Bush's New Biotech Hub is Buzzing

Innovative start-ups snap up affordable space in Old Laundry Yard shipping containers

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One of London's most affordable biotech hubs is now open for business in the Old Laundry Yard in Shepherd's Bush Market.

The Open Cell space was launched in June by co-founders Dr Tom Meany and Helene Steiner, pictured below, with space within 45 shipping containers in the yard, just off Goldhawk Road.

Open Cell founders in Shepherd's Bush

With space priced at just £4 per sqft, the hub has attracted an impressive line-up of new start-up businesses, who have turned the containers into labs, workshops and offices.

Now the hubs is hosting innovative start-ups doing everything fom making bespoke furniture from potato skins to training flies to better pollinate flowers.

2There is little or no infrastructure available to help talented scientists, designers and early stage biotech businesses to take their concepts to the next stage,"said Open Cell co-founder Tom.

"Open Cell is a meeting place for anyone in the sciences or design disciplines to contribute to the burgeoning biotech sector in London with Hammersmith & Fulham leading the way."

Among the innovators at work in the yard are:

leading the way.”

Some of the exciting start-ups at the Open Cell in Shepherds Bush include:

Chip[s] Board

Co-founders Rowan Minkley and Rob Nicoll are developing a replacement for MDF boards using waste potato scraps for a fraction of the price.


Biohm is revolutionising the construction industry as they develop bio-based materials, which will significantly reduce the time to build, costs and the carbon footprint of new buildings.


Royal College of Art graduates Tashia Tucker, Louis Alderson-Bythell, and Greg Orrom Swan are attempting to solve the international problem of declining bee populations by training flies to become better pollinators.

BYBI Beauty

BYBI Beauty produces vegan, plastic-free skincare with no synthetic ingredients, which has not been tested on animals. Even the packaging is biodegradable and 100 per cent recyclable.

BYbi Beauty founders

BYBI Beauty founders  Dominika Minarovic and Elsie Rutterford.

H&F Council says the Hub forms part of Upstream – its latest partnership with Imperial College London – to make the borough one of the leading destinations in the country for the biotech, digital and creative industries.

"We want to put H&F firmly on the biotech map as we become the next Kendall Square in the tech world,” said Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Cabinet Member for the Economy and the Arts.

"We want to bring the borough into the 21st century and we want to ensure none of our residents are left behind but instead benefit from the jobs, investment and improvements we’re bringing to H&F."

Open Cell also plans to bring the London Design Festival to Shepherd's Bush for the first time in September.

The Biodesign Here Now exhibition, running from 15-23 September, will showcase the latest biotech innovations which are changing the way we make things.

There will be talks, workshops and performances throughout the festival at the Old Laundry Yard.

Find out more at Open Cell

Old Laundry Yard also offers a range of street food traders, including Jollof Mama, grilled cheese sandwich and skin on fries trader Pommes Fries, Maxine's veggie meals and healthy desserts and a pop up Old Laundry Bar courtesy of WePop.

Food from Jolllof Mama

The Old Laundry Site sits between Shepherd's Bush Market and Pennard Road and has been unused for many years.

The Old Laundry Site in Shepherd's Bush

For more information, visit the My Shepherd's Bush Market website.

August 9, 2018

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