Space. Clean Energy. Health Tech. Quantum.

At Harwell we like big ideas.

But more than that, we like to give our people the facilities, support and infrastructure to use those ideas to make a real difference. From the tailors who stitch the cloth to wrap satellites to the research groups investigating llama nanobodies to help fight viruses, our people are what define Harwell’s success. Alongside scientific innovation, we believe in the power of collaboration and the cross-pollination of ideas to solve the problems facing our world today.

Who we are

Originally founded in 1946 to tackle the energy crisis and advance nuclear technology, today, we are home to a federation of leading science and technology organisations and facilities.

Our campus is a unique collaboration between government, academia and industry working to accelerate progress on the key issues of our time – from pandemic preparedness to clean energy. Our community includes publicly funded scientific infrastructure like the National Quantum Computing Centre and the Central Laser Facility, anchor organisations like the European Space Agency and the Natural History Museum, innovative private sector organisations like Oxford Nanopore and Astroscale alongside teams from 30 UK universities.

What we do

Harwell’s purpose has always been to enable breakthroughs – at scale – via science, innovation and collaboration. We take a theory (or several) and apply it to create a tangible solution to a problem. By creating a critical mass of scientists, shared knowledge and incredible machines we enable breakthroughs that change the course of history.

The campus is managed and developed by a group of organisations – the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the UK Atomic Energy Authority and a private sector investor, Brookfield. We are investing significantly in the campus to add homes, facilities and more R&D space to enable sustainable growth and an even faster rate of innovation.

From the opening of the first Medical Research Council laboratory in 1945 to the launch of the Diamond Light Source Synchrotron in 2007 and the Health Tech Cluster in 2016, Harwell is rich in world-firsts and proud of its direct role in scientific leaps forward.


Visualising the atomic structure of COVID-19


Health tec cluster formed


Diamond Light source sycohtron opened


Medical Research Council laboratory opened


Explore Harwell’s future developments

Technology and research are at the heart of everything Harwell does. A unique combination of world-leading research and technology facilities mean teams and businesses are able to reach their full potential.

National facilities

Innovation clusters have been proving their worth worldwide for decades. At Harwell, we go further. We take a cross-disciplinary approach that bridges sectorial silos. And we also offer proactive, dedicated cluster managers who help your organisation connect, innovate, grow and thrive.

Explore the clusters