Incubate to Accumulate

December 14th 2018
Future Space

As part of a wider feature by South West Business Insider, our customers, Flexys and eXmoor Pharma, and innovation director Nuala spoke with the publication on why Future Space has been such a good fit for them.

Nuala Foley, innovation director at Future Space, says the centre, which focuses particularly on robotics, software and life science, is now 75 per cent full.

Foley says: ‘Because we are an innovation centre rather than just a work space, we imagine there will always be a rolling over of companies here, because the idea is that businesses here will be so successful they will outgrow us.”

She adds that being on the university campus means companies get very good links to equipment, academics and intern initiatives. “A key part of my role is working with UWE on developing initiatives that will benefit the growth and innovation potential of the companies.

“We’ve been strict on our gateway criteria – which is around tech and life sciences,” she adds, “The community would only work if people could see the benefit from being with each other.”

One of the companies to benefit from the facilities is eXmoor Pharma Concepts – a bio manufacturing consultancy working in cell and gene therapy.

Founded in 2004 by Dr Angela Osbourne, and initially run out of her home in Exmoor, the business moved into an office and two large labs at Future Space in 2017.

She says that the flexibility of the space has given the business the ability to grow to its current ten person-strong presence on site.

“It’s a very flexible system to be able to come into a place like this, with pretty much no commitment.” She says.

Jon Hickman, chief executive of Flexys, a software company developing apps for the debt resolution industry, brought the fledging business into Future Space in March 2017. The business has since grown from a team of three to 20.

“The great thing about being here was they had a variety of different office spaces and it’s on a monthly rolling contract, so as we recruited we could immediately move up to a bigger office space,” he says.

“There’s also a lot of additional support and meeting rooms we can use, it’s a great place to bring clients, but also it’s great to have that proximity to UWE – our first two employees were UWE graduates.”

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