The University of Southampton Science Park is situated on an attractive rural site, in close proximity to the South’s major air, sea and road transport routes giving easy access across the UK and Europe. It is a well established, wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Southampton and operates on an arm’s length commercial basis. Primarily formed to support early-stage technology businesses, Southampton Science Park now accommodates over 90 companies of all sizes, including world leaders such as Jacobs Engineering and Merck Chemicals. All the companies on Southampton Science Park are engaged in research, development, high-tech manufacturing, or services which directly support these sectors.
Southampton Science Park and the University of Southampton enjoy close links, giving tenant companies access to some of the UK’s leading scientific expertise and opportunities to benefit from graduate and postgraduate placements. About 15% of the companies at the Park originate from the University, either as spin-outs or as the brainchild of individual academic staff. This includes companies like Perpetuum, Fibrecore and Ilik a, two of which have been named in The top 100 Cleantech companies in Europe.
Southampton Science Park’s ethos centres around 6 key points.
Southampton Science Park’s Offerings
Accommodation Southampton Science Park offers high quality accommodation with flexible terms, enabling companies to access appropriate facilities and expand their physical footprint as they grow. It is home to a range of sustainable buildings from custom designed headquarters to office/laboratory space in multi-occupancy buildings. The nine acre site at Benham Campus offers a variety of building plots to suit more mature incoming businesses. At the other end of the scale, the Innovation Centre supports start-ups and small businesses with flexible leasing arrangements (including ‘easy-in/easy-out’ terms) and access to shared facilities. The smallest companies can even enjoy a desk in the Incubation Centre while still benefiting from all that Southampton Science Park has to offer.
Basing your company at Southampton Science Park gives you access to some of the best business support in the UK. The Park has a longstanding connection with SETsquared, number one university incubator in Europe and number two in the world. SETsquared is a collaboration between the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey which accelerates the growth and success of new technology businesses through spin-outs, licensing and incubation. Southampton Science Park has also received Regional Growth Funding to provide extra business coaching for some of its tenants. Furthermore, various business support companies based at the Park provide a range of services for small companies.
Southampton Science Park is home to an entrepreneurial community, enabling individuals to develop their skills, learn from one another and contribute to a serendipitous exchange of business ideas. The Science Park Network runs a variety of events ranging from Chief Executives’ Breakfasts to networking seminars and business briefings. The Science Park Social Committee also organises a range of events throughout the year, including summer barbecues and regular quiz nights. The innovators of the future are also catered for, with an on-site Yellow Dot Nursery, which won the Royal Institute of British Architect’s Downland Prize for Best Educational Building.
Southampton Science Park’s Strategy
Science In order to develop a supportive environment for early stage science and technology businesses, Southampton Science Park has transformed one building into a multi-occupancy laboratory complex. The Science Centre houses small chemistry, biology and general purpose laboratories, together with shared scientific facilities for tenants, while the first floor has been re-shaped to provide office accommodation for small companies. These facilities provide the perfect environment for start-up science and technology businesses to conduct commercially oriented R&D and bring new products and services to market.
Robin Chave, Chief Executive ofUniversity of Southampton Southampton Science Park, explains, “Science-based start-ups frequently need access to laboratory facilities which can require a big up-front investment. By providing an ‘easy-in, easy-out’ laboratory environment we are allowing companies to benefit from high quality facilities almost on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis, enabling them to avoid the high initial costs which are the bane of early stage businesses. The Science Centre puts quality science right at the heart of Southampton Science Park and accentuates our strategy of providing the right facilities to support commercialisation of technology.”
To encourage the development of technology start-up companies, Southampton Science Park has created an environment specifically designed to accommodate the needs of entrepreneurial businesses. The Catalyst Centre is an initiative developed by Southampton Science Park in association with SETsquared to provide coaching and mentoring by experienced professionals. Its aim is to identify high quality science and technology business propositions which are capable of significant growth, and provide the entrepreneurs concerned with intensive support, to enable their businesses to develop and flourish.
Southampton Science Park is continually working to improve its sustainability credentials and reduce its environmental footprint. For example, an on-site anaerobic digester, designed and built by tenant company SEaB Energy, uses food waste from the on-site coffee shop and tenant’s offices and converts it into energy for the Park’s Kenneth Dibben House. The Park is also investing in improving the energy performance of building stock.
The Development of Benham Campus
Benham Campus provides 30,600 sq ft of office accommodation over three floors, along with meeting and conference rooms and a second on-site coffee shop.
Case Study – BluPoint
BluPoint is a social impact company that provides companies, governments and other organisations with an effective way of communicating with off-grid people and communities to deliver education, healthcare and economic development. This is implemented through a low cost, community based, solar powered, pop-up intranet solution that is fast to deploy and free to users on their own mobile device.
In September 2013 Dr. Mike Santer founded BluPoint and joined the Catalyst Centre programme at the Science Park, undergoing 6 months of incubation before moving into larger premises on the Park. Since then, the Company has gone from strength to strength, continuing to grow the global influence and awareness of its innovative product.
In late 2015, the Company was awarded £500,000 in funding from Innovate UK, which gave the team the ability to accelerate the development of the solution to a stage where they were able to test the technology in its intended environment. In early 2016, the team completed a round of angel funding and signed an intellectual property licensing agreement with the University of Southampton.
Robin Chave, CEO of Southampton Science Park, commented: “Over the years we’ve watched in admiration as Mike Santer and his team travel the globe creating new networks and building the business. To see a company go from a blank slate to having a product that is ready to take to market is something that makes my job, and what we do here at the Science Park worth while.”
Dr. Mike Santer, Founder of BluPoint commented: “Since inception, BluPoint has been based on the Science Park – from the Catalyst Centre, to the Incubation Centre, to now having our own office – we continue to grow and develop here. The opportunities afforded to us by winning a place on the Catalyst Centre programme and the subsequent contacts we have made through being a part of the Science Park community have made our business the success it is today. Peter Birkett even introduced me to our now-CEO Peter Dingley; a step that has allowed us to take the business to the next level.”
Innovation Centre -University of Southampton Science Park
Built to satisfy the demand for smaller companies with units from 200 sq ft to 2000 sq ft. It includes meeting and conference rooms, allocated desk facilities as well as a cafe and is home to the Science Park Management Team and SETsquared. Air conditioning and CAT6 cabling available in some suites.
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Science Centre - University of Southampton Science Park
The Science Centre houses small chemistry, biology and general purpose laboratories from 130 sq ft to 775 sq ft, with 1st floor office accomodation. These facilities provide the perfect environment for start-up science and technology businesses to conduct commercially oriented R&D and bring new products and services to market.
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Kenneth Dibben House - University of Southampton Science Park
With units from 540 sq ft to 5,000 sq ft, the building is CAT6 cabled throughout with voice/data points in all rooms, including the two bookable meeting rooms. An air source heat pump provides integrated heating and cooling throughout and a digital information screen guides visitors to the company locations within the building.
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Enterprise Road - Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Phi Houses - University of Southampton Science Park
Designed by award-winning Edward Cullinan Architects these buildings offer suites ranging from 400 sq ft to 16,000 sq ft. Gamma House is newly refurbished with an air source heat pump heating and cooling system and CAT6 cabling throughout. Delta, Epsilon and Phi have air conditioning available in some suites.
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Benham Campus - University of Southampton Science Park
Modern two story office buildings offering suites ranging from 2,000 sq ft to 20,000 sq ft. The buildings benefit from a high quality specification creating a first class working environment. An air source heat pump provides integrated heating and cooling throughout and CAT6 cabling is available in all suites. There is also potential for building plots to be available on long lease terms.
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