Qi3 – Quality, Insight, Integrity & Innovation - UNITING TECHNOLOGY & MARKETING


CERN Business Incubation Centre and Campus Technology Hub

As part of its programme to support the commercial exploitation of its technologies and science, STFC has launched the Campus Technology Hubs and CERN Business Incubation Centres at its Daresbury and Harwell campuses. In order to ensure success, STFC needed a market assessment to identify the market segments and customer types with the greatest interest in the facilities, and a marketing & sales strategy for each facility to best exploit the market interest.

The STFC CERN Business Incubation Centres offer funding, business support and technical assistance to entrepreneurs and small high-tech companies seeking to accelerate their innovative business concepts. The Campus Technology Hubs are purpose-built engineering facilities which provide a focal point where businesses, universities and research organisations can work in partnership to tackle engineering challenges. They aim to provide an affordable mechanism for entrepreneurs and others to access to an impressive array of technologies, equipment and expertise.

Qi3 started by mapping the landscape for Business Incubation Centres, reviewing the latest research papers and interviewing a number of technology orientated centres. This research highlighted the key performance indicators for a successful Centre and enabled the Qi3 to identify the differences in market positioning between the CERN Business Incubation Centre and the rest of the market. Further interviews and research confirmed the Value Proposition and unique positioning of the CERN Business Incubation Centres.

For the Campus Technology Hubs, desk research quickly identified that they are unique. As no published information or research papers exist on this type of facility, Qi3 interviewed the R&D Directors of a number of Blue-chip security and medical companies to determine their likelihood to use this new type of facility and to map its value proposition.

With a clear understanding of the market positioning and value proposition, Qi3 then built an integrated market strategy, marketing communications plan and sales plan for each the centres that leveraged the reputation and expertise of STFC. Finally a team meeting was held with relevant STFC staff to discuss the findings and recommendations and to help them turn the project outputs into their own plans for implementation. Throughout the project, Qi3 worked closely with the STFC team. 

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