Advanced Research Clusters

A world network of science clusters

  • Transform Bronze Award 2023
  • Client

  • Location


Soon to be Europe’s largest network of science campuses with £3bn of investment, we worked with Brookfield to create a category-defining brand for science armed with a new membership proposition built on the power of clustering. This is ARC: Advanced Research Clusters.

Leading cluster network for science

Brookfield’s ambition was to build the world’s leading science network. They needed a name and driving purpose for a growing community of newly acquired business parks in order to level them up and convince a sceptical science audience of their pedigree as a powerful commercial partner. 

With science ever on the lookout for new competitive advantages, our research revealed that the phenomenon of concentrating interconnected organisations — known as “clustering” — posed a tantalising opportunity. Its benefits were universally recognised in science and business, yet no one was claiming eminence. So we made cluster authority the key to our strategy. We named the brand ‘Advanced Research Clusters’ and distilled its essence and international aspiration into a memorable, ambition-raising line: “Creating a world network of science and innovation clusters.”

Owning cluster authority

This concept also inspired the visual language. Built on the principles of mathematical graph theory, its nodes and edges represent people, places, and the relationships and connections between them. It’s a vibrant, kinetic identity embodying the power of clustering. At its core, The Node and the ARC wordmarque represent Advance Research Clusters as a unified whole.

Creating ARC’s sub brands

The biggest challenge we faced was how to project the power of network membership without losing each cluster’s sense of place. The answer lay in binary, a method of mathematical expression. We discovered that everywhere in the world has a place-specific signature called a ‘plus code’ and found a way of turning these signatures into unique patterns using binary to create visual addresses that could be redesigned as marques for each cluster. This unlocked individuality as well as together representing the strength of a network. We created a tool to generate unique recognisable marques for each campus within the ARC network.

The value of membership

In a world of ‘drive in, drive out’ business parks, the communities at the heart of ARC’s clusters made this a leap forward in the way science thought about working. Our research revealed today’s scientists were also after mentorship, help with promotion and other vital needs absent from the usual landlord offer.

‘Creating a better world for scientists, not just science’ became the critical lens for everything we did. We positioned ARC as a partner, not a landlord, and its customers as members rather than tenants. A community magazine highlighted the size and power of the network and showed how ARC could act as a platform for profile, while articles on everything from clustering to serendipitous working celebrated ARC’s members and partners.

Building a better future for innovation

The ARC brand was built on the belief that supportive partnerships combined with dynamic innovation will find solutions for even the most critical challenges we face. As the world of science and innovation continues to evolve, ARC is poised to not only adapt, but thrive — and as its members thrive, so do we all.

“The ARC brand is outstanding — we're already having serious discussions with companies who I don’t think would have looked our way before. This new way of presenting ourselves is already making a real commercial difference."

Stuart Grant, CEO of ARC

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