STFC Support for Industry

Aerial photo of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
(Credit: STFC)

STFC is one of UK’s seven research councils with the main aim of providing large scale science infrastructure for the UK’s science base. It has three main sites in the UK: The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell Campus, the Daresbury Laboratory at Sci-Tech Daresbury and the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UKATC) located in Edinburgh.

User facilities provided by the laboratories include:

Access to the user facilities can be gained through the normal peer review process or directly depending on the requirements.

UK based companies can obtain free access to some of these facilities through our pioneering Collaborative R&D Programme.

The Innovations Technology Access Centre (I-TAC)

The Innovation Centre, Daresbury Laboratory
(Credit: STFC)

I-TAC is a unique service part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council spread across two science and innovation campuses: Sci-Tech Daresbury and Harwell-Oxford. It was developed by STFC to allow start-up companies direct and flexible access to multi-million pound equipment and expertise and provides a range of SME focussed cutting-edge equipment in a suite of exceptionally well-equipped biological, imaging, materials and physical science laboratories. This laboratory space is provided alongside the world class science of STFC, ESA and CERN. I-TAC companies are also provided with specialist and multidisciplinary support from technical staff and an extensive network of academic and industry experts.

The fully equipped bio laboratories include state-of-the-art Class II containment facilities. Our tenants are currently focusing on antimicrobials, medical diagnostics and healthcare technologies.

I-TAC offers:

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  • ‘Lock and leave’ long term laboratory space or ‘hot-labbing’ - you can rent by the hour, day or week.
  • A wide range of instrumentation suitable for the study of organic and microbiological specimens is available including devices for high performance liquid chromatography, UV-VIS spectrophotometry and fluorimetry.
  • High-end analytical instrumentation laboratories including a refrigerated laboratory, level 2 biological containment and X-ray facilities.
  • Imaging laboratory for surface science and imaging with SEM, AFM and Optical Microscopes.
  • Support and expertise from highly skilled scientists to ensure you get the best results.

We offer business support to high tech companies by assisting to secure further funding through grants and/or investments. We have an extensive network of Business Angels, Venture Capitalists and corporate investors. Based on a modular support matrix we can help fill the gaps often experienced by SMEs in management, IP, accounting, HR, etc., augmented by support through one-to-one time with experts.

To engage effectively with industry STFC has set up a number of programmes and events aimed at making the review and application of facilities a focus. Some examples of these include: The Events and Innovations Club, Challenge Led Applied Systems Programme (CLASP), Innovation Partnership Scheme and Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

For further details contact Dr Izhar Ul-Haq on 01235 567203 or E-mail

Last updated: 14 December 2016


Science and Technology Facilities Council
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