The power of clustering is well documented, and numerous benefits come from the physical concentration of related businesses in one geographical area. These include, but are not limited to, increased productivity, faster innovation and new business creation. For big companies and small companies alike, nothing spurs productive innovation better than having your competitor in close proximity.
STFC understands that clusters are constantly changing as they respond to the shifting of the marketplace. Our clusters are born out of a deep knowledge of the UK economy and what is driving productivity and growth, and we align our own strategy with these. Through conducting regular surveys and working closely with each business on our campuses, we focus on nurturing and growing clusters where we recognise the emergence of a collaborative environment.
What is truly exciting about our cluster development is the innovation taking place across these groups. Businesses are gaining a competitive advantage within their sector from using technologies in new applications – from agricultural businesses using space technology to improve food production, to medical device manufacturers using high-performance computing and big data analysis to improve patient care – we are enabling collaboration in a truly exciting way.
Harwell Space Cluster
Harwell Space Cluster is the gateway to the UK space sector with 89 space organisations employing 950 people.
Global space companies such as Airbus Defence and Space, Lockheed Martin and Thales Alenia Space have established a presence at Harwell, with activities ranging from the design of propulsion subsystems to satellite navigation systems. These are joined by a range of SMEs from start-ups in the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) to rapidly growing companies such as Oxford Space Systems, Deimos Space UK, Rezatec and Neptec.
Health Tech Cluster Harwell
With over 1,400 people and 74 organisations working in life sciences and world leading capabilities in advanced therapies, vaccines, diagnostics and next generation imaging, Harwell’s Health Tech Cluster is a global force. As one of the seven Life Science Opportunity Zones designated by the UK government, the cluster draws on the campus’s diverse expertise and open access National laboratories to deliver world firsts and life-changing innovations.
As well as being central to the global COVID-19 effort, Harwell is also pioneering nucleic acid therapies and aims to provide new insights into disease and drug discovery at both a molecular and atomic level.
Energy Tech Cluster Harwell
The Harwell Energy Tech Cluster comprises 80 organisations employing more than 1,400 people on campus and directly links to a wider network of over 100 organisations across the UK. It connects the science and innovation assets at Harwell to industries spanning energy research, innovation and development.
The cluster members work closely with the UK government and regulators on the design and implementation of policies, informing consultations and providing strategic advice to diverse stakeholders on areas such as innovative renewables, zero carbon energy storage, zero carbon fuels, battery research, connected and autonomous travel solutions and digital transformation..
HealthTec Cluster North West
The HealthTec Cluster is led by STFC and the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), the Innovation Agency and hosted at Sci-Tech Daresbury. Its aim is to bring together these hubs of expertise from across industry, academia, public sector, investor networks and entrepreneurs to stimulate innovation and tackle global challenges.
Connecting with the NW HealthTec Cluster is possibly the most important thing SMEs can do in their commercialisation journey. The true benefit of representation, platform, introductions and advice collectively, and from stakeholders such as STFC, Innovation Agency, Health Innovation Exchange and KTN has been incalculable.
Phil Blything, CEO, Glow New Media
Last updated: 13 April 2022