OpenCell was founded in June 2018 to provide early stage biotech startups with affordable space. We have grown from 3 to 70 shipping containers in White City, London. Many biotech startups are just emerging from University and often are shocked at the difficulty and logistics of running their first lab. People take for granted the amount of work it takes to make lab work happen! We make the process easy so that they can get on with the science.
Laboratories here work on synthetic biology, CRISPR, DNA sequencing, therapeutics, biologics, hardware, bioelectronics, software, biomaterials, bioplastics and more. We have experience developing specialist BSL1 lab facilities for work with non-pathogenic microorganisms (yeast, bacillus, coli), drosophila, fungi, algae and plants tissues. Our spaces are not suitable for mammalian, human or pathogenic organisms. However, we can help advise on how to find solutions for those applications.
We host core facilities that are shared by all including a lab store, waste management (autoclaving and disposal), refrigeration (-20/-80C), microscopy and shared lab spaces with ultra pure for molecular biology and microbiology. Our members take modular private labs where they develop their specialism or IP and then can access any of those core facilities at any time. The combination of privacy and community helps make everything work. Much like a University we have interactions and collaborations between groups but a healthy respect of IP boundaries. The shared lab is where a lot of the early stage work happens. Most businesses who start out have no idea what they are doing and no money to make it happen! The shared labs have the big items like flow hoods, non-ducted fume cupboards, -80, -20 and 4C storage, incubators (static/shaking), centrifuges (1ml-50ml refrigerated), bench space. We also have a TON of small essentials and if you need more info > Link to full list.The lab store helps you go further faster. We have almost everything you need to get moving with your biotech experiments at wholesale prices and in-stock. OpenCell members get 10% off and you simply buy what you need on the webpage (we stock VWR alongside others) and pay online and collect right away. Not based at opencell? We are starting delivery in selected London locations.
Each private specialist lab comes with the basics (sinks, benching, wifi, electricity, water) as well as OpenCell’s help on getting the specialist essentials up and running (e.g., fume cupboards, extraction, CO2 or other gases). Every company is different, our support ranges from small stuff to helping labs source their first key items (incubators, flow hoods, fume cupboards). We have great supplier relationships for almost everything (but if we don’t then we are always keen to make a new friend!). We also have a strong network of grant writers, SEO experts and an in-house media team to help tell your story. If you have already found your dream home outside of open cell then we can also help support you to get setup there too. If you want to reach out then just contact us now, (call the office +44 7939582703), or book a tour.We also host a ton of events! Everything from biohackathons to lunchtime/evening talks. Suppliers do showcases and investors come to catch up with businesses. We love communicating biotechnology and educational workshops and an annual biodesign festival are hosted here too. Keep an eye on our News and Events page and sign up to our newsletter!