Open Cell, co-founded by Helene Steiner and Dr. Thomas Meany in 2018 and is a collaborative project with the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (LBHF) Council. Aligned with the Council’s Arts and Industrial Strategy the mission is to expand young people’s horizons from a wide range of backgrounds by giving them exposure to activities they would otherwise be unlikely to access.
Open Cell, is a non-profit research centre that aims to transform the relationship between communities and biotechnology and support early-stage start ups. This is not a traditional scientific research centre but instead a place where community members can attend talks, workshops and access studio/laboratory time alongside role models to explore the uses of biotechnology in their everyday lives. The goal of Open Cell is to establish a long-term and sustainable initiative where citizens can take control and learn, experience, create and discuss important topics around biotechnology, their health and well-being. It provides a sandbox for young innovators to create human-centred and impactful applications.
Since 2018 we have proven out the first we-work for life science in the UK and built a unique community of life science start-ups.
The project started with initially 3 of our unique shipping container labs and grown to 70 in under a year. Since then we have supported almost 100 companies from biomaterials, fashion, therapeutics to diagnostics to alt-proteins.