Accelerating commercial success – Collaboration, Investment Capital & Professional support


The Harwell Science & Innovation Campus is a place where ideas and companies successfully accelerate right through:

  1. Formation around initial Intellectual Property / Patent Estate (sometimes referred to as Early stage Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) work);
  2. Innovation and Product Development; and 
  3. Ultimately “Scale-up” to “Full Commercialisation”.

Harwell is an environment where world-leading science increasingly easily translates into commercially applied technology, which improves health and / or social and economic wellbeing.

One of the first private venture investments made by Neil Woodford CBE and his team when Woodford Investment Management’s (“WIM”) £12billion investment funds were established in June 2014, was in Gigaclear on the Harwell Campus.  Oxford based, Neil Woodford is recognized as the UK’s most successful and globally renowned fund manager.  He has a passion for investing in high growth emerging companies with the best management teams who have outstanding ideas supported by strong intellectual property.  Hence WIM’s new Patient Capital Trust plc launched in April 2015, which aims to take the best of British innovation through to commercialisation. WIM are also significant investors in Imperial Innovation and IP Group.

The Harwell Campus now regularly hosts visits from its friends at WIM, and Imperial Innovation as well as other major US and other international investors, including some of the largest corporate funds. These increasingly important corporate funds sit within major R&D focused multinationals that have long standing collaborative scientific relationships with the facilities and people at Harwell.These increasingly important corporate funds sit within major R&D focused multinationals that have long standing collaborative scientific relationships with the facilities and people at Harwell. 

Nobel Price Winner Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) - after whom Harwell's Rutherford Appleton Laboratories are named once observed, commenting on his research team:
We haven’t the money, so we’ve got to think.”

Times change, and while Harwell today is still full of leading thinkers, it is also a place where thinking and investment funding work hand-in-hand. Harwell's own on Campus Capital Advisory Team tracks >$210bn of technology capital that is already invested in US and Europe.

2014 Investment

In Q1 2015 a Peel Hunt and OBN report stated that in 2014, UK innovative life sciences companies secured $883m in venture financing in 71 financing rounds, of which nearly $500m was raised by biotech companies. Medical devices companies raised $107m in venture funds, while diagnostics companies raised $192m, and research tools companies raised $91m, led by Oxford Nanopore. However, only 12.2% was directed for "enterprise-size financing rounds" below $5m.

Companies in the Golden Triangle (Oxford, Cambridge and London) secured over 50% of venture financing, with the Oxford cluster in the lead ($221m), London slightly behind ($147m) and the Cambridge cluster ($131m), collectively the most active UK life sciences R&D clusters.

Follow On & Major Capital raisings
(>£5m) per project


We can advise about multiple capital raising options, plus provide access to a suite of national and global sources of funding through access to our own comprehensive, proprietary database of investors.

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Start Up, Angel and early stage Venture Capital (<£5m)


Being at Harwell gives companies greater visibility to other relevant and overlapping technology work and also raises profile amongst prospective investor communities.

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Grants, Mentoring and Advice


For many years Harwell has provided a great deal of support to Spin Outs and SMEs, via grant funding (e.g. European Space Agency Business Incubator Grants, Catapult support) and mentoring.

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