Keele University Science and Business Park

Australian company establishes European HQ at Keele, Staffordshire

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Australian healthcare company, Orthocell Ltd, is a regenerative medicine company committed to improving the lives of patients suffering from serious musculoskeletal conditions by developing innovative products that restore patient mobility, function and performance.  They have recently established their European HQ at Innovation Centre 1 at Keele University Science and Innovation Park, saying the space ‘ticks all the boxes’.

European Manager, Kevin Edwards, commented: “The UK has a lot to offer to foreign investors such as Orthocell.  The Department of International Trade’s regional inward investment team have been very helpful in providing a pathway to MedilinkWM who, via their Industry Innovation Gateway role for the WMAHSN, helped us to find excellent regional academic and clinical partners and a location for our business through their links to Keele University Science and Innovation Park.  We knew it was the best fit; it ticks all the boxes for achieving our goals and ambitions.

“Keele University Science and Innovation Park has a fantastic reputation, access to great cell regeneration laboratories, world-leading academics, and great surgeons at University Hospitals of North Staffordshire NHS Trust (UHNM) and Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) in Oswestry.  Being located here in the Midlands is just what we wanted, with great UK and international transport links as well as leading clinical and surgical work both in the orthopaedic trauma and dental sectors right on our doorstep.”

Since becoming tenants, Orthocell have been working with Keele University’s Professor Nick Forsyth and regulatory bodies to build a strategy for introducing regenerative therapies for treating musculoskeletal diseases into the UK market, building on their recent CelGro collagen medical device CE Mark for bone and soft tissue reconstruction and established orthopaedic and dental treatment work in Australia.

Professor Nick Forsyth, Director of Keele’s Institute of Science and Technology in Medicine and Professor of Stem Cell Biology, said: “Keele University and RJAH have a rich legacy of orthopaedic cell therapy developed under the stewardship of the late Professor Richardson.  This legacy, combined with the future vision, product range and commercial expertise of Orthocell, creates a fantastic partnership opportunity.  It is with great delight that we welcome Orthocell to the region and look forward to working with them in regenerative medicine for the musculoskeletal system beyond the bounds of Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital and expanding our regional excellence into a position of national prominence.”

A Staffordshire laboratory has successfully bid for a £10k grant

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Dermal Technology Laboratory Ltd, based at Keele University Science and Business Park, applied for the cash through Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub’s small business grant scheme.

The laboratory specialises in testing chemicals on skin, but the work is done in test tubes, instead of on animals or people. The vital work forms part of the safety testing of new and existing chemicals, agrochemicals, personal care, and pharmaceutical products.

Thanks to the grant, the company can now buy equipment for high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), a technique used to study each component in a mixture. The grant, which comes from the European Regional Development Fund, will help pay for the £24k equipment.

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David Fox, MD of Dermal Technology Laboratory Ltd

Managing director David Fox said: “The equipment allows us to test chemicals in the product, for example, a hair dye, and if the chemical penetrates the skin. We can look at how much of that chemical is in the sample we have prepared, compared to the product, and see if we have made a variant which is suitable for use.”

Mr Fox, 48, from Madeley Heath, said he wants to expand the business and hire four new staff this year, and the grant will allow him to create one of those jobs in the role of study director.

He said: “We work closely with Keele University and the Local Enterprise Partnership, and I was subscribed to the Growth Hub’s email newsletter, which is where I read about the grant scheme. The application was straight forward. We were really hoping to get this equipment and now that we have this money it will allow things to progress quickly.”

Nicola Kent, operational manager of the Growth Hub, said: “We are pleased to help Dermal Technology to buy new equipment, particularly in such an important field as chemical testing.

“The Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub would like to support more companies in the science and technology sector and would encourage anyone looking to grow their business to contact the Business Helpline for more information on 0300 111 8002.”

For more information, visit www.stokestaffsgrowthhub.co.uk to use the free live chat service.

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idappcom establishes base at Keele University Science and Innovation Park

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Midland-based IT company idappcom has established its Staffordshire base at the Keele University Science and Innovation Park.

Already leaders in the specialist field of corporate internet security, the company develops and markets advanced security software and solutions for smaller companies, homes and mobile computing.  Their solutions provide the level of protection usually only afforded by large companies and organisations with extensive IT teams, at a much lower price.

idappcomlogoidappcom’s team have years of experience of developing effective defences against the full array of ‘exploits’ – the basis for hostile attacks.

