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Autichem Ltd specialise in designing and manufacturing new equipment and processes for the pharmaceutical, fine chemical and energy sectors. With diverse skill sets they develop solutions to problems ranging from laboratory to industrial scale. One of their speciality areas is improving the designs of batch & flow chemistry reactors. Operating in the Chemical Reactors and Manufacturing industries, Autichem Ltd moved to Thornton Science Park in June 2016 to support the growth of the company.

Managing Director, David Morris, established Autichem Ltd in 2014 and operated the business from his home address in Cheshire. In June 2016, David decided to search for suitable premises for the company to facilitate growth. His business mentor suggested Thornton Science Park. The possibility of a collaboration with the University of Chester, together with the chance to interact with other companies based on-site appealed to David. His company now occupy a central office and workshop within the Thornton Science Park campus.

Since being at Thornton, Autichem Ltd have formed a good working relationship with the Faculty of Science and Engineering, co-located on site. The company have hosted four student placements via the University’s Work Based Learning scheme. The students were involved in a variety of projects ranging from prototype reactor testing, website development and market research. The placements were very successful, and David was able to get several different projects underway at no charge to the business. Autichem is currently co-supervising and supporting two fourth year chemical engineering research projects which are investigating improvements to batch and continuous crystallization processes.  Autichem Ltd is also about to embark on a collaboration with the university via the ERDF funded Eco-Innovation project, which will undertake research into the 100% capture of CO2 gas from waste streams and its use in the production of bio gases, fuels and fertilizers. 

Aside from student placements, Autichem Ltd has also received support from the University’s academic experts. David has attended various meetings with the Faculty of Science and Engineering which has enabled him to access specialist equipment to aid his various research projects. He has also received support and advice on how to improve his projects. He continues to work in collaboration with the Faculty to further advance his business.

The company have also made connections with other on-site businesses at Thornton. The Commercial Operations team at the University encourage interaction between tenants by hosting regular networking meetings such as the CEO Networking Breakfast. The networking events allow other tenants to understand more about other on-site businesses and to identify any areas of synergy. The connections Autichem Ltd have made with other tenants is opening up the possibility for future collaborations for various projects.

David has also received support from the University’s Commercial Operations team. One of the team’s Business Development Managers, Barry Gleave, has supported Autichem Ltd and helped the business identify different funding options. David comments:

“I am very happy with the level of business support I have received from the University’s Commercial Operations team. Barry has been particularly supportive in helping me identify various funding options and applying for bids. He has also helped me to develop a solid working relationship with members of the Faculty of Science and Engineering.”

As a result of all the support Autichem have received, the business has now built strong foundations in order to expand in the future. Moving the business from David’s home in Cheshire to Thornton Science Park was a risk, but it is one that has paid off. David now looks forward to taking the business to the next level and is optimistic for the future.