Supplier of computer servers for world-famous scientific experiment moves to Coventry in expansion drive

Pictured (from left): Piotr Sobstyl, Mark Tock, and Martin Williams inside Format Ltd’s new office at the Vanguard Centre

A computer server supplier which counts one of the most world’s largest scientific experiments as a major client has made a move to Coventry – and is looking to grow rapidly.

Format Ltd, originally from Poland, programmes and assembles servers for high performance computing (HPC) clients, which typically involve high demands on processing power and data storage.

It currently supplies servers and data storage to CERN, which operates the 27km Large Hadron Collider under Switzerland and France.

The underground collider smashes subatomic particles together at close to the speed of light in order to simulate the conditions found fractions of a second after the Big Bang, widely considered to have given birth to the Universe.

Format’s servers are used to rapidly capture and process data from these collisions, which will allow CERN to draw more accurate conclusions from its experiments.

Following this success, Format has just moved to the Vanguard Centre, part of the University of Warwick Science Park, not only to grow its presence in the UK market but to use it as a base to reach out to customers across the globe.

Piotr Sobstyl, director of Format Ltd, said: “While Format had achieved great success in Poland, including securing the original contract with CERN, our ability to truly tap into a global market was somewhat limited.

“We began to research our options, and a lot of signs pointed to the UK as being a better place to base ourselves. However, we were unsure what the next steps were in getting ourselves over there.”

During the pandemic, Piotr signed up to a trade webinar hosted by the British Embassy, where he met Martin Williams, Managing Director of EBS – a firm that specialises in helping foreign-owned companies move into the UK, based at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Warwick Innovation Centre.

Martin said: “It was clear that Format Ltd had a lot of potential to tap into the UK market.

“There are a lot opportunities available here, and the UK’s ability to reach foreign through the British Embassy’s network of trade connections is incredibly attractive.

“This is especially true for trading across the Atlantic with the likes of the USA. It is more difficult for companies in the EU to access that market, but UK-based companies with the credentials of Format have a much easier time doing so.

“After speaking to Piