchester is served by a good road network linking London, Ipswich, Cambridge, Norwich, Kent and the south-east of England.
  • Rail: Colchester is 46 minutes from London Liverpool Street.
  • Air: London Stansted Airport is 30 miles and less than an hour away. London Southend Airport is 44 miles away.
  • Sea: The major port of Harwich is half an hour away. The Channel ports are easily accessible via the Dartford Crossing.


Parkside Office Village

In the next phase of development of the Knowledge Gateway, in autumn 2018 we will open 14,000 sq ft (1,300 sq m) of additional bright, ultra-modern office units on Parkside Office Village with on-site parking for businesses who want to join us and grow. Parkside Office Village is the Knowledge Gateway’s thriving SME hotspot which now accommodates 24 growing businesses employing more than 130 people on-site. It’s a tech and a data powerhouse, where our own Institute of Analytics and Data Science and the ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre work with businesses to unlock the true value of their data.

Innovation Centre

In 2019 our new £12m Innovation Centre will open for business, thanks to a £2m grant from Essex County Council plus £2m from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.

This exciting development of 3,500 sq m (38,000 sq ft) will provide the space, plus vital hands-on support, to help 50 start-up companies scale up, and succeed. The centre will house a digital creative studio, supporting NESTA’s 2016 Geography of Creativity in the UK study findings that rank Colchester in the top 10 in England for creative industries. We will integrate virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) kit into the centre’s start-up support facility – so that start-ups can access powerful digital product development tools – with activity linked to a number of our research themes, and our academic expertise.

These developments will allow us to extend our thriving SME community, which already includes ambitious hi-tech businesses alongside Essex Chambers of Commerce, the Haven Gateway Partnership, our own Institute for Analytics and Data Science, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Business and Local Government Data Research Centre, and Essex Business School.

Bespoke Building Developments

The University is also offering a design and build service for companies wanting to design an office or R&D space on the Knowledge Gateway, to suit their particular needs. This includes units from 464 sq m (5,000 sq ft) upwards in plots adjacent to Parkside Office Village, and units from 1,393 to 11,148 sq m (15,000 to 120,000 sq ft) on other plots in the Knowledge Gateway site.


Essex joins forces with Oxford Innovation

Oxford Innovation, the UK’s largest innovation centre operator, is working in partnership with the University to manage this space. Jo Stevens, Managing Director of Oxford Innovation, said: “This new, purpose-built centre will be the core of a dynamic and innovative...

Essex named as University Enterprise Zone

 “This announcement will help support budding entrepreneurs, start-ups and scale ups to access the unique skill sets and talent at the University and help cement the Knowledge Gateway as the location in the east to base your business.”  Science Minister...

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