Rothamsted Enterprises saw the Launch Event for the Russell Building and Innovation Labs on Tuesday 14th March 2023, signifying the culmination of four years’ hard work.
During the event, the attendees heard speeches from Graham Birch, Chairman of Lawes Agricultural Trust, Adrian Hawkins OBE, Incoming Chairman of Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and Richard Whitehead, Chairman of Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter – all of whom have been pivotal in accelerating Rothamsted campus’ growth.
This was followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony at the entrances of both buildings, with Adrian Hawkins OBE officially opening the new facilities.
Sitting within a green belt, Rothamsted Enterprises continually identifies opportunities of underutilised buildings within the Rothamsted campus, with both developments highlighting this. The beautiful red-brick Russell Building has been an iconic landmark in Rothamsted for generations and had lain empty since 2014. In addition to this, the now Innovation Laboratories were previously a goods-in warehouse that had not been in use since 2019.
Both projects were supported by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter, BBSRC and the Lawes Agricultural Trust, with a combined total of £3.5m investment. This funding enables the two buildings to have a new lease of life as a world-class base for businesses in the growing Agri-tech sector, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.
New tenant companies join a thriving ecosystem of Agri-tech, food tech and innovation businesses that are located on site with the world leading research expertise at Rothamsted Research.
A notable new tenant to the site is SugaROx, a SHAKE Climate Change spin-out from Rothamsted Research and Oxford University, set up to help farmers feed a global population expected to reach 9.8 billion people by 2050. When asked why they chose to be a part of Rothamsted’s tenant community, SugaROx stated: “the opportunity to co-locate with world-leading scientists from Rothamsted Research and access the excellent scientific facilities and services available on their site and the strategic location of the site – 30 minutes to central London by train and just over an hour’s drive to science and innovation hubs in Oxford and Cambridge”.
Adam Wood, Enterprise Zone Manager, at Hertfordshire LEP, said: “We are delighted that our investment is enabling greater numbers of Agri-tech and food-tech innovators to take advantage of the world class expertise available at Rothamsted Research. We are pleased to welcome the new tenants of the Russell Building and Innovation Labs to Herts IQ and look forward to supporting their future success in Hertfordshire.”
Claire Wolstencroft, Agri-tech Business Development Manager at Rothamsted Enterprises, said: “The whole team and I are delighted by the recent developments. Rothamsted’s world-class agricultural research expertise and rich ecosystem of businesses makes it the ideal home for Agri-tech and food-tech innovators, offering valuable opportunities to collaborate and grow together. We are all looking forward to expanding the campus further in order to continue to foster and accelerate innovation.”
The Agri-tech Business Centre focuses on start-up businesses within the Agri-tech industry, offering business support and scientific services, where tenants can collaborate with each other as well as Rothamsted Research scientists, to tackle the major challenges facing today’s society, including climate change and food security. The Rothamsted campus offers excellent road and rail links to London and beyond and is located a 15-minute drive from Luton Airport.
Businesses looking for new lab or office premises in Hertfordshire should contact Claire Wolstencroft on 01582 938500 or email email@example.com