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Exporting with BEST

Exporting with BEST

A trade map, showing the countries where Hexagon Tower’s tenants trade.

Hexagon Tower tenants lead the way in exporting high-tech products and solutions across the globe.

Companies at North-Manchester science park Hexagon Tower are demonstrating their international reach for UK Trade and Investment’s Export Week.

In the first six months of this year, the North West exported £12.9 billion of goods and services, with firms based at the Business Environments for Science and Technology (BEST) Network science park contributing through the development and sale of high-tech products.

Multi-national firm Lubrizol Limited develops, researches and distributes chemical additives from its Manchester base at Hexagon Tower.

The company has seen its unique paint additives, which improve the brightness, colour strength, durability and stability of car paint, used on majority of the world’s black cars.

The firm is also leading the way in digital printing for ceramic tiles and lino flooring with another majority share of the international market.

Dr Peter Bloyce, Global Business Director at Lubrizol Limited, said:

“Manchester has such a strong heritage for commercial scientific innovation, and we’re proud to work in that tradition.

“Every year we receive numerous patents for our products developed at our base in Hexagon Tower, which are all traded internationally across many diverse markets.”

High-tech start-up SmartKem shows how specialised innovation can have a global impact, through the development of its tru-FLEX™ organic semiconductors. This technology platform is currently under adoption with leading OEMs and electronics brand owners across multiple geographies where it is used to literally “print” fully flexible and unbreakable electronics that are used to drive a new generation of flexible displays from smart watches to bendable or foldable smartphones and tablets.

After receiving €3 million in Series A funding from a high profile investment syndicate including BASF Venture Capital, this disruptive technology firm is now firmly established within the display and consumer electronics supply chain in Asia and with a number of major US consumer electronics brand owners.

Steve Kelly, CEO of SmartKem, said:

“Expanding into Asia and the US was a natural step for us – establishing ourselves with the leading consumer electronic OEMs and brand owners has been a fundamental part of our strategy. The commercial traction for our technology within the display and electronics industry is really impressive, with many large players adopting tru-FLEX™ semiconductors for robust and reliable flexible displays in addition to active matrix touchscreen and sensor applications.

“Our base at Hexagon Tower is perfectly positioned for international trade – not only is the infrastructure to a high standard, but we are able to benefit from the strong science and business communities present in Manchester.”

Other Hexagon Tower tenants exporting across the world include multi-national firm Intertek, quality and safety experts testing everything from shampoo to the latest anti-cancer drugs, and drug and alcohol testing company Randox Testing.

Chris Mitchell, Associate Director at LaSalle Investment Management – which manages the BEST Network’s portfolio of science parks – said:

“The diverse range of products and services being developed and traded out of Hexagon Tower goes to show that even the smallest or most niche of companies can have a massive impact on the world stage.

“Commercial science is big business for the UK – but we need to ensure there is the right support for companies operating in these industries to grow their markets, and help them contribute more to our economic growth.

“The BEST Network aims to do just that by establishing a community of support that allows start-ups and multi-nationals alike to access best practises and knowledge that could help them expand into new markets.”

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