Surrey Research Park is a University of Surrey enterprise and home to some of the county’s most innovative and dynamic businesses from a range of sectors including healthcare, MedTech, immersive technology/games, FinTech, space, environmental and software development. Research conducted among tenants about the impact of Coronavirus on their organisations reveals that 57% of respondents are diversifying their product range or service as a result of the pandemic whilst over a third (35%) have identified a new application for their technology. 39% have accelerated innovation within their organisation.
Over half of respondents believe that the impact of Covid-19 will result in an increase in innovation and over one third (35%) believe it will lead to an increase in UK manufacturing. Only 7% think the Coronavirus pandemic will stifle innovation.
The innovations from Surrey Research Park tenants are diverse and include:
- MedPharm, a global specialist in producing topical and transdermal solutions, manufacturing hand sanitiser to support local key workers
- Microfiltration specialist, Smart Separations developing smart coatings to destroy Covid-19 on surfaces
- Medical testing laboratory, Igenomix repurposing its labs for Covid-19 PCR testing
- Robotic arm manufacturer, Inovo Robotics and Point of Sale manufacturer, Unique Secure joining forces with the University of Surrey, Brunel University and GB Electronics to create a new Covid-19 test kit
- Financial trading software developer, Gold-i developing new revenue streams from data
- Games specialist, Diverse Interactive, providing an interactive virtual experience for a high net-worth event.
“The survey results are testament to the high level of resilience, agility and innovation that has always underpinned the culture at the Park,” comments Malcolm Parry, CEO, Surrey Research Park. “We know that it is a particularly challenging time for businesses across all sectors but it is encouraging that so many of our tenant organisations are using the opportunity to review their businesses, seize new opportunities and rapidly adapt to current market needs.”
According to the findings, there is concern about funding for innovation, with respondents believing that, for new technologies, there will be a reduction in funding from the Government (28%) and from private/angel investors (38%). Not surprisingly, respondents felt that most investment would be in the healthcare sector, 52% think there will be an increase in funding in MedTech/healthcare and only 14% believe there will be an increase in investment in sectors outside MedTech/healthcare.
Malcolm Parry concludes, “Innovation is absolutely crucial in order to stimulate the UK economy and funding remains critical to bringing innovative solutions to market. Over the last few months we have launched a number of initiatives at the Park, in conjunction with the University of Surrey, to provide financial help to our tenants. This includes a Covid-19 Equity Investment Scheme to support tenant organisation unable to raise investment as a result of the pandemic.”
Surrey Research Park provides a range of support to tenants to help entrepreneurial businesses to thrive – including flexible tenancies, mentoring for early stage businesses and forging research collaborations with the University of Surrey. Businesses located on the Park generate over £1billion of economic activity each year and create 4,000 jobs in Guildford. For further information, please visit www.surrey-research-park.com