Scitech awarded to design and build University of Oxford Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility

We are delighted to announce we have been awarded the pre-construction services agreement (PCSA) to design and build an extension to the University of Oxford’s Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility(CBF). This new building will be sited adjacent to the existing CBF and includes two EU GMP grade C cleanrooms, materials warehousing and offices.

The CBF is the University of Oxford’s GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) manufacturing facility, which has been producing biological Investigational Medicinal Products (IMPs) according to the principles of GMP for early phase clinical trials for more than 20 years.

Located on the Churchill Hospital site in Oxford, the CBF, in partnership with the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccines Group, developed the ‘Oxford vaccine’ in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CBF holds a Manufacturer’s Authorisation for Investigational Medicinal Products (MIA (IMPs)) from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This allows it to manufacture viral vector vaccines and advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), including gene and cell therapy products.

The expansion project will ensure that the CBF, Oxford and the wider UK life sciences sector remains at the forefront of innovative medicinal products.

We will be using an offsite construction modular solution to deliver the extension to minimise any disruption to existing business operations at the CBF.

Dave Grant, Managing Director at Scitech, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to deliver this expansion project for the University of Oxford. The CBF is a valuable resource for academic research and clinical drug development and this investment will ensure that it has the facilities required to also increase vaccine and biologics manufacturing significantly here in the UK.”

Celebrating Scitech’s employee ownership and the spirit of #TheEOeffect

Last week, we joined EO businesses across the UK in celebrating the annual Employee Ownership (EO) Day on 23 June. As a 100% employee-owned company, this day holds significant meaning for us, highlighting the benefits and impact of employee ownership. In this blog, we share how we have been marking Employee Ownership and delve into the significance of #TheEOeffect.

Employee Ownership in a word

To kick start the celebrations, we invited our colleagues to contribute to the Scitech Word Cloud. Employees were encouraged to share a single word that encapsulates their feelings about being an employee owner at Scitech. This collaborative activity allowed us to unite and acknowledge the diverse range of perspectives within our organisation.

Word cloud generated by Scitech staff to mark EO Day

Sharing and inspiring

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new quarterly Scitech Newsletter. This informative publication aims to keep our employee-owners informed about the latest developments within our company. By sharing stories, updates, and achievements, the newsletter fosters a sense of community and ensures that each employee is aware of the significant contributions they make towards our shared success. Our first edition is set to be a must-read, packed with exciting news and inspiring stories from across our organisation.

Celebrating together

Last week, whether at Scitech House, Cardiff, Antwerp, or Manchester, our employee owners gathered to celebrate. At Scitech House, we enjoyed a delightful lunch and cake on our decking. In Cardiff, our team savoured homemade food and enjoyed a trip to a local carvery. Meanwhile, our Antwerp colleagues indulged in a delectable selection of homemade cakes, and in Manchester, the team came together for food and drinks after work. These celebrations strengthen the bonds between us as employee owners, reinforcing our collective achievements and unwavering dedication.

The EO Effect

Being a 100% employee-owned company, we understand the immense value each employee owner brings to our success. Through the EO activities highlighted, we reinforce our sense of unity, motivation, and shared purpose. As we spread the EO spirit, we hope to inspire others to embrace employee ownership and experience the transformative #EOEffect. Together, we continue to thrive and deliver excellence at Scitech.

Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day: Empowering the Next Generation

Today marks the 10th year of International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) – a day in which we are asked to reflect on the persistent underrepresentation of women in engineering professions and the need for collective efforts to bridge the gender gap.

At Scitech, we are committed to making a tangible impact by increasing the presence of women in our engineering workforce and fostering an environment of empowerment and inclusivity.

Addressing the Gender Imbalance

Current statistics reveal that globally, only 16.5% of engineers are women. This is a stark reminder of the work that lies ahead. INWED provides a vital platform for women engineers to gain visibility and recognition in their fields. At Scitech, we recognise this disparity and actively work to address it within our organisation and beyond.

Notably, Just five years ago women made up only 10% of our engineering colleagues. Today, we are proud to report that we have increased the representation of women in our engineering workforce to an impressive 22%. This substantial growth is a testament to our unwavering commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace that fosters innovation and empowers all employees to thrive.

