20 June 2024

Sheffield University tech spinout to open new city centre base

Phlux Technology, a fast-growing infrared sensor technology firm, has chosen Pennine Five in Sheffield city centre to set up its new headquarters, as the city’s Innovation Spine gains momentum. 

Founded by Ben White in 2020, Phlux is a spinout company from the University of Sheffield developing and commercialising breakthrough infrared sensor technology. This technology is 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 Euro project funded by the European Space Agency to build more efficient free-space optical communications (FSOC) satellite terminals.

Currently based at the University of Sheffield’s Kroto Innovation Centre, Phlux has signed up to move to a new 3,692 sq ft workspace at the Pennine Five campus this summer. The former HSBC headquarters off Tenter Street has been significantly redeveloped and modernised by RBH Properties in recent years.

Ben White, Co-Founder and CEO of Phlux Technology, 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.”

Pennine Five is located at the centre of the Sheffield Innovation Spine, which runs from the University of Sheffield’s campus down to West Bar Square. Backed by the University, Sheffield Council and other key stakeholders, the 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 Properties has been injecting a new lease of life into Pennine Five. This work includes the recently completed £1.5m outdoor central plaza, which provides both public and local businesses with a green and attractive space for meeting, collaborating and relaxing.

Pennine Five is now over 60% let.

Left to right: Fabrice Dierre (Phlux Technology), Harriet Dolphin (Phlux Technology), Ben White (Phlux Technology) and Jeremy Hughes (RBH Properties)