Business Leader spoke to Exeter Science Park CEO Dr Sally Basker about its support for business innovators, and its ambitious growth plans for the years ahead.
Exeter Science Park is growing rapidly. Tell us more about the Park and its tenants?
Exeter Science Park helps innovative science, technology, engineering, maths and medical (STEMM) businesses to deliver extraordinary growth. The Park provides inspirational incubation and grow-on space, as well as offering support for innovative businesses specialising in STEMM.
We are proud to host a range of companies working in sectors including security and cyber, energy and environment, healthcare and pharmaceutical, geospatial, and business productivity. These range from one and two man-bands to global companies, as we offer space from hot-desks to office space to bespoke buildings.
Exeter Science Park covers 60 acres of East Devon parkland, currently provides over 60,000 sq ft of high-quality incubation and grow-on space, and is home to more than 50 innovative STEMM businesses.
Tell us more about your role?
As Chief Executive Officer, my role is to facilitate the development of Exeter Science Park as a hub for innovative STEMM businesses and lead our team to deliver new jobs, enhanced productivity and economic growth.
I work closely with the executive team, board members and shareholders to deliver the vision for Exeter Science Park and grow a community of like-minded businesses.
What can Exeter Science Park offer businesses?
We provide businesses with the space, support and skills for success.
We understand businesses’ needs, whether that means offering incubation space and innovation support services to help fledgling businesses prosper, or providing facilities designed to give global companies the space to succeed.
We can be flexible to suit clients’ needs, from developing bespoke workspace and fit-outs, to flexible lease lengths and office sizes.
Clients also benefit from innovation support from SETsquared Exeter, which provides dedicated support staff delivering business acceleration services to clients at all stages of development. The SETsquared Partnership, the enterprise collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, has three times been ranked as the ‘Global No 1 University Business Incubator’.
What is the vision for the future of Exeter Science Park?
During 2020, we are working on a new masterplan for the Science Park campus and with this, a new business strategy, which will allow us to provide the best space, support and skills to our tenants.
We are on track to have 700 tenant staff on site by 2021 and, by 2035, expect more than 3,500 people will work for companies at Exeter Science Park. Over 2,500 of these will be new, high-quality jobs.
The Science Park is more than just a collection of buildings, it is the people within it; the innovators, the entrepreneurs, and the talent.