News

Imperial Incubator plays host to science park conference

3 Feb 2015

Imperial Innovations is pleased to note that the Imperial Incubator, the South Kensington innovation and entrepreneurship hub that it manages, will host the UKSPA annual conference on 3rd-4th February 2015.

The conference, which is taking place during UKSPA’s 30th anniversary year, offers more than 100 delegates from science parks and incubators around the UK the opportunity to discuss best practice around the planning and management of science parks and incubators.

Incubators play an important role in the development of early-stage UK technology businesses, offering a supportive environment in which these technically-demanding companies can thrive. This year’s conference will focus in part on the incubation activities that take place at Imperial College London – home to a number of leading incubator programmes. These include the Imperial Incubator (managed by Imperial Innovations) and Imperial West, a major new campus for Imperial College London which incorporates an extensive entrepreneurship hub.

The Imperial Incubator has been involved in the early stages of a number of successful spin-outs from the College. These include Nexeon, a battery materials and licensing company that has developed silicon anode technology for lithium ion batteries that enables the production of rechargeable batteries with a longer cycle life and higher energy density. Nexeon, which was based in the Incubator during its earliest stages, now operates a 20 tonne pilot plant in Oxfordshire.

Circassia, a specialty biopharmaceutical business developing treatments for common allergies, was also based in the Incubator in its early stages. Last year, Circassia gained admission to the main market of the London Stock Exchange, raising £200 million from investors in what its directors believed to be the biggest ever IPO for a UK biotech business.

Both of these companies are based on technology developed at Imperial, received early incubation support based at Imperial when they started up, and have gone on to great success.

UKSPA is the industry body for science parks and innovation centres in the UK. Its mission is to be the authoritative body on the planning, development and creation of science parks that are facilitating the development and management of innovative, high-growth, knowledge-based organisations.

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