Our Vision

'It’s a place where people push you. We all need that. You don’t make progress by thinking it all out yourself, you make progress by being challenged by other people. And you get it here.'

Professor Steve Cowley, CEO, UKAEA



Our Vision

Harwell is a vast, world renowned Campus of 710 acres (290 hectares) surrounded by a spectacular landscape, less than 15 miles south of Oxford. 

Harwell is already a leading Science & Innovation Campus in Europe, hosting over 5,000 people working in more than 200 organisations. The UK Government continues to make major multi-billion pound scientific infrastructure investments on Campus.  HRH The Duke of York is Patron of Harwell and is an active supporter.

Every major industry sector in which the UK economy is actively involved either resides at Harwell in some form or visits the campus to conduct research and product development.

Our vision is to grow Harwell into one of the world’s largest and most important Science & Innovation Campuses, with even stronger links to many leading academic Universities within a broad R&D based community. The University of Oxford and Harwell have established a Partnership for Discovery and Innovation.

It is for Harwell to embrace many more of the world’s largest R&D-focused multinationals as well as a richer ecosystem of small and medium sized hi-tech businesses. 

Cross fertilization of talent and ideas will remain at the core of this open collaboration environment.

Who is at Harwell?

Organisations currently based on site include the Science & Technology Facilities Council, with more than £1 billion of infrastructure investment across Diamond, ISIS Neutron, the Central Laser Facility, Computing/Data Storage and RAL Space.

STFC spends almost £400 million every year on research projects. STFC scientists on site are collaborating closely every day with many of the world’s largest R&D focused corporations.

The European Space Agency, Medical Research Council, Public Health England, De Beers, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Thales and several leading universities - as well as many smaller emerging companies with exciting projects - are also currently based at Harwell.

Space, aerospace and telecommunications are increasingly important activities at Harwell, which is the “UK Space Gateway” site for academia and industry, particularly from abroad.

Harwell is extremely international, with over 45 nationalities inside a single building.  

Image credit: Research Sites Restorations Ltd. 


The next major phase of development will cover just over 36 acres of land (5% of the whole campus) and could add just under 1 million sq ft of labs, offices and technical accommodation.

When fully occupied this phase has the potential to almost double the campus population. 

New research and commercial accommodation is being supported by the construction of hundreds of new homes that will be delivered on a bespoke basis to meet the needs of Campus people (in terms of price point to buy and rent, functionality and aesthetics). Additional hotel, health and fitness and other facilities are also programmed.  

Click here and here to read more about Harwell's growth plans for the campus.

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