The Phlux team with RBH's Jeremy Hughes, right. Credit: via Altitude

Sensor tech spin-out picks Pennine Five

Fast-growing Phlux Technology will move from the University of Sheffield’s Kroto Innovation Centre to the former HSBC base off Tenter Street, now modernised by RBH Properties.

RBH said the move is further evidence that Sheffield’s Innovation Spine, stretching from the university down to West Bar, is gaining momentum,

Phlux has taken 3,692 sq ft at Pennine Five, which is now 60% let.

Founded by Ben White in 2020, Phlux is a spinout company from the University of Sheffield developing and commercialising breakthrough infrared sensor technology: a technology said to be revolutionising the performance of autonomous cars and advanced driver-assisted systems.

Last year, Phlux secured £4m of investment from Octopus Ventures and Northern Gritstone, and is also working on a €500,000 project funded by the European Space Agency to build more efficient free-space optical communications satellite terminals.

RBH has transformed the former HSBC stronghold. Credit: via Altitude

White said: “The success of our product launch means that Phlux has grown rapidly over the past year, outgrowing our existing home.

“We are very excited to be curating our own workspace at Pennine Five which will enable us to continue on our growth trajectory by enhancing our internal collaboration and feature two state-of-the-art labs for developing and testing future products.

“The location of Pennine Five was ideal for us. The campus is just down the road from the University – with whom we will continue to work closely – while providing us with a beautiful space for Phlux’s employees to continue to innovate as we scale up. I’d love to see other like-minded businesses join us here, as I can envisage the campus becoming a hub for growing technology firms in the city.”

Backed by the university, Sheffield City Council and other key stakeholders, the Innovation Spine is a long-term economic strategy that aims to create and link the infrastructure required to grow knowledge-led technology businesses in the city centre.

Jeremy Hughes, director at RBH Properties, added: “Welcoming Phlux to Pennine Five is a defining moment. It is a truly innovative and dynamic business with a huge future.

“The University of Sheffield is generating many exciting spinouts and tech start-ups. Pennine Five, located at the heart of the Sheffield Innovation Spine, is perfectly placed to support growing tech firms. With our flexible floorplates and tenant agreements, the campus can foster a vibrant ecosystem of collaboration, creativity and knowledge-sharing.”

Since taking ownership of the five office blocks that made up the former HSBC headquarters in 2019, RBH has overhauled the estate, work that includes the recently completed £1.5m outdoor central plaza, which is open to both businesses and the general public to use.

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