Collaboration with Cambridge Enterprise highlights thriving life science community

Over 70 top academics from Poland visited the Park as part of nine week ‘Top 500 Innovators’ programme.

Chesterford Research Park played host to 75 top Polish academics over the summer as part of the International Outreach Programme (IOP) run by Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation arm of the University of Cambridge. The nine week ‘Top 500 Innovators’ training programme is part of a sustained effort by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education to bridge the gap between academia and business in Poland.

The objective of the Cambridge Enterprise programme is to provide participants with the specific skill sets required to manage cooperative research projects in Poland and focuses on innovation, intellectual property and technology transfer, the commercialisation of research, entrepreneurship and leadership. The over-arching aim being to bring high-technology products to market. Chesterford Research Park was asked to host the delegation to allow participants to experience first hand a superb example of a modern, successful science park.

The delegation’s programme at Chesterford included presentations from the Park’s joint agents, Savills and Dodson Jones regarding the evolution of the Park to date and future development plans. The audience then heard from Jim Duvall at UKSPA who gave context to the wider UK science and innovation park environment. Aleksandra Wlodek, Synthetic Scientist at Isomerase Therapeutics, presented Chesterford Research Park through the eyes of a tenant. Isomerase Therapeutics first arrived at the Park in 2013 and subsequently expanded its presence in October 2014, taking an additional suite within Science Village.  A bus tour of the Park followed the presentations, during which delegates were able to visit the Science Village building, Chesterford’s multi-suite, self-contained laboratory accommodation; a very relevant example of flexible, innovative accommodation for start-ups as well as more established life science companies.

Alex Smeets from Cambridge Enterprise, who accompanied one group of delegates, said of the visit: "During the course of the Top 500 Programme in Cambridge, our Polish visitors have been learning about the many different aspects of research commercialisation. Science parks and innovation centres play a major role in that process, so we were keen for them to visit a modern, successful science park such as Chesterford Research Park, which allowed them to meet with UKSPA in order to introduce them to the latest thinking in science park development and management."

Chesterford’s 250-acre, low density development offers biotechnology and pharmaceutical R&D companies modern, dynamic and flexible facilities – from prestigious HQ buildings to the fully fitted laboratory spaces within Science Village and office facilities of the Mansion House.  The diversity of buildings available has been specifically designed to attract science and technology companies and made Chesterford the ideal showcase as one of the regions most advanced R&D locations.