What a year!
As 2023 draws to a close, it’s a time to reflect on the last twelve months and look ahead to all that the new year will bring.
It has been a privilege to be Southampton Science Park’s CEO in this milestone year in which we celebrated our 40th anniversary.
Since the Science Park company was created in 1983, its physical footprint has grown organically in line with burgeoning demand for high-quality spaces for innovative South Coast companies. With this, the strength and prestige of our resident community of businesses has grown too. Each year has brought with it a host of new faces, outstanding visionaries with fresh ideas and approaches, to our enviable spot on the South Coast.
I have no doubt that demand for residency here is fuelled by our understanding of the unique needs of science and technology companies, and our continued investment to equip them with the right support and spaces to enable their businesses and teams to achieve their potential. Our new Engineering Centre opened by The Rt Hon. the Lord Willetts in September is a prime example.
2023 has also seen us become home to the Future Towns Innovation Hub; we have run our first female-only entrepreneurs bootcamp; welcomed the thirteenth cohort to our Catalyst business accelerator programme and new board directors; published our first Annual Review, and we have expanded workflows towards achieving our sustainability and net zero goals.
We’ve had a lot of fun along the way too! From our 40th birthday BBQ celebration to lunchtime quizzes, street food, charity coffee mornings, sports day, and just last week, our Christmas Party, it’s been a real joy to see our community coming together and making the most of the opportunities that being here offers. I’d like to thank everyone who got involved.
While the last twelve months have been a fantastic year for the Science Park, we are equally looking forward to the year ahead and building on all that has been achieved to date. Following a detailed master planning exercise, we shall shortly embark on making our 25-year vision a reality and look forward to sharing details of this soon. As part of our business support and events programme, we are working with SETsquared to deliver two entrepreneur bootcamps in the spring and summer. And we will be continuing our programme of investment in buildings and sustainable energy, with new and updated spaces to meet the needs of our resident businesses and extending the number of solar panels filling the roofs of the Science Park estate.
In the meantime, I take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with making Southampton Science Park a great place to do business. On behalf of the whole onsite team, I wish you all a happy and peaceful festive break.