Through its base at Keele University Science and Innovation Park (KUSIP), idappcom is applying its capabilities to the fast-developing ‘internet of things’ – devices in our homes and offices that are linked to the internet.  Already TVs, CCTV and refrigeration may be internet-linked, but soon all manner of basic appliances are set to become smart.  Because of their relatively basic computing capabilities and low unit cost, such devices are often vulnerable to malicious attack.  The risk is set to grow as such devices become commonplace, giving rise, in idappcom’s view, to huge potential demand for cost effective protective solutions.

idappcom’s Chief Security Manager Simon Wesseldine, who is based at KUSIP, commented: “Keele is the perfect location, and the opportunities to engage with the School of Computing and Mathematics, the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) programme as well as with other leading-edge technology companies on the Science and Innovation Park are exciting and will help propel the next stage of our development.”

50 Jobs at Cobra Biologics

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Keele based Cobra Biologics has announced a £15 million investment requiring a further 50 staff.  The company globally employs 250 staff of which 85 are currently based at their Keele University Science and Innovation Park facility.

CEO Peter Coleman said: “Over the last few years we’ve seen a massive boom in organisations turning their attentions to gene therapy.

“There’s a lot of hype around it and we’re seeing that there is a tremendous rush by our customers to get products on the market – so there’s a massive demand for our services.

“At the Keele site, we have seen demand grow significantly – in terms of order numbers and revenue – by more than eight times in just the last two or three years.

“We are one of just a handful of companies in the world doing what we do and we have a good reputation as a trusted company.”

Mr. Coleman further commented: “We have been doing this for more than 20 years so this investment will help us to stay at the forefront of this exciting field. We are committed to investing for both present day needs and for the future at this extraordinary time in the history of gene therapy, when so many new and potentially life-changing medicines are in the pipeline.”

International Trade Minister Greg Hands welcomed the news. He said: “This new investment by Cobra Biologics is another boost for UK life sciences, creating high-skilled jobs in Keele as the company expands its operations.

“It comes as global demand for gene therapy manufacturing is surging, helping to put the UK at the forefront of developing revolutionary disease therapies and new treatments to be exported around the world.”

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Commitment agreed to support creation of high quality jobs at Staffordshire innovation centre

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A commitment to support the construction of a new innovation centre at one of Staffordshire’s leading employment sites has been agreed by the county council’s cabinet today.

A £2.02million investment in Innovation Centre 6 (IC6) at Keele University Science and Innovation Park was approved this morning. It follows the completion last August of Innovation Centre 5 (IC5) at the site using a £7million county council investment. The facility was created to house expanding high technology and professional services companies. Two companies have already taken space on five-year commercial leases.

With near full employment in the county continuing, both developments are supporting a drive for better paid, higher skilled jobs in Staffordshire. Today’s unemployment claimant statistics show Staffordshire remaining at 0.9 per cent of the local population. This compares with 2.2 per cent for the West Midlands region and 1.7 per cent for England.

Innovation Centre 6 will add to the already thriving science and innovation park where the five established innovation centres, along with other facilities, house around 40 businesses employing over 600 people. The new centre will sit alongside an innovation leadership hub and a new home for Keele Management School in a new combined capital development. Funding for the project would also come from Keele University, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Government’s Growth Deal. The total cost of the new capital development will be £17.5million.

It will also house the Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership will support local business leaders to develop the skills needed to innovate and grow their businesses. The new centre forms part of the wider New Keele Deal, announced last week. The Deal will support businesses to access Keele University’s world-class research and facilities, providing training in innovation leadership and facilitate supply chain development across a range of sectors.

IC6 will bring more skilled jobs in the high technology sector, providing high quality lettable space for new innovative businesses, start-ups and tech entrepreneurs, alongside state-of-the-art shared facilities to foster university and business collaboration. IC6 will accommodate around 100 high value jobs.

In May 2016, the county council’s cabinet announced its intention to pursue the project with Keele University, which will lead on the design and development of the centre.

Dr Mark Bacon, Director of Engagement and Partnerships at Keele University, said: “Our partnership with Staffordshire County Council will enable us to further develop the opportunities available for local businesses and inward investment into Staffordshire. Our Science and Innovation Park offers access to world-renowned research, state-of-the-art facilities and highly-skilled academics and graduates, all of which can aid businesses in developing new products and services. Through the county council’s investment, we can support the growth of more businesses and help to bring more high value jobs into the local area.”

