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The Bradfield Centre marks five years of fostering deeptech innovation





The Bradfield Centre celebrated its first five years on Cambridge Science Park with a party in the atrium and outside pavilion areas.

Enjoying the speeches for The Bradfield Centre’s fifth birthday celebrations. Picture: Keith Heppell
Enjoying the speeches for The Bradfield Centre’s fifth birthday celebrations. Picture: Keith Heppell

The purpose-built collaborative scale-up space opened in July 2017 with its mission to encourage the collision of ideas and to spark entrepreneurial, scientific and technological creativity.

With Mantle Business Centres running the premises as a co-working space, the site has proved a huge success both for tenants – current occupants include CW, TechNation, Cambridge&, Gearset, Nyobolt, Altium and cThings – and visitors, who (speaking from experience!) love the café and friendly staff, plus the relaxing/purposeful ambience, with good access to light and the outdoors.

Trinity’s bursar, Rory Landman, explained that the concept of the centre originated in 2013.

Bradfield Centre 5th Birthday celebrations include, from left, James Parton, Claire Wilson, Richard Turnhill, Mark Watson, Lil Allen and John Tweddle. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bradfield Centre 5th Birthday celebrations include, from left, James Parton, Claire Wilson, Richard Turnhill, Mark Watson, Lil Allen and John Tweddle. Picture: Keith Heppell

“One catalyst was a speech that the master, Sir Gregory Winter, gave to alumni, and some came up to him at the end. This was in the autumn of 2013, saying that the college really should do something more about helping small businesses based on technology developed in Cambridge, to grow and prosper.

“Two alumni came up to Gregory at the end of the speech and said that the college really should do something about translating all the research that was being done into business opportunities, and the college should be doing more to help support small businesses in Cambridge. At the same time, the college needed to build a new innovation centre because we were knocking one down on the science park to make way for new development.”

Outside The Bradfield Centre as guests eye up the food. Picture: Keith Heppell
Outside The Bradfield Centre as guests eye up the food. Picture: Keith Heppell

He continued: “The actual objective of The Bradfield Centre was to develop a pipeline of Cambridge-based businesses with high-growth potential, so that’s really the ultimate objective of it, but there were a number of secondary objectives.

“One of them was to provide a heart, as I would put it, to the science park. So a centre the science park could congregate around, and also provide a focal point for entrepreneurial activity and inward investment. So those were the primary objectives, and those were the secondary support objectives.”

Outside The Bradfield Centre for the centre’s fifth birthday celebrations. Picture: Keith Heppell
Outside The Bradfield Centre for the centre’s fifth birthday celebrations. Picture: Keith Heppell

Few would deny that the Bradfield Centre has fulfilled its mission and then some.

“I often hear people remark on the ‘buzz’ at The Bradfield,” says James Parton, managing director of The Bradfield Centre. “This perhaps pleases me most when I reflect back on the first five years. We have created something genuinely special; and it all starts with an amazing, attentive team who truly care about the companies and individuals that call The Bradfield Centre home.

Cheers, including from Hanadi Jabado, managing director of Sano Capital, right. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cheers, including from Hanadi Jabado, managing director of Sano Capital, right. Picture: Keith Heppell

“We aim for a boutique hotel levels of service, full of personal touches and surprises. When that is then combined with incredible architecture, world-class work space, abundant green space, and a comprehensive range of support to help our member companies grow, The Bradfield really stands out.

“But we don’t stop there – we extend our hospitality to the entire Cambridge tech ecosystem through our support of local tech events and our Lakeside Café which is open to all.”



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