Science minister visits STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory – UKRI


The facilities visited by Mr Griffiths included RAL Space, operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

His visit coincides with the release of the Harwell Campus annual report which celebrates the addition of 25 new businesses around the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), which forms part of the campus.

These new businesses span various sectors, including pharmaceuticals, space exploration, agriculture and energy and have brought a total of more than 300 jobs to the local area.

Remarkable achievement

Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, Andrew Griffith MP, said of the report and the support provided to the businesses it describes by STFC and the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus:

Harwell Campus’ remarkable achievement in welcoming 25 new businesses is a testament to the thriving ecosystem we have cultivated.

This growth not only positions us as a key player in global research and development but also marks a significant stride towards our vision of a robust and innovative UK space sector.

Helping innovative businesses thrive

The 2023 annual report details the expansion of the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus throughout the year, with a particular focus on its Energy, Health and Space clusters.

Thanks in part to the 1,000 STFC employees that work at RAL, the campus serves as a vibrant ecosystem for partnerships and innovation to thrive.

It also forms an important part of STFC’s business cluster programme.

The programme aims to accelerate the growth and effectiveness of UK research and innovation businesses through access to the best access people, ideas and resources.

Meeting challenges with research

Dr Barbara Ginelli, Director of STFC Harwell Clusters, said:

Harwell Campus is a home for innovation, where the world’s most pressing challenges can be tackled by the diverse expertise and unique opportunities for collaboration.

We are extremely proud to grow our campus, and the new members of our community are a testament to our commitment to accelerate groundbreaking science.

I eagerly look forward to witnessing the creativity and innovation in their mission to confront the challenges our world faces today.

The next generation of innovation

Lodestar Space is a 2023 addition to the Harwell Space Cluster and a participant in the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre programme through funding and support by STFC.

It is focused on developing advanced tools for in-space construction.

Neil Buchanan, Co-Founder and CEO of Lodestar, said:

Having a presence at Harwell Campus has been a game changer.

Being on-site has given us access to the leading deep-tech ecosystem in the UK, where customer visits are a short walk down the road, and world-leading test facilities are at your disposal.

Joining the space cluster has already given us the support we need on the road to orbit, and we’re only just getting started.

Read the STFC clusters strategy, which outlines plans to further support and grow the UK innovation ecosystem at Harwell and across the UK.

Top image:  Aerial view of Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. Credit: Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

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