Construction works on a new £6m deep tech incubator in the heart of Bristol have passed the half-way mark, and will create a new space to house the next generation of science and engineering companies in the city.
Science Creates‘ new incubator is being built in partnership with the University of Bristol and supported by a £1.5m grant from Research England. It ties in with the University’s Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus development, which is expected to deliver an estimated £626m of employment and financial benefit to the regional economy over the next decade.
Dr Harry Destecroix, founder and CEO of Science Creates, says, “Bristol has all the elements a science company needs to grow and succeed, but I’ve learned first-hand the challenges companies face finding suitable space to locate their business. By working with our partners, we look forward to opening our new home for deep tech companies, who are working on major challenges, from improving healthcare to improving the environment around us.”
You can find out more about Science Creates through checking out this profile on their mission and journey, including information on their deep tech fund. To learn about other big deep tech investors, check out our article here.
Unveiling the deep tech incubator
Due to open in November 2021, the new space will provide 15 laboratories, offices, a community outreach ‘learning lab’ and events space in the 30,000 sq. foot former stationary warehouse. The project will enable an estimated 250 high-value jobs to locate in the city centre Temple Quarter, an area that is undergoing Bristol’s largest redevelopment in living memory.
Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President at the University of Bristol, comments, “As we battle the pandemic and rely on the scientific discoveries that have led to new COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, this new partnership reflects our commitment to investing in research and facilities that underpin such important breakthroughs. It also marks a significant milestone for the University and Science Creates in developing an inspiring new facility where universities and businesses work together on solutions to global challenges, at a time when they are most needed.”
It’s evident to see the Science Creates team are passionate about bringing the right people together to facilitate incredible innovation since its conception, helping startups to overcome issues such as commercialising their ideas and raising finance for niche technologies.
Patrick Fallon, Lead Designer at Science Creates emphasises the important role the local community has played in the design of the space, “It was a pleasure to work with the local community and incorporate the aspirations of the Old Market Neighbourhood Plan into our design. We want to make the space accessible and inviting, so we’ve created an active frontage to Midland Road, opening up the facade and locating the entrance facing the city, putting science front and centre.”
Bristol is seen as an attractive prospect for company founders and investors however the limited availability of specialised incubator space has historically limited growth for deep tech companies. Science Creates first incubator in St Philips (previously called Unit DX) has had a waiting list since shortly after opening, showing the increasing demand for dedicated space to house start-up and university spin-out companies.
Dr Jon Hunt, Director of the University of Bristol’s Research & Enterprise Development, added: “This is an extremely exciting moment. Our relationship with Science Creates developed to a new level when we won a £1.5 million capital grant from Research England to allow us to co-invest in their expansion plans. The grant also established a ‘University Enterprise Zone’ aligned to the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. The last two years of close collaboration with Science Creates has led to a growth in science and engineering spin outs requiring laboratory space, beyond our office-based Engine Shed incubator.”
“We would like to thank Research England and other partners for their support and investment that has helped enable this important project to reach fruition.”
The project is already attracting attention and has been shortlisted for the Planning Awards in the Place Making theme, and the Promoting Economic Growth category.