Enplas, one of the largest independent manufacturers of engineered plastics, has chosen to open its first research and development (R&D) facility outside of Japan in Essex.
Enplas, who were keen to integrate into the local medical technologies (MedTech) sector, decided upon Chesterford Research Park as the best location for their requirements as it is strategically located in the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor.
“We viewed a number of laboratory spaces during our search but Chesterford stood out due to its exceptional combination of plug-and-play laboratory facilities and central amenities within The Nucleus. The nature of our projects will fuel our growth and at Chesterford we have a laboratory set up that will enable that growth without the need to move.”
Jim Ballesty, General Manager, Enplas
About the company
Japanese company Enplas is a global corporation with offices in Asia, N.America and Europe. Enplas’ worldwide facilities produce advanced electronics combined with plastic technology including…
- Ultra-precision design
- Manufacturing technologies
- Research and development
Enplas also develops and mass-produces various life science products. The company specialises in micro-engineered products for life sciences such as ‘lab on a chip’ (LOC) a device that integrates laboratory functions on a single chip of only millimetres to a few square centimetres in size.
Future plans for their work at their facility in Chesterford include developing products in microfluidic arrays (analysis of fluids in volumes up to a billionth of a litre) with particular reference to cancer research and immunotherapy. The accessibility to organisations in this field in the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor was another reason for the company choosing Chesterford.
"Existing Park occupiers were also a significant attraction to us. Our model is very much a collaborative one and we hope to build mutually beneficial relationships with fellow life science organisations at the Park as we develop and grow.”
Jim Ballesty, General Manager, Enplas
Opening their first UK facility
Enplas worked with INVEST Essex to find a suitable premises in the UK; a 1600sq ft (149sq m) facility incorporating an office and a research and development (R&D) space. This is the company’s only R&D facility outside Japan.
Enplas were keen to find a location that could accommodate expansion and be in close proximity to the genomics (customising medical care to the body's unique genetic makeup) research taking place at Cambridge. INVEST Essex identified the Chesterford Research Park in the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor and Enplas chose this location as...
- The company’s research collaborators will initially be UK and predominantly Cambridge-based
- It is close to the Cambridge medical technology cluster, Anglia Ruskin University Business Innovation Centre for Medical and Advanced Engineering (MedBic) in Chelmsford and Public Health England (when they move to their new facility in Harlow)
- It offers excellent access to London and strong connections to the rest of the UK and Europe
“We are uniquely positioned to enable and facilitate large projects, bringing together the microfluidics value chain from the inception of an idea through to clinical trials and eventually on to usage with the end customer. Our objective through the Cambridge Enplas Life Science Laboratory is to actively engage with the life science community to ascertain their requirements, encourage and help facilitate collaborative projects on a joint venture, investment or self-funded basis.”
Dr Ashok Sinha, Business Development Manager, Enplas
Working with INVEST Essex and Uttlesford District Council
INVEST Essex introduced the company to Uttlesford District Council who were able to provide support to the company with their Business Development Rate Relief Scheme.
INVEST Essex also introduced Enplas to the Business Angels initiative via Essex County Council’s Essex Innovation Programme.
Enplas currently has plans to relocate staff from Japan once the laboratory at Chesterford is fully operational and will recruit more local employees. INVEST Essex has already introduced Enplas to social and cultural Japanese organisations and will continue to support Enplas as the company expands.
Taking medical business innovation to market
The UK MedTech market has an estimated value of £15 billion and has the largest life sciences cluster outside the US. Essex is ideally placed to be positioned as the home of MedTech with its recognised national and international clinical links, high level concentration of MedTech businesses and strategic location.
MedBIC, the Anglia Ruskin University Business Innovation Centre for Medical and Advanced Engineering is recognised for its work with early stage medical technology businesses. The £6 million centre has been purpose built to speed commercial ideas to market by providing support and help for businesses to develop.
For more information on the MedBIC see here.
How INVEST Essex can help companies
INVEST Essex, Essex County Council’s (ECC’s) Inward Investment department, promote the opportunities of one of the UK’s top business locations; Essex – close to London and with first class transport links, to businesses across the globe who could benefit from the county’s strategic location.
INVEST Essex works with its commercial partners to ensure that potential investors have the best service and are assisted at all points through their journey to move and set up in the UK. They work with accountants, banks, solicitors, commercial relocation companies, fit out companies to give companies a quality end-to-end service and help them make the most out of their location decision.
See here for more information on INVEST Essex.