Within our organisation, women have risen to prominent positions and become role models for aspiring female engineers. Nicola Hale, our Design and Engineering Director, brings a wealth of expertise and experience to her role. Her leadership inspires and paves the way for other women to reach senior positions within the engineering industry.

Furthermore, we are proud to have two engineering teams led by female managers who demonstrate exceptional leadership skills. Their accomplishments reflect our commitment to empowering women and fostering an environment where everyone’s unique perspectives and contributions are valued and embraced.

Inspiring the Next Generation

At Scitech, we firmly believe that inspiring and empowering the next generation of women in engineering is paramount. Our female engineers are passionate advocates for STEM careers, and they actively engage with young girls through career days at schools, colleges, and universities. By sharing their own experiences and showcasing the wide range of opportunities available in the STEM field, they encourage young women to pursue their passions fearlessly and pursue rewarding engineering careers.

Hazel Hatley, Process Engineer, is a passionate advocate for encouraging more girls into engineering and a regular participant in our outreach events. She said: “Empowering girls to pursue engineering is about unlocking their potential and creating a world where their innovative ideas and contributions can shape our future. By breaking down barriers and providing opportunities, we can create a diverse and inclusive engineering industry that thrives on the unique perspectives and talents of all. With so many challenges facing us over the next 50 years, every thought and idea is vitally important – and women will be a critical part of the solutions created. We need to inspire the next generation of girls to be a part of engineering a world where anything is possible.”

Emma Dawas, our HR Manager, added: “As a business we are constantly working to improve the gender balance in engineering. It’s not just about attracting women to apply for our engineering roles through our enhanced family friendly policies. Or enabling colleagues to work flexibly or buy additional holidays to cover school holidays or even supporting those returning from a career break. It’s also about attracting the next generation into engineering to bring fresh perspectives and unique problem-solving approaches that will result in innovative solutions and a better world for us all.”

Diversity fuels innovation

As we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, Scitech stands at the forefront of driving positive change within the engineering industry. We continue to celebrate the achievements of women in engineering, fostering a workplace that values diversity, empowers all employees, and encourages collaboration to drive innovation. Let us continue to celebrate the achievements of women in engineering and work towards creating a brighter and more equitable future for all.

#INWED23 #EmpoweringWomeninEngineering

Scitech empowers Employee Ownership: Highlights from the South East Network Meeting

We were delighted to be invited to attend the Employee Ownership Association’s South East Network Meeting on 7 June, where we hosted a roundtable discussion about being an employee trustee for an employee owned company.

Lewis White, our Mechanical Engineering Team Leader and Trustee of Scitech Trust Limited, and HR Manager Emma Dawas hosted the table of 10 representatives from a range of EO companies. It was particularly interesting hearing others’ views on the role of the trustee, and discussing some of the challenges trustees face at the various stages in the EO journey.

The event brought together representatives from various employee-owned businesses to discuss strategies, share experiences, and explore the benefits of this unique business model.

One of the highlights was the keynote talk delivered by Dame Sharon White, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership (JLP). The founding principles of JLP remain as relevant today as they were when established a century ago.

According to the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), the number of employee-owned businesses in the UK has reached an impressive milestone of 1,300. This significant growth demonstrates the increasing recognition of employee ownership as a sustainable and successful business model.

Employee-owned firm Arup hosted the event. David Whittleton talked of the “high level” of engagement at Arup. Malcolm Clarke, Managing Director of Baxall Construction Ltd, shared his company’s recent journey of becoming an employee-owned organisation. We also heard from RM2, training company People Untapped and Shaw Healthcare. All very different employee-owned businesses debating incentivisation and share schemes.

Scitech is 100% employee-owned which the EOA reported is still the most common model of ownership of those businesses transitioning to EO.

Reflecting on the experience, Lewis said: “We know we are not alone in this journey but it’s not often that you get to hear others’ experiences. Hearing how other companies have had similar journeys to employee ownership and have similar experiences was extremely interesting. There were some fascinating contributions to our table’s discussions affirming the strength and resonance of the employee ownership model. Thank you to everyone for making the event such a worthwhile experience.”