Forging new connections, solving global challenges
Harwell’s cluster model
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.
A proven model, to the power of Harwell
The evidence is clear: innovative companies are most successful when they are part of a thriving community that features:
- A critical mass of research and innovation talent
- Leading academic institutions and scientific facilities
- Consistent national and local government support
- Agile investment capital
- A range of large and small businesses – from start-ups to scale-ups to sector leaders
- Clear, collaborative governance
Harwell leads the world in making this model work. It’s why we’ve more space organisations within walking distance of one another than anywhere else and have Europe’s highest concentration of cutting-edge scientific facilities – to give just two examples.
A fertile R&D ecosystem
Our vibrant environment is concentrated around Space, Energy and Health – with the exciting addition of quantum through the National Quantum Computing Centre from 2022.
This has created a diverse network of 200+ organisations, where research, innovation and commercial know-how are fuelled by some £3 billion of public investment that’s unmatched globally.
World-leading organisations like The European Space Agency, the Rosalind Franklin Institute and the Faraday Institution rub shoulders with ambitious start-ups, growing businesses and the 30 or so universities active on campus at any one time.
This creates almost limitless potential for people to collaborate and for technologies that develop in one sector to help shape another. Project Darwin is one example: their autonomous shuttle bus circulates around the campus using data an AI, satellite and 5G technologies. The project involves a range of public and private partners all working to develop safer, cleaner transport for real world environments.
Our cluster managers: connecting innovators
Join the Harwell clusters and you’ll enjoy single-point-of-contact support from a dedicated cluster manager who knows their sector – and the Harwell network – inside out.
They help each cluster grow by facilitating networking events and activities, as well as creating an open, richly-communicative environment that enables the organic, informal sharing of ideas and opportunities.
Critically, our cluster managers’ work complements extensive additional guidance and support. This includes Harwell’s start-up incubator programme, an accelerator initiative now expanding beyond the Space Cluster, and the Proof of Concept grant programme funded by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
Interconnectivity underpinned with trust
At Harwell, our face-to-face support means members of our community see us as an independent resource they can trust.
Our cluster managers’ insight, industry expertise and discretion bring networking opportunities simply unavailable elsewhere.
Becoming part of the Harwell success story means new, multi-disciplinary possibilities for taking your organisation forward – right on your campus doorstep. Our ethos and approach supports growth right across the UK.
Explore the clusters
As the UK’s space gateway, we’ve built a global reputation for innovation – from space science research to ground-based commercial solutions.
Energy Tech Cluster
Seven-plus decades of radical thinking underpin Harwell's fast expanding Energy Tech Cluster.
Health Tech Cluster
Harwell’s Health Tech Cluster is a prestigious Life Science Opportunity Zone.