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Maxwell Centre


The Maxwell Centre is the centrepiece for industrial engagement with the physical scientists and engineers working on the West Cambridge Science and Technology Campus. Two-way flow of ideas and researchers adds value when 'blue-skies' activities meet research objectives relevant to economic opportunities for industry and society at large. The scale of industrial involvement is already substantial, and this will be increased through the activities in the new building, in the collaborating Departments and in the commercial space on the West Cambridge site. The associated industrial research, development and manufacturing will generate an overall economic impact within the UK much greater than the co-investment committed to the programme.


The Maxwell Centre objectives are to carry out world-leading research in the physical sciences, developed from both near-term but also long-term industry objectives. There is an opportunity, when appropriate, to build on the core of innovative activity supported by the Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability which is directed to ‘blue-skies’ research that supports the sustainability agenda. The guidelines of that programme are that the research should not be ‘more of the same’, but truly original and innovative – the programme can take risks which are beyond the normal scope of research grants. Research scientists from industry occupy laboratory and desk space alongside their University collaborators. We are commissioning advanced materials characterisation and other facilities which will be made available to industry, and particularly to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which will be encouraged to increase their engagement with the University. The Maxwell Building now hosts several industrial partnerships, Cambridge Zero, and is the Cambridge site of the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials Research as well as the Cambridge spoke of the Faraday Institution. It also provides the hub for two Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs).


Harnessing strong links between universities and industry is exactly what Britain needs. Developing exportable technology together will enhance our international competitiveness. We want to encourage research into areas that may not be commercially viable now, but could provide technologies for the future." 

Sir James Dyson



Maxwell Space

The building provides 4,530m2 of gross space (3,046m2 net) of which about 700m2 (net) hosts state-of-the-art research laboratories – the latter figure will be enhanced by about 500m2 (net) by reconfiguring areas within the Physics of Medicine Building. The cost of the Maxwell Centre building construction was £25.6M.