West of Scotland Science Park is booming
Despite the economic downturn, the West of Scotland Science Park is expanding to meet the needs of growing businesses. To fulfil this expansion a new, state-of-the-art, £4.5 million building, with exceptional eco-credentials, has been developed offering 31,000 sq feet of office and laboratory space for science and hi-tech companies.
Located on a former rural estate on the north west edge of Glasgow, the park is owned by Glasgow University and managed by Scottish Enterprise – with use restrictions which mean that occupiers have to be engaged in science or technology.
Graeme Malcolm of M Squared Lasers, a company that produces next-generation lasers for bio-medical, security and industrial uses, has now located his second business at the park since graduating from the University of Strathclyde.
In 1992 he co-founded Microlase Optical Systems Ltd to develop the technology he had pursued within his PhD studies into commercial products. Based at the West of Scotland Science Park (WOSSP), he later sold Microlase to Coherent – a global leader in lasers and photonics.
His new company, M Squared Lasers, delivers innovative, solid-state, laser products designed to meet specific customer application requirements. When setting the new company up, he opted to locate once again on the Science Park.
Graeme Malcolm said: “The WOSSP gives us a peaceful atmosphere in which to get on with our research, yet it’s within easy reach of major universities like Strathclyde and Glasgow for collaboration purposes. We’re also close to good quality residential areas like Bearsden, Milngavie and the West End – which are important in recruitment terms.”
Having occupied space in the park’s Technology Terrace for four years, Graeme Malcolm is now considering relocating M Squared Lasers to the Venture building, the new 31,000 sq ft development nearing completion on the park and developed by Speyroc.
Craig Clarke of Clyde Space, which supplies small space satellites and spacecraft systems, is also aiming for growth. He said: “I decided to locate Clyde Space on the Science Park because its quiet environment allows us to focus on work. As we’ve expanded, we’ve needed larger and larger premises.
“Currently, we occupy about a third of the space in Speyroc’s Helix building – since we’re going for growth I’m hoping to occupy the whole building eventually. Scotland needs more of this type of accommodation if we’re to develop small research-based companies with growth ambitions.”
Dr Fraser Inglis of the Glasgow Memory Clinic, specialists in research into Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, has also chosen to grow his business in the science park rather than in city centre premises.
“Our work requires many people affected by memory problems to visit us regularly and we felt that, as well as its pleasant ambience, the science park offered good parking which meant that people could access us easily.
“When we first moved into the Science Park we started with 3000 sq ft in Speyroc’s ‘Technology Terrace’ development. Almost immediately, we realised we needed more space and Speyroc were able to offer us a further 1400 sq ft. As our needs expanded we moved into their Altum Building and we now have a total of 9500 sq ft.
“We want to focus totally on our research, we don’t want to have to worry about our accommodation. We don’t want staff or visitors worrying about whether the building is too hot or too cold, the landlord looks after that for us. And when we need space to expand, Speyroc has the flexibility to have the space ready and waiting.”
Putting the final touches to his latest building, Alexander Haig of Speyroc said: “This is a place where small university spin-out enterprises grow into big scientific businesses. We’ve watched start-ups – often from local universities like Glasgow, Strathclyde or Caledonian – taking a small office unit or a lab, then quickly asking us if we have more space so that they continue their growth at the park.”
Source: Venture Building /...
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