Life in a Science Park - one year in...

Life in a Science Park

1 year in..

We can’t believe it has been a whole year since we moved in to our shiny new office based at the award winning, M-SParc building. And, what a year it has been. Since our move to M-SParc we have continued to grow and expand, helping us to generate 8 new roles, 3 of which are based in M-SParc. We have supported over 300 companies, across 16 programmes, and have been involved in an estimated £51m of R&D spend.

Since the opening of M-SParc, the building is 62% occupied by 16 different tenants and we are pleased to be working with 3 of those tenants. Managing Director, Huw Watkins says:

‘Being at M-Sparc has allowed us to reach a new and expanding client base. We have improved our visibility and have benefited from better connectivity. The chance meetings, which are a bonus, have helped to re-establish relationships and further embedded BIC within the North Wales innovation ecosystem. Through a range of funded and commercial services, we’ve been able to support three of the current tenants of M-SParc, contributing to the vibrancy of this excellent facility’

To celebrate our year at M-SParc, we explore how life in a science park has developed our business.


New building with Exciting Opportunities

The move to M-SParc has created direct access to a variety of new opportunities, enabling an enhanced profile with key stakeholders and supporting the growth of the company. The relocation has offered exceptional facilities and seamless operational support for BIC, allowing us to focus on project delivery and business development. For the staff, relocating the North Wales office to a dedicated space at M-SParc has made life easier. With a range of formal and informal meeting rooms, breakout spaces, a social café area (serving great coffee) and several other business focused benefits, the move has allowed the team to become part of a welcoming, positive and professional working environment.


Logistics behind the move

We can definitely say that an office move is not something to be undertaken lightly!  We announced the move about 4 months in advance and then when straight into planning mode.  Our aim was to minimise, as much as possible, the disruption to our day to day working life, and most importantly, to our client delivery. We were fortunate that the tenancy at M-SParc included new desks and furniture, so we were able to donate our existing furniture to a local school.  We also took the opportunity for a significant declutter. In the end, the move required just a man with a white van to transport computers, screens, files and other equipment.


Opening New Doors

We very quickly realised that one of the advantages of working in M-SParc, with its exceptional environment and collaborative ethos, was the opportunity to secure new work and more importantly, being accessible to our clients.  

M-SParc has been built with collaboration in mind, making effective use of open spaces and shared working areas with other tenants. This has created the opportunity to have those frequent chance meetings with tenants and stakeholders, enhancing productivity and efficiency and sparking new ideas.  Never under-estimate the power of those corridor conversations for uncovering new opportunities.  M-SParc hosts regular events in which we are able to participate, creating further networking opportunities.  The most recent was held by Microsoft, which generated a new approach for open innovation, which we are pursuing.


Location, Location, Location…

We all enjoy the convenience of the building, including the ease of access from the A55 and initial concerns about traffic on the Brittania Bridge haven’t become an issue.  The car park has plenty of spaces and charging points for electric cars and car-sharing is encouraged, complementing the green credentials of the building.  The technology provision in the building, including easy Skype usage has also helped us improve our environmental performance, cutting down the need to travel to meetings and boosting productivity, let alone saving time and fuel.  The building includes a high-quality café offering locally produced or sourced food and drink – this is something which is close to our hearts, not just because of the great tasting products, but because we work so closely with the Welsh food and drink sector so its great to see Welsh products featured so strongly on the menu.  The crowning glory of M-SParc’s location must be the stunning panoramic views of Snowdonia that we all enjoy every day.


How have our clients benefitted?

But it’s not just us who have benefitted from our office move; when we meet our clients in M-SParc, they access high-quality meeting rooms, guest Wi-Fi, and home-made Welsh food and drink, improving their overall experience.  By locating ourselves in M-SParc, we have increased our own connectivity with like-minded businesses which offer highly valued services to businesses; this means we are able to share our knowledge more effectively and introduce our clients to other businesses that can support them. 

All in all, it’s been a fantastic first year for us in M-SParc – we definitely made the right decision to move to this inspiring building, as evidenced by our growth and job creation. The building is one of seven shortlisted for the 2019 Welsh Architecture Awards, which is not surprising.  We look forward to more exciting opportunities that this location will undoubtedly offer us in the future.