The Daniel Hall building at Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise (RoCRE) was refurbished to create a new Innovation Centre providing flexible laboratory and office space for research intensive agri-tech start-ups and SMEs.
The Innovation Centre aligns with Hertfordshire LEP’s priority to maintain global excellence in science and technology. Creating incubation space at the heart of a world class centre of research excellence in crop sciences allows small and growing agri-tech businesses to benefit from knowledge transfer opportunities.
Since its opening, the Innovation Centre has attracted six new tenants, including Fungi-Alert, an Imperial innovations spin-out, and BioNemax UK Ltd, which specialises in the identification of natural plant products to maximize crop protection and provide sustainable nematode control. It is expected the centre will house 15 businesses and create up to 72 jobs in the first 5 years of operation. It will bring back into use a formerly redundant building to create 1,020m2 of new and additional laboratory and office space.
Hertfordshire LEP has invested £500K from the Growth Deal and the Growing Places Fund into this project in 2015/16. Additional funding was provided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Lawes Agricultural Trust and Rothamsted Research.