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “Keele University Science and Innovation Park is the county’s leading site for innovation and research and we want to support its continued growth. The established innovation centres there are thriving and we are keen to see this expanded. We have an effective business partnership with Keele University which has grown stronger through the IC5 project and now the New Keele Deal. In May last year we set out our intention to go ahead with IC6 and now we have agreed our funding commitment. We have near full employment in Staffordshire and our drive now is to create high quality, skilled jobs, which IC6 will help to deliver.”

The official opening of IC5 takes place this Friday January 20.

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£70m regional partnership to create 700 jobs

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Seven hundred jobs are set to be created and over 1,000 businesses supported as a result of a £70m research-led collaboration led by one UK’s top universities.

Keele University will work in partnership with Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust to deliver a unique deal designed to stimulate growth of the knowledge-based economy in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire region.

The New Keele Deal will support businesses to access Keele University’s world-class research and facilities, providing training in innovation leadership and facilitate supply chain development across a range of sectors. Collectively, the New Keele Deal will assist businesses in becoming more competitive, producing better products and improving customer services.

Through a range of innovative business support programmes, the New Keele Deal will enable the University to extend its already considerable impact on the local economy by contributing an extra AL210m into the local area.

In addition to enhancing local business innovation, the Deal aims to improve health care in Staffordshire through the development of new health innovations and research designed to improve the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions.

The New Keele Deal will also position Staffordshire at the heart of the country’s transition towards a lower carbon economy through establishment of the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator – Europe’s only at-scale living laboratory that will be used to trial and test new energy technologies. The project is targeted to produce savings of up to 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Among the priorities highlighted in the New Keele Deal are plans to build Innovation Centre 6 at Keele University Science and Innovation Park, which will be located adjacent to the new Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership, a unique hub which will support businesses to better create a competitive advantage.

Targets over the next two decades include supporting over 600 small and medium sized businesses to innovate, 250 businesses to save energy or create green energy products and 140 medical technology and healthcare businesses to collaborate with academics and the NHS.

Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice Chancellor at Keele University, said: “The New Keele Deal is a commitment from the University and its long-standing partners to invest in the growth of the local economy by supporting and helping to advance our local businesses.

“By utilising the University’s world-leading research, and drawing on the expertise offered by its skilled professionals and academics, the Deal will help create a competitive advantage for local organisations by improving their products, services and businesses processes, ultimately leading to increased prosperity for the area.”

Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins said: “This Deal really is unique nationally and will put Staffordshire at the forefront of the UK’s emerging industrial strategy. Improved innovation in business leads to greater productivity which is essential for economy and for a stable future for business.

“Not only will the Keele Deal bring growth and create high quality jobs, it will also improve healthcare locally through greater research and development of new treatments. As a county council we are set to commit to a AL2million investment in the new Innovation Centre at Keele University Science and Innovation Park to support businesses to grow.A The new Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership will support local business leaders to develop the skills needed to innovate and grow their businesses.”

Elizabeth Shenton, leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “Newcastle is a borough of opportunity and we are proud to support this investment as part of the Keele Deal innovation.

“One of our key aims is to help businesses to grow and develop in the area and, through research and development, significant new job opportunities will be created, making sure that the borough, its businesses and its residents continue to thrive.”

Councillor Dave Conway, Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader, said: “The city council is really pleased to be involved in this initiative, as the investment will have a positive impact on all of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire. We look forward to working with Keele on exciting projects such as our ambitious district heat network, which will bring low carbon heat energy to local businesses and residents that is stable and affordable, and is the largest planned initiative of its kind in the UK.”

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost CBE said: “Stimulating investment and innovation is crucial for the future prosperity of our economy.A Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire has a strong track record of excellence in innovation and the New Keele Deal will play a major role in building on our region’s recognised strengths in key areas of new technologies and advanced manufacturing.

“This emphasis on innovation and competitiveness will help us build our reputation around the globe, bringing more highly skilled and better paid jobs to our area and ensuring a thriving future.”

More information about the Keele Deal and how everyone can benefit at www.keele.ac.uk/newkeeledeal

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Council set to commit to creation of quality jobs at Staffordshire innovation centre

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A commitment to support the construction of a new innovation centre at one of Staffordshireas leading employment sites is set to be made by the county council next month.

