Last week we celebrated our second anniversary and the growth of the Bristol science cluster. We hosted an event at the Arnolfini, to showcase the companies’ technologies and their successes from the past two years.
In the past year, Unit DX has reached 100% occupancy, and the building is now home to 37 science and engineering companies, employing over 100 people. Our STEM outreach programmes have now welcomed and inspired over 1000 schoolchildren. We produced a special edition newspaper for the event, to announce some of the key metrics.
- £20m+ in investment and grant funding raised by members
- 100% building occupancy
- 37 members
- 100+ jobs
- Over 1000 children visited our STEM Outreach Programmes
- £4.3M combined annual wages
- 26 internships/placements completed
Unit DX CEO, Dr Harry Destecroix, said “Bristol is unlocking much more of its outstanding research base now that the right investment, facilities and support are in place. We all have a responsibility to make sure that further resources and lab space are available to maintain this growth and provide even more jobs for Bristol’s scientists”.
One of the first companies to move to the incubator was Ziylo, the chemistry start-up whose struggle to find lab space provided the inspiration for Unit DX. In 2018 Ziylo was acquired by Novo Nordisk in a staged deal worth a potential $800m. The sale has put Bristol on the map and attracted additional investment to the sector. Some of the former Ziylo shareholders have gone on to make seed stage investments in 10 Bristol science companies at Unit DX. Bristol Private Equity Club and the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund have also made significant investments the Bristol science cluster.
Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise at the University of Bristol, said “The shift in approach to commercialisation and partnerships in Bristol over the past two years has been palpable. The University has seen a step change in the number of academics interested in the spin-out route, and we look forward to working with Unit DX to increase the facilities on offer for science companies in the city”.
With the building at capacity, plans have been set in motion to deliver more space for the growing scientific community. We plan to achieve this in two phases – Unit DY and Unit DZ. More details will be announced later this year.