Essex is home to groundbreaking innovation both in the academic and business sectors.
University of Essex (UoE) and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) have both ranked highly in recent studies, with UoE entering the Complete University Guide’s top 30 for the first time in eight years in 2018.
Meanwhile, both UoE and ARU made it into the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 list.
The University of Essex’s strengths in research and education alongside its international outlook meant the university achieved its highest ranking for four years (the 251-300 category).
Anglia Ruskin, which also figured prominently in that study, was named the UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year in 2014 and will be opening the county’s first School of Medicine in 2018. The Medbic Business Innovation Centre, located on the Anglia Ruskin campus, provides high-specification accommodation for medical and advanced engineering technology businesses.
Thanks to its universities, Essex is the location of choice for high-technology businesses seeking world-class knowledge, highly skilled personnel, access to specialist funding and global connectivity.
Elsewhere, Harlow College is collaborating with London Stansted Airport, to create the ‘Stansted Airport Academy’ – the first on-site education college of its kind at any major UK airport – due to open in autumn 2018. Stansted already plays a huge role in the life sciences sector as part of the London-Stansted-Cambridge Corridor.
The life sciences sector is heavily reliant on airport facilities, with the speed of air freight delivery crucial for ‘just-in-time’ and high-value goods such as pharmaceuticals and biopharma samples.
Essex’s location, within Europe’s largest life sciences cluster, makes it well-placed to collaborate with the Cambridge and London life sciences clusters.
Within Essex lies Chesterford Research Park, in Saffron Walden, which Uttlesford District Council purchased a 50% share of last year to become joint owners alongside Aviva Investors. To date, more than 300,000 sq ft of laboratory and R&D space has been let and occupied. Further phases of construction are proposed to extend the development to approximately 1 million sq ft.
Also located within the established London-Stansted-Cambridge Corridor, will be the soon-to-open Harlow Science Park, creating a new life sciences facility as part of the Harlow Enterprise Zone and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst.
As further evidence of the county’s commitment to being at the forefront of new technology, Colchester recently announced its intention to develop its economic growth plans through improving connectivity. The town’s Digital Strategy sets out its aim to become the best-connected place in the Eastern region, making it attractive for creative, digital, technology and IT businesses.