Richard Harrington MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and the Industrial Strategy (BEIS), launched the Hertfordshire Science Partnership at the University of Hertfordshire on Thursday 29th March. 

The Hertfordshire Science Partnership (HSP) is an innovative collaboration between the University of Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which leverages state-of-the-art science facilities and academic expertise at the university to boost the dynamic pharmaceutical, life sciences and agri-technology sectors in the East of England. The HSP also fosters partnerships with world-renowned research institutions and is supported by Stevenage BioScience Catalyst, BioPark and RoCRE Rothamsted.

Hertfordshire LEP invested £2.5m of funding from Growth Deal 2 into this project in 2016, with a further £1.45m of European Regional Development Funding in 2017. The University of Hertfordshire has sourced additional investment from industry, bringing the total partnership funding to £6m.

Mark Bretton, Chair, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The Hertfordshire Science Partnership is a pioneering approach to partner businesses and academia to achieve commercial outcomes by bringing cutting-edge scientific R&D to market. It is this outcome that is at the heart of what we are trying to achieve by developing a Local Industrial Strategy that plays to our key sector strengths and champions innovation.” 

As part of this pioneering scheme, researchers in areas of medicines development, agri-science, biomedicine, and advanced materials are partnering with innovative businesses, helping them to research and develop new technologies and translate their discoveries into high-value products and services. The HSP is focused on equipping a new generation of business-facing researchers to deliver industry-ready solutions to address two of the nation’s strategic challenges: high-efficiency food production and new precision healthcare technologies for our ageing population.

Business Minister Richard Harrington said: “Through our modern Industrial Strategy we are investing an extra £4.7 billion – the biggest single increase since 1979 – into research and development to build on the UK’s already world-leading scientific strengths and ensure our expertise remains at the forefront of pioneering research. The partnership being launched today between the University, Hertfordshire LEP and local businesses will help deliver on this ambition, bringing together our world leading business leaders, with strong institutions and the best academic minds to create new opportunities for collaboration across the region.”

Local businesses can utilise the resources that the HSP offers in a variety of ways; small and medium sized enterprises from the region can commission bespoke research via a graduate researcher training scheme, access help and funding in bringing their product to market, access research design services to drive innovative science, and rent the University’s state-of-the-art lab facilities and equipment housed in its new science building.

Professor Darragh Murnane, Director of the Hertfordshire Science Partnership, said: “We’re aware that many companies are struggling to access funding, and scientists, to undertake the fundamental research they need to develop new products, and may be frustrated in their ambitions to develop innovative ideas and technologies. The University of Hertfordshire is a powerful resource of specialist researchers with the right attitude to partner with scientists in business and drive innovation. The Partnership will offer new opportunities to small and medium sized enterprises to access exactly the same research and innovation activities that are often only available to large industries. Our goal is to unlock opportunities to this otherwise hidden talent.”

Hertfordshire LEP’s Annual Conference took place immediately after the launch. The conference highlighted some of our impact to date in securing over £300m EU and Government funding and showcased some of the county’s key industrial strengths. It also outlined how we are driving forward our ambition to develop a Local Industrial Strategy in partnership with local businesses, academia and other key partners. 

Keep up to date with our Local Industrial Strategy Process: #HertsForGrowth

Find out more about Hertfordshire Science Partnership.


Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hertfordshire © Pete Stevens/University of Hertfordshire 


Business Minister Richard Harrington, © Pete Stevens/University of Hertfordshire 


Keith Thompson, CEO, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, © Pete Stevens/University of Hertfordshire 


Mark Bretton, Chair, Hertfordshire LEP, © Pete Stevens/University of Hertfordshire 


© Pete Stevens/University of Hertfordshire 


© Pete Stevens/University of Hertfordshire 


© Pete Stevens/University of Hertfordshire 


© Pete Stevens/University of Hertfordshire 


© Pete Stevens/University of Hertfordshire