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ASTeC Business Support

“Enabling research of the highest quality and ensuring that our innovative ideas, technologies and techniques are translated into applications both to deliver economic prosperity and to make a real difference to people’s lives.” - ASTeC, 2012

Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC) is the Centre of Excellence in accelerator science and technology for the UK. As well as its global standing in accelerator science, ASTeC is also at the forefront of developments in the advanced technologies that underpin these complex machines such as RF, lasers, magnets, synchronisation, controls, simulation and modelling. ASTeC can also call on the resources and expertise of STFC, one of Europe’s largest multidisciplinary research organisations and its extensive network of academic partners.

From one-off contract payment for prototype testing to multi-partner, long –term collaborations in partnership with academia, each individual project can be precisely tailored to customer requirements. IP security is at the heart of all our interactions.

Contact the ASTeC Business Development team to discuss how ASTeC can assist you in reaching your research and technology development ambitions.

Advanced Manufacturing Case Study

UK specialist engineering firm Shakespeare Engineering Ltd have gained the necessary expertise to access a new and significant manufacturing market in Superconducting Radio Frequency (SRF) technology, as a direct result of working with STFC’s Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC). The work has led this SME (small to medium-sized enterprise), which currently employs around 115 people, to initiate its own industrial R&D programme and to expand the business, creating new high-value UK jobs.

Key impacts:

  • Access to new and significant global markets
  • Nine new highly-skilled engineering jobs created, with a further 15-20 forecast
  • The company has initiated its own industrial R&D programme
  • More efficient processes bringing short-term gains

The knowledge exchange with STFC, supported by funding from STFC’s Industry Partnership Scheme (IPS), covered the full range of technical competencies that will enable the company to scale up to full production. The market is estimated to be worth over £2bn over ~12 years (2013-2025), spanning the medical, security, energy and research sectors.

Company CEO, Neil Shakespeare, said: “The work with STFC has pushed our boundaries – we’ve invested in new specialised equipment and employed another nine skilled mechanical engineers. It has given us the confidence to start up our own R&D programmes to equip the business for the future – this is something we wouldn’t have done on our own without the work we did with STFC.”

Globally, the capability in this technology sector has been successfully commercialised by only eight recognised vendors, operating in the USA (3), Japan (1), Canada (1), Germany (1), France (1) and Italy (1). Shakespeare Engineering has invested over £2.5m of their own funds over the last five years into areas of technology development which have never been explored before in the UK. This places the UK, for the very first time, in a position to access this emerging high-value specialist fabrication market. Global SRF accelerator opportunities in the future are significant, and there are further opportunities to translate the technology to applications in the global challenge areas. Neil Shakespeare sees niche, high-technology, high-value manufacturing as a real UK strength: ‘Knowledge transfer projects such as this are enabling us to position ourselves to compete on the global stage.’

The work with STFC also led Shakespeare Engineering to refine its processes, making them more streamlined and less arduous: “As a result of this collaboration we’re now working with new materials. To ensure that our production with these new materials will be commercially viable, we had to engineer our processes to reduce machining time. In the short term, this has added value to our business by enabling us to work more efficiently, and in the long term will enable us to scale up to full production of this new technology.”

Looking to the future, Shakespeare Engineering are already expanding to larger premises and anticipating further recruitment of 15-20 technicians and engineers to meet the expected up-scaling in production. The collaboration with STFC continues, providing opportunities for both STFC and Shakespeare Engineering to develop unique capabilities in accelerator technology and high-value manufacturing in the UK.


ASTeC aims to provide a dynamic and responsive interface between our accelerator technology expertise and commercial partners, precisely targeting commercially-critical needs and goals and removing any barriers to effective interaction. This is supported by our Business Development team who are driven by the following goals:

  • Solution focussed
  • Highly flexible working models, tailored to customer requirements
  • Professional and dynamic


Commercial activities

ASTeC can provide access to:

For more information, please contact the Business Development Team.


The fundamental research, underpinning technology and world-class facilities funded by STFC are of enormous benefit to the UK economy and to UK society. The large national and international facilities supported by STFC deliver this impact via their world-class research, innovation and skills, and via programmes of support for university research groups.

ASTeC places pivotal importance on this concept, and delivers impact for STFC, the national and international scientific community, UK and global businesses, the UK economy, and societal benefits for the general public through a variety of mechanisms:

  • Developing Technology with Industry. Working closely with industry, driving scientific knowledge exchange and technology transfer, thereby enabling industry to enter new high-technology, high-value global markets
  • Generation of Skills. Our specialist knowledge is imparted to the next generation of accelerator scientists and engineers through local PhD supervision and provision of sandwich and summer placements for university students
  • Education Programme and Outreach Activities. Includes attendance at public exhibitions, laboratory open days, tours of ALICE and EMMA and an annual Particle Physics Masterclass to attract the next generation of accelerator scientists and engineers
  • International Influence and Scientific Prestige. The intellectual expertise of ASTeC staff is sought worldwide to guide and develop new projects and large-scale facilities

ASTeC's engagement with industry has great potential to attract SMEs to the Science and Innovation Campuses, which will have a direct impact on the regional economy through the generation of skills, wealth and jobs. This Campus expansion, intimately linked to the BIS Local Enterprise Zone, will nurture further development of the Government's business growth agenda. Arising from this, the national economy derives direct benefits from employment and tax revenues.

For more information, please contact the Business Development Team, contacts above.

Last updated: 12 October 2016


Science and Technology Facilities Council
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