Science changes lives. We know that at Cambridge Innovation Capital because we’ve seen it first-hand through the businesses in which we’ve invested. We also know that access to science and creating a passion for it from a young age is key.

That’s why we are delighted to have the opportunity to support and sponsor Cambridge Science Centre (CSC) in the important work they do for young people in Cambridge and beyond. Organisations like CSC are vital contributors to the future of research and innovation in the UK.

CSC is a Cambridge based organisation that inspires children to enjoy science, by building their science capital and in doing so, encouraging them to consider science-based careers. It does this by enabling young people of all backgrounds to experience hands-on adventures in STEM, whether via coding clubs, themed parties or STEMtots sessions for the under-5s.

In the UK, there’s a STEM skills gap with research suggesting that by the age of 11 many young people have already been turned off science, seeing it as ‘too academic’ for them. CSC hopes to tackle this stigma and show that STEM is a suitable career for anyone who is interested. In just a short space of time it has sparked the interest of over 400,000 children, through CSC exhibitions, classroom workshops and school roadshows.

At CIC we were lucky enough to experience CSC’s important work when our team visited in October. We were given an in-depth overview of the progress CSC has made during the pandemic (by facilitating online, curriculum-linked shows, and supporting teachers with remote learning) and participated in a group exercise to create an activity for 7-12 year olds illustrating the water cycle. This was both challenging, pitching the content at the right level, and fun, we were in three teams and naturally the best team (my team) won!

We got involved with CSC because we have a passion for learning and knowledge, and because we believe in investing in and supporting the young people who are the future of Britain’s R&D sector.

We are proud of the fact that our investments have supported the development of novel tests for the accurate monitoring of cancer (Inivata) or increased access to minimal access surgery (CMR Surgical). The start-ups we are working with have the potential to transform lives. But they started with science, and with children falling in love with the subject. We hope that by empowering young people in science through our sponsorship, we see similar if not greater results in the coming years.

Our sponsorship of CSC helped them to return to full capacity following the strains of the pandemic on their workforce. We are extremely proud that our support has helped CSC continue to thrive and develop the innovators of the future – the people who will one day have the potential to change lives and make their mark on the world.