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£1.5m investment to help expand science incubator Unit DX

Research England has awarded £1.5 million to the University of Bristol towards developing a new state-of-the-art life sciences incubator with Unit DX, as part of its University Enterprise Zone [UEZ] programme.

Bristol is one of 20 universities to have been awarded a share of £20 million by Research England – part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to develop a new University Enterprise Zone that will provide vital specialist support to small businesses in pioneering industries – like Artificial Intelligence (AI), clean growth, smart energy and agri-food.

Bristol’s collaboration will build on the success of Unit DX’s first deep tech facility in Temple Quarter, which is now fully occupied, and affirm Bristol’s position as a centre of scientific innovation. The new facility will provide start-ups and scale-ups with much-needed laboratory space, as well as specialist business and technical support, whilst retaining close links with the academic departments of their founding teams.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said:”Many of Bristol’s research community are right on the precipice of  turning ground-breaking ideas into real products and services which could change the lives not just of people in the local community, but people around the world.

“Today’s funding will not only help local scientists take their ideas from lab to market – but will also support an enterprise hub at University of Bristol. Providing space for local businesses to forge crucial partnerships, the UEZs will create jobs, drive local growth and provide SMEs with a vital steppingstone to succeed.”

Dr Harry Destecroix, co-founder and CEO of Unit DX, said: “We have already achieved great things with Unit DX. In just two years our community has raised over 28 million in funding, created over 120 jobs and is now at 100 per cent occupancy, supporting 32 deep tech companies. This new project will triple our capacity, giving companies the space to attract more investment, create more R&D jobs, and bring their technologies to market, which will deliver an enormous impact to society.”

Unit DX’s second site works alongside the University’s world-leading SETsquared incubator for high-tech start-ups.