University sponsors Community Lab to inspire STEM learning and develop skills

25 January 2019

A unique collaboration between academia and industry, providing hands-on scientific learning opportunities at Discovery Park for local teachers and students, opens a fresh chapter with new sponsor Canterbury Christ Church University.

The Community Lab at Discovery Park, a  thriving high quality science park playing a key role in the South East of England’s life sciences community, will help to inspire children into adopting scientific careers and grow the local STEM skills base.

The Community Lab brings together Discovery Park, Canterbury Christ Church University, Pfizer and educational charity STEM Learning to provide local schools with access to the industry standard facilities and equipment normally out of reach in the classroom. Along with a number of other tenants on site, they seek to educate and inspire hundreds of young people to pursue STEM careers. The Community Lab, which is based in Discovery Park’s iconic Building 500, is a key component of the site’s STEM skills offering.

Mayer Schreiber, CEO of Discovery Park said: “This wonderful scheme allows children to come in and catalyse their learning with the support of Pfizer and other scientists working on site. There has always been a strong STEM skills base in the local area, and the Community Lab is part of our commitment to maintain and grow that base. This will provide a talented work force for the kinds of jobs available at Discovery Park and elsewhere in the region, and we thank everyone involved for their support.”

Julian Thompson, Pfizer, Sandwich Site Head, said: “Pfizer is proud to be supporting the Community Lab project at Discovery Park.  By providing extra-curriculum resource and expertise the facility will offer local schools the ability to conduct science they are unable to do in their own laboratories. 

“We are also delighted to be supporting the relaunch of the facility with help from our scientists in providing teachers with the skills needed to use the lab for teaching purposes.  This will give both teachers and students the opportunity to experience hands-on how important and exciting STEM based careers can be, and help to inspire more scientists of the future.”

Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, added: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Community Lab at Discovery Park.

“As a University we are strong supporters of widening access to educational opportunities for our local communities and this project will offer local schoolchildren the chance to discover and develop an interest in the important STEM subjects.”

Cllr Mark Dance, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Kent County Council, said: “Kent County Council have always supported Discovery Park and their vision. We witness more exciting innovation with Community Lab as this makes the important bridge between Education and Science. These partnerships really make a difference to the area and the future of our next generation.”

The Community Lab forms part of a wider selection of activities at Discovery Park aimed at encouraging young people to pursue careers in STEM-related subjects.  

 Notes to editors

About discovery park 

Discovery Park has grown to be a thriving part of the South East’s life science community in its six years as a multi-business science campus. The site offers high quality laboratory, office and manufacturing facilities, the space and support to expand, access to local finance, and a strong local scientific talent pool.

The growing tenant community includes Pfizer, which built the site’s reputation as a centre for drug discovery and discovered some of the most famous drugs in the world here. Other tenants include Agalimmune, Algaecytes, Centauri Therapeutics, Genea Biomedx and Salvensis. Discovery Park is home to 150+ companies employing 3,500 employees in total. With easy connections to London, Europe and the world Discovery Park is a great place to build and grow your biotech, medtech or pharma business.  Discover more via our website: – email: or call: 01304 614060. You can also follow us on social media.


Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with 16,000 students across Kent and Medway. Its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • Over 94% of our UK undergraduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2015/16 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey



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Last edited: 04/03/2019 12:09:00