The foundations for Unit DX, Bristol’s first science incubator, have been firmly laid and construction has begun.
The scientific entrepreneurs of the city are welcoming the incubator with open arms as the build will provide much-needed support for science-based startups, as well as create a new dynamic to Bristol’s ever growing tech scene.
“We decided to focus purely on sciences to fit in with the city’s thriving tech community”
Unit DX is off to a sure start upon announcing its partnership with Global No.1 university-led business incubator, SETsquared.
Monika Radcliff (pictured right, above), the Centre Director at SETsqaured Bristol, comments, “I am very excited that SETsquared will be working with Unit DX to increase access to laboratory space and to provide tailored support for the scientific enterprise.”
Support for science
We caught up with Harry Destecroix, the Director of Unit DX, to find out more about the project. He tells us, “The idea came about when looking for laboratory space in Bristol for another company we are involved with, which is a chemistry based start-up called Ziylo, originating from the University of Bristol. We were surprised at the lack of hard science facilities in the area, especially for the life sciences sector.”
Unit DX launch event: The team celebrate the unveiling
of plans for the new science incubator at the Engine Shed
Harry says despite there being similar working spaces in other parts of the UK, there was no equivalent for Bristol. He adds, “We decided to focus purely on sciences to fit in with the city’s thriving tech community.
“We want to help to retain Bristol’s high level of scientific talent and research output”
“This means we can work together with SETsquared to provide sector-specific business support for the companies that will be housed at Unit DX.”
Harry says he feels like something was missing in Bristol, “I wanted to create opportunities for Bristol and Bath-based scientists, to go alongside its fantastic media, tech and engineering industries.
“We want to help to retain Bristol’s high level of scientific talent and research output, and assist startups by providing critical infrastructure that can be accessed on flexible terms.” The thriving tech sector here in Bristol is largely due to the fantastic opportunities provided by the incubators, and Harry hopes the same will be true for the scientific scene.
The precedent for collaboration within the South West has been well and truly set, and Unit DX is following suit. Harry expresses his excitement to “see the scientific community from the University of Bristol, the University of Bath and the entrepreneurial community from SETsquared come together for this event, and the beginning of the exciting collaborations and relationships that will come from developing Bristol’s scientific ecosystem.”
“[Unit DX will facilitate a] formation of a new life sciences cluster in Bristol”
This is a pioneering step for scientific entrepreneurs and Bristol alike. With the UK being such a big player in the scientific world, Unit DX is actively providing a way for the city to enhance its involvement in the sector.
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Harry tells us this was one of his motivations to develop the incubator, “[I am looking forward to] working with investors from across the UK to build a network for startups.
“The UK is world leading in science, and with the prestigious research output from the local universities, and Bristol deserves to be put on the map.” He adds, “Exciting world-leading research is going on at both universities, providing great opportunities for them to spin out innovative technologies. [Unit DX will facilitate a] formation of a new life sciences cluster in Bristol.”
Harry urges you to get involved with the project, “We like to think of ourselves as very open and collaborative so please feel free to get in touch.” He goes on to say, “In future, we will run events at the site so please keep an eye on our website and Twitter pages for updates.”