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Rapid growth sees Helio Display Materials expand into further R&D lab space at Oxford's Wood Centre for Innovation

The Business Magazine article image for: Rapid growth sees Helio Display Materials expand into further R&D lab space at Oxford's Wood Centre for Innovation
Helio Display Materials staff in their new lab space
13 June 2023
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Helio Display Materials staff in their new lab space

Helio Display Materials has expanded its R&D laboratory space at The Oxford Trust’s Wood Centre for Innovation in Headington to accommodate rapid company growth.

Helio Display Materials was founded by Professor Henry Snaith FRS, also founder of the successful Oxford PV, and Professor Sir Richard Friend FRS FREng, both of whom are leaders in perovskite technology – semiconductors which can be synthesized from low-temperature solution processes using earth abundant precursor materials.

It is the first joint University of Oxford and University of Cambridge spinout.

Read more: Helio appoints Professor Henry Snaith FRS as Chief Scientific Officer

Helio Display Materials uses innovations based on the outstanding properties of metal halide perovskites to create materials for a new generation of brighter, more colourful displays that use significantly less energy.

The application of the technology for LCD, OLED and µLED displays enables increased brightness, colour range and power efficiencies that were previously thought unachievable at industrial scale.

In March 2022, the company moved into the Wood Centre for Innovation with seven people to occupy 2,720 sq ft (250 sq m).

Over the last year, the team has expanded to 17 people, which has allowed them to move into the next phase of product development.

To facilitate their growth, Bulb Interiors, the interior laboratory fit-out specialist, has converted an office suite that totals 546 sq ft (50 sq m) into further lab space which has seen Helio occupy a total of 3,266 sq ft (303 sq m).

Simon Jones, chief executive officer, Helio Display Materials said: “Taking office and lab space at The Oxford Trust’s Wood Centre for Innovation has allowed us to expand our team and grow organically. It is the perfect home for Helio and great to be part of an active community of start-ups located in the Centre.”

Helio Display Materials is one of eight companies with R&D lab and office space at the Wood Centre for Innovation including Samsara Therapeutics, DJS Antibodies, Human Centric DD, Lumai, RedShift Bio and PicturaBio.

Read more: Helio steps up product design with $4.75m investment

Steve Burgess, chief executive officer, The Oxford Trust said: “With the Trust’s significant investment in R&D lab provision, we have been able to give early-stage companies the opportunities to achieve their potential. It is wonderful to see companies like Helio Display Materials flourishing in our Wood Centre for Innovation in Headington.

“Since 2021, we have converted nearly 10,000 sq ft (900 sq m) from office to lab space to meet the exceptional demand from businesses for lab space in the heart of Headington’s life sciences’ district. Congratulations to Helio for its continued expansion.”

The Wood Centre for Innovation and the Oxford Centre for Innovation in the city centre are owned by The Oxford Trust, a local charity with a mission to encourage the pursuit of science. The centres are managed by Oxford Innovation, a spin-out from The Oxford Trust and the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres.


Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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