If agreed by the cabinet in January, the county council would invest AL2.02million in Innovation Centre 6 (IC6) at Keele University Science and Innovation Park.

It follows the completion in August of Innovation Centre 5 (IC5) at the site using a AL7million county council investment. The facility was created to house expanding high technology and professional services companies.A Two companies have already taken space on five-year commercial leases.

Innovation Centre 6 will add to the already thriving science and innovation park where the five established innovation centres, along with other facilities, house around 40 businesses employing over 600 people. The new centre would sit alongside an innovation leadership hub and a new home for Keele Management School in a new combined capital development. Funding for the project would also come from Keele University, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Governmentas Growth Deal. The total cost of the new capital development would be AL17.5million.

IC6 would bring more skilled jobs in the high technology sector, providing high quality lettable space for new innovative businesses, start-ups and tech entrepreneurs, alongside state-of-the-art shared facilities to foster university and business collaboration. IC6 would accommodate around 100 high value jobs.

In May this year, the county councilas cabinet announced its intention to pursue the project with Keele University, which will lead on the design and development of the centre. A report on IC6 will be discussed at next weekas Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee before going to Januaryas cabinet meeting.

Dr Mark Bacon, Director of Engagement and Partnerships at Keele University, said: aOur partnership with Staffordshire County Council will enable us to further develop the opportunities available for local businesses and inward investment into Staffordshire. Our Science and Innovation Park offers access to world-renowned research, state-of-the-art facilities and highly-skilled academics and graduates, all of which can aid businesses in developing new products and services. Through the county councilas investment, we can support the growth of more businesses and help to bring more high value jobs into the local area.a

Staffordshire County Councilas economy leader Mark Winnington said: aKeele University Science and Innovation Park is the countyas leading site for innovation and research and we want to support its continued growth. The established innovation centres there are thriving and we are keen to see this expanded. We have an effective business partnership with Keele University which has grown stronger through the IC5 project. In May we set out our intention to go ahead with IC6 and now we are setting out our funding commitment. We have near full employment in Staffordshire and our drive now is to create high quality, skilled jobs, which IC6 will help to deliver.a

£0.4billion boost to local economy from Keele University

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A new report produced by Regeneris Consulting concludes that Keele University is set to contribute close to £0.4billion to the local economy each year and sustain over 6,000 local jobs by 2023.

The University, based in Newcastle-under-Lyme and the Stoke-on-Trent City Region, is already a major contributor to the local economies. A With ambitious growth plans, the University commissioned the study to gain an understanding of its current direct economic impact now and in the future and the impact of proposed investments to drive economic growth across and beyond Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire.

The independent study looked at the University’s economic impact in terms of students and staff spend, employment and purchasing, as well as the potential future impact of its proposed investments to stimulate economic growth.A These include: a new Keele Research and Innovation Gateway for business; plans to turn the entire campus into a Smart Energy Network Demonstrator; the Mercia Centre for Innovation and Leadership to drive levels of innovation in local businesses and a new Medical Research and Development Centre. A The study also considered planned growth of student numbers, expected growth in business engagement and future investments in facilities, accommodation and services.

The report headlines the following University key impacts:

  • A contribution of AL145m every year and sustaining over 3,000 jobs in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area – rising to AL220m per year and over 4,500 jobs across the West Midlands;
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme – £13m spent with local businesses, 730 locally resident employees, 5,000 locally resident students;
  • Stoke-on-Trent – £16m spent with local businesses, 640 locally resident employees and 1,700 locally resident students;
  • Visitors to Newcastle-under-Lyme £53,000 (2014/15) and £2.4m injected into the local economy.

In its future forecasting to 2023, the report highlights the potential for specific investments relating to the University’s role in supporting economic growth to deliver support to over 800 businesses, create over 625 high value jobs and contribute an additional £120m per year to the local economy. Taken together with the direct growth of the University to 2023, Regeneris have estimated that the total impact of the University will come close to £0.4 billion per year and sustain over 6,000 jobs.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Trevor McMillan, comments: “This report provides clear evidence of the significant contribution Keele University already makes locally and regionally to the local economy, in addition to our wider social, cultural and positive health impact. A Our growth plans to increase from the current 10,500 students to 13,000 could see the University expand this even further contributing up to 6,000 jobs and £0.4billion per year to the regional economy.”

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Keele IC5 Completed

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Professor Trevor McMillan, Keele Universityas Vice-Chancellor (left) with Staffordshire County Councilas cabinet member for economic growth Mark Winnington.

Building work on a AL7million centre for business innovation in Staffordshire has been completed a with the first companies already set to move in.

The joint project between Keele University and Staffordshire County Council is the latest facility designed to support the development of local businesses and the creation of high value jobs in the area.

Innovation Centre 5, located on Keele University Science and Innovation Park, was officially handed over from construction partner Seddon earlier this month. It is the latest result of a long and successful partnership between the county council and the University, which sees the building funded and owned by the former and managed and maintained by the latter.A It could accommodate around 300 jobs when fully occupied.

The building is the fifth Innovation Centre on the Park and provides 30,000 sq ft of additional office and workshop accommodation for innovative, knowledge-intensive businesses. It is also the first to be built on the Science and Innovation Parkas new development site a an extension which has created 13 plots of land available for businesses and other partners to develop their own bespoke buildings.

Mark Winnington, cabinet member for economic growth at Staffordshire County Council, said: aThis is another great economic success for us a the delivery of a business innovation centre on time and on budget with companies already lined up to move in.

aWe are committed to supporting the creation of more high value jobs to Staffordshire through close working with a range of organisations. Weare building our partnership with Keele a one of the UKas leading educational and research establishments a to further strengthen our economy. We look forward to seeing a thriving centre as part of the renowned Science and Innovation Park.a

Professor Trevor McMillan, Keele Universityas Vice-Chancellor, added: aThe completion of Innovation Centre 5 is a significant milestone for us and for the local business economy.A Each of our existing properties has been in great demand since they opened, so it is fantastic that we are now able to accommodate and support more businesses here at Keele.

aWe are the only Science and Innovation Park in Staffordshire and one of only a handful in the country that is fully integrated within a university campus.A This ensures that businesses here are not only benefiting from modern facilities that they can be proud of, but they also have unrivalled access to the Universityas world-leading research, experienced and respected academics and officially the UKas most employable graduates, right on their doorstep.

aThis proximity to knowledge and expertise presents numerous opportunities for businesses to collaborate with the University in ways that will make their product development more efficient and effective, enable faster growth into new markets and ultimately create skilled jobs in the area.a

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman, David Frost CBE, said:A aIC5 is a great illustration of how we are working together in our region to create highly skilled job opportunities and assist cutting-edge businesses to grow and thrive.

aIt is clear that Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is becoming an increasingly popular area for businesses to locate and innovative developments such as IC5 have an important role to play in this.

aOur range of successful developments, like IC5, show how partnership working across the public and private sectors and our universities is paying dividends for our economy.a

First Government Growth Deal project in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire officially opened

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Completion of supporting works to major employment sites has laid the foundation for more new jobs in Staffordshireas as the number of people claiming job seekersa allowance hit an all-time low today.

The first Government Growth Deal project in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent has been officially opened. Supporting work for Liberty Park in Lichfield has seen a new replacement rail bridge built by the county council, providing access to the site and the London Midland Trent Valley station car park. The site could provide over 1,000 jobs. The project, which was allocated AL4million from the Local Growth Fund, has seen Staffordshire County Council carry out the bridge replacement and road improvement works before the developer Liberty and its partner Stoford move on site to build the industrial units.

Work to provide the infrastructure for a new business park at Meaford near Stone is on schedule for completion in May. The project, carried out by the county council, received a AL4million allocation from the Local Growth Fund. Developer St Modwen will then take the scheme forward on site. The development, on what is the largest brownfield site in the county, could provide up to 2,200 jobs when completed.

In June, a new innovation centre at Keele University Science and Innovation Park will be completed. The AL7milllion development between Staffordshire County Council and KUSIP will look to attract leading UK and international businesses in the medical, technology and engineering sectors. It will provide up to 130 skilled jobs and is the fifth centre of its kind on the university campus. It will be located on an established site for future development on the Keele campus.

Staffordshire County Councilas economy leader Mark Winnington said: aStaffordshireas success story in increasing job opportunities over the last few years has been phenomenal and we have hit an all-time low today in terms of the number of people claiming job seekersa allowance. The county council has supported business expansion, backed smaller enterprises, invested where it matters and with partners is driving up skills. We know we must continue to build on these successes and we are literally laying the foundations for new jobs in the coming months and years. We are ahead of the game with our business development and this is something that has been recognised by Government. These business sites will bring a real mix of quality jobs to Staffordshire people.a

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