Exeter Science Park – raising the bar in science and tech

© Guy Newman. Exeter Science Park.

Exeter Science Park is the result of a vision to develop a science park to facilitate the growth of innovative, fast-growing STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical) companies that exploit world-class research, create high-value jobs, attract and retain talent, and drive enhanced productivity and economic growth.

Its first building, the Science Park Centre, was completed in 2015 and provides 30,000 sq ft of flexible workspace for high-growth businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs. Since then, Exeter Science Park has developed a further three Grow-on Buildings (the Hedy Lamarr, Isaac Newton and Alan Turing buildings) and the Met Office has developed its Supercomputer and Collaboration buildings.

The Park’s science-based ‘Gateway Policy’ maintains the STEMM focus and culture. Eligible companies at the Park must be able to demonstrate that they are science-based companies incorporating one or more of: the research and development of products or services; active collaborations with universities, higher education, institutes, research or similar organisations; and a technology-based service.

Businesses at Exeter Science Park benefit from:

  • High-quality office and laboratory space
  • Intensive business support
  • Collaboration opportunities
  • Open innovation events
  • Resilient high bandwidth internet
  • Onsite café, open to tenants and the public
  • Bookable conference space and meeting rooms
  • Business and social activities

Exeter Science Park continues to develop swiftly with the fully-funded VSimulators and Ada Lovelace buildings, as well as its ongoing plans for the second phase of the Science Park Centre and another grow-on building. Its longer-term ambition sees the development of a further 165,000 sq ft of office, laboratory and production space by 2027 hosting over 2,000 people.

The VSimulators facility

The University of Exeter’s VSimulators facility is due for completion early in 2020. VSimulators offers a state-of-the-art facility, using virtual reality (VR) technology capable of immersing up to nine occupants simultaneously in headset projected VR scenarios. A 4×4 metre custom-designed motion platform, linked to the VR scenarios, enables users to perceive realistic motion as they move around in a virtual world, while optical and inertial motion capture systems and an array of force plates, will record their experiences.

The Ada Lovelace Building

Construction of the Ada Lovelace Building will begin in February 2020 – 20,000 sq ft of multi-occupancy, high-quality office and laboratory space. Its aim is to attract and retain local, national, and international, knowledge-based businesses. It will be a prime location for companies already located at the Science Park that are looking to grow, and new firms wishing to take the next step in their journey. When it is completed in November 2020, it will support up to 150 new jobs.

The Ada Lovelace Building is partly funded by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s (HotSW LEP) Growth Deal Funding and the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone.

Working in partnership

Exeter Science Park Ltd is the park developer on behalf of its four shareholders: Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council and the University of Exeter. Its two strategic partners are the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone. The latter provides business rate relief to Exeter Science Park clients worth around £55,000 per year until 2022, simplified planning and many other measures to encourage enterprise and productivity.