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Fostering small business research and innovation

STFC is providing leading-edge laboratory space for high-tech SMEs to improve their efficiency and competitiveness.


Carrying out research and development can be very costly for new or growing businesses. To support business growth and reduce risk, STFC provides state-of-the-art laboratories for use by small high-tech start-up companies across our research sites.

left-hand quote markWe are pleased to have centred our R&D base at I-TAC. Moving here has given us access to a wide range of equipment and specialists, as well as put us into a number of innovation networks and fostered partnership working with the experts at STFC.right-hand quote mark

Stephen Falder,
Byotrol Plc

First launched at Sci-Tech Daresbury in 2010, the Innovations Technology Access Centre (I-TAC) quickly became popular; offering easy and affordable access to the advanced facilities, technology and world-class skills of STFC. The I-TAC provides flexible access to fully equipped biological, imaging, materials and physical science laboratories. Businesses can either lease their own exclusive-use laboratories or opt for access to laboratories available on a daily basis.

Across both STFC Campuses 56 companies are currently supported in sectors including bioscience, energy, the environment and space in a range of laboratory and clean room facilities.

To date companies accessing the I-TAC facilities have benefited from the creation of 128i new jobs, over £80 million of investment, 46 new products, and 33 patent applications, firmly indicating the success of this unique incubation model.


One I-TAC tenant, Byotrol, benefits from the £3 millionii laboratory facilities and cutting-edge technology available. Originally Manchester-based, Byotrol relocated its R&D division from Germany to the Daresbury Laboratory’s in 2009. Since then, the company have conducted research in the control of Listeria and Campylobacter, vitally important for ensuring higher standards of food safety for UK consumers. Whilst traditional technologies such as bleach and alcohol cease to work when they dry, Byotrol’s product can provide 24 hour protection against germs. This new technology has led to Byotrol’s surface sanitiser being approved for use in the food industry, by for example Marks and Spencer; and it has since been selected by the leading UK food manufacturers which contribute circa £10 billion to the UK food economyiii.


  1. http://www.wheresciencesuccee
  2. STFC Impact Report 2013
  3. ds.co.uk/daresbury/innovations-access-centre
  4. http://www.byotrol.co.uk/news/Byotrol-beats-hundreds-to-win-Tomorrows-Cleaning-2013-Product-Award

Read the full Case Study

Last updated: 26 May 2017


Science and Technology Facilities Council
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