Across the city, leading science companies and innovation parks will open their doors to showcase the cluster’s contribution to STEM innovation in the UK and strengthen its diverse, equitable and inclusive community.
Life Sciences is one of the UK’s most successful sectors, worth over £94 billion to the UK economy in 2021, a 9% increase on the year before. Last week the Chancellor revealed a £650 million multi-faceted ‘Life Sci for Growth’ package to support economic growth and help deliver the Science and Technology framework through reforming regulation, boosting investment and driving up talent and skills.
Named a ‘UK science powerhouse’ in the Chancellor’s report, the Cambridge life sciences sector has a global reputation as a centre for ground-breaking research and innovation and fast-growing companies. A collaborative ecosystem of dynamic, forward-thinking organisations, academia, investors, mentors and advanced facilities drive the sector's increasing impact and influence on the global stage.
Prashant Shah, co-founder of o2h and the brainchild behind this new event, said: "Cambridge Wide Open Day aims to support and further progress the Cambridge ecosystem as a science powerhouse. On Wednesday 14th June, leading organisations will open their doors to encourage inclusivity across the broader community, which is vital for further expansion and growth.”
From Cambridge North through the city centre down to Cambridge South and beyond, there are 60 participating companies and parks. These wide-ranging venues are inviting the community - from scientists to curious residents - to participate in tours, workshops, and demos running throughout the day. Organisations from across the region include AstraZeneca, Phoremost, St John’s Innovation Centre, Bruntwood SciTech, and Cambridge Enterprise, to name but a few.
Cambridge Wide Open Day is also being supported by other local organisations such as the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, local councils, Innovate Cambridge and Cambridge Network.
Qkine, a growing biotech company and leader in protein innovation, is opening the doors of its new state-of-the-art biomanufacturing and R&D facility. CEO of Qkine, Dr Catherine Elton, commented: “We are delighted to participate in Cambridge Wide Open Day.”
“Biomanufacturing has huge potential for the UK’s economy and an important role in helping meet global sustainability challenges. We are proud to be addressing the innovation gap in bioactive protein manufacturing and improving the reproducibility of scientific outcomes to reduce waste.
“We champion sustainable manufacturing in the life sciences sector, and we know this can only be achieved by inclusive collaboration, which is supported by events like this. We look forward to welcoming local companies and members of the public to our site.”
Cambridge Science Park is home to 140 businesses developing science and technology innovations. Many of the businesses in the science park will open their doors, inviting everyone to explore the Park and be inspired by STEM.
A visitor from the United States recently told Jane Hutchins, Director of Cambridge Science Park, “If you were Americans, you’d be shouting about Cambridge from the rooftops.”
Jane said: “We may not be shouting at Cambridge Wide Open Day, but we are certainly celebrating. Celebrating the success of the city’s incredible contribution to STEM innovation; the diverse talent driving that success; and the benefits the innovation has delivered to so many people’s lives - whether through genetically tailored medicines, the development of smartphones, or simply kettles that turn themselves off.
“We’re opening our doors to the curious: you’re welcome to step through.”
World leaders in pioneering drug discovery and development, Astex Pharmaceuticals is participating in the one-day event to demonstrate how its innovative solutions address oncology and neurodegenerative diseases. Hoping to raise awareness of the company and its work to the broader community, Harren Jhoti, Co-Founder of Astex Pharmaceuticals, commented: “It’s a great idea to open the doors and showcase what’s happening in Astex and across Cambridge, and to be known more widely amongst our peers and the community.”
A recent investment round funded the expansion of Kalium Health including dedicated offices and labs at Allia Future Business Campus. CEO, Tom Collings, explains why his organisation is keen to take part: “Cambridge Wide Open Day will provide an opportunity to share our ground-breaking work and raise awareness of the opportunities to improve chronic disease management.
“We relish the chance to engage with the community - the public, investors and potential partners - and look forward to showcasing our new offices and laboratories.”
Cambridge Wide Open Day runs between 11.00am – 3.00pm on Wednesday 14th June 2023. The event will provide a unique opportunity for the broader community to see what’s going on behind the closed doors of these pioneering companies in life sciences. Bus and VIP tours are available from Cambridge station at 11.00 am, and a map is available so that you can plan your own visits too. At the end of the day all visitors are invited to a garden party reception at the o2h co-work labs at Hauxton House, Mill SciTech Park, 4.00pm - 9.00pm.