‘Talent on the doorstep’ is one of the many attractions for businesses moving to Keele University Science and Business Park and Erigal is one such business which has recruited and invested in the development of graduates from the University.
The company, which produces radiopharmaceuticals and tracers for use in Positron Emission Tomography (PET), was founded in Dublin in 2001 and moved to Keele in 2005. It chose KUSBP because of its links to the University, as well as its easy-to-reach location for major clients in Greater Manchester, Preston and Birmingham. Since joining the science and business park, Erigal’s client base has grown to supply its products to PET imaging centres in Merseyside, Sheffield, Hull, Leeds, Cheltenham and Oxford.
Rob Heathcote, operations manager at Erigal, graduated from Keele in 2003 and then spent time as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Since moving to the site with Erigal, Rob has worked with the University’s Research & Enterprise services team, as well as the Science Park and the careers service, to recruit a number of talented graduates. A total of seven Keele graduates have so far joined the company and gone through the extensive 18 month training programme.
Rob comments: “At Erigal, we believe it’s important to recruit and train the next generation of talent and with Keele University on our doorstep, it makes sense to recruit and invest in regional talent and encourage these graduates to stay within the region. It’s a two-way relationship, as not only do we get our pick of the best graduates, but it’s a great opportunity for new graduates to start their careers on campus.
“We have been really pleased with the calibre of the graduates coming out of the University as they seem to arrive with the ability to take on the technical and intellectual tasks. We invest a great deal in the initial training programme for graduates, but we feel this encourages graduates to stay long-term and we’re keen to offer them the opportunities to grow their careers with the company. It’s not always easy and it’s not always quick, but the opportunities are far-reaching.”
Outside of the lab the company has also been very active. It often works with the Royal Society of Chemistry to provide lectures and workshops in the community and the company has become an essential part of helping to develop a lively science community at the heart of KUSBP.
For Erigal, the future is as promising as that of its graduate employees. In 2013 Alliance Medical, the largest provider of diagnostic imaging services in Europe and co-founder of Erigal, took a decision, with its co-founder, to purchase 100% of the business. Alliance Medical has some grand plans for the company which is great news for provides further strong opportunities for Keele graduates.