Bristol’s first science and tech hub, Future Space, generated more than £2 million for the regional economy within its first year, a new report reveals.
The innovation centre – which was the first flexible office space in Bristol to also offer private and shared laboratory space to start-up R&D enterprises – exceeded all its targets for its first 12 months of operation, with occupancy at 68% by the end of 2017.
Companies based at Future Space raised more than £10 million in funding between August 2016 and July 2017 and created four new patents, the figures show.
A total of 25 new jobs were generated by the client companies, taking the total number of people employed within Future Space to 145 within the first 12 months.
Part of University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), Future Space provides shared and private laboratory, workshops and office space along with business support services and has received a 93% customer satisfaction rating.
Three quarters of the companies at Future Space have engaged with UWE Bristol, working with researchers, students and graduates.
Elaine McKechnie, Future Space centre director, said: “We are really pleased and proud to see so many amazing companies growing and developing under the Future Space roof.
“Our aim at Future Space is to provide a flexible working environment where science and tech companies can base themselves while they carry out the research or development work necessary to attract major funding or set up lab space of their own.”
The turnover of Future Space client companies averaged more than £600,000 by the end of the first year.
Martin Boddy, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, said: “Future Space is further enhancing UWE’s great reputation for fostering business development and enterprise.
“The businesses that have moved there have had access to the sorts of academic expertise, business support and facilities that would usually be very tricky for start-ups. There is the added advantage of being able to tap in to Bristol’s student talent pool.”