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Chemicals and how they are safely managed and manufactured is an important process marked with so much emphasis on keeping a green environment for future generations.

EpiValence focusses on manufacturing niche chemicals and providing the highest quality products and services on a global basis. They are proving to be excellent at meeting customers’ requirements, preparing them for future expansion.

To support rapid progress in the field of electronics, EpiValence focusses on working in collaboration with organisations searching for advanced chemicals and materials.

The company now has two sites in the UK - one at Thornton, near Chester, and the other in the seaside resort of Redcar, in North Yorkshire.

Commercial Director, Chris Richards, initially set up the business whilst working  from his home address before deciding to move to Thornton back in July 2015. Recommended by a Bank Manager from Barclays, Thornton Science Park appealed to EpiValence because of its wide range of facilities and close proximity to excellent motorway networks.

The site’s centralised location makes it easily accessible for employees and visitors. The commercial space at Thornton wasn’t ready at initial request stage, so in the meantime the University of Chester accommodated Epivalence at the Riverside Innovation Centre (RIC) in Chester.

This made it possible for the company to make excellent business connections which they were able to utilise and maintain even after moving to Thornton.

Since being based at Thornton Science Park, EpiValence has experienced a continued growth in turnover and they have been recognised by key influencers within the electrical manufacturing industry.

One of the established companies to back them were the highly regarded NMI, the semiconductor to systems communities company, and in 2016 EpiValence were voted in the top 10 Manufacturing Supplier in a poll of NMI manufacturing sites.

Simon Rushworth, Business Technical Manager, said: “EpiValence is proud to be awarded this recognition of its products and services by its peers and to be viewed as a supplier in the same league as KMG Ultra Pure Chemicals - which was the number one ranked supplier for 2015 and 2016 - and other respected companies.”

The company has received substantial support from various teams at Thornton Science Park to aid its growth. The University is a proud delivery partner of the ERDF funded Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme.

This initiative aims to deliver 12 hours of fully funded support to SMEs and entrepreneurs in Cheshire and Warrington. As a participant on this programme, Epivalence received one-to-one mentoring with Newsun Jose, a Business Development Manager at the University.

Newsun assisted Epivalence with applying for bids, offered advice on various funding opportunities and set up a feasibility study for one of the company’s projects. All this was given at no charge to the business.

Aside from one-to-one support, Newsun also set up meetings with The Analytical Centre at Thornton (TACT). Previously, EpiValence used another analytical service provider near to their other UK site in Redcar, but found getting a timely response and accurate characterization results for their specialty chemicals difficult.

With improved facilities available at Thornton, Newsun realised that an enhanced service could be provided and promptly introduced EpiValence to TACT. These laboratories met the analytical needs of the business and EpiValence continues to work with TACT for a variety of services.

Simon Rushworth added: “Getting samples delivered to Thornton from our sister site in Redcar and getting results fed back has proved easier and quicker than with our previous provider despite the distance involved. After being introduced to the team at TACT, we have found it easy to develop testing processes to meet our needs.”

“Newsun discussed the functionalities required by EpiValence with the TACT team and they quickly looked into this for us and provided us with a solution using a brand new ICP-MS machine. It’s a very good service that I would highly recommend.”

EpiValence has also benefitted from being based on a site with numerous other companies. The Commercial Operations team at the University encourage interaction amongst tenants by setting up regular networking events. EpiValence has met other companies at these events and have been able to discuss potential areas for collaboration.

Thornton Science Park has helped EpiValence achieve growth and stability. The company can now focus on research and development to further progress the business. Chris Richards has highlighted how Thornton and the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme has significantly helped them on their journey.

Chris Richards said: “The offices are very nice and professional and the site in general is impressive for our visitors. Support is available in a variety of different forms from fundamental IT support to more advanced business mentoring and advice. The overall site management is very good and we have all the facilities to enable us to grow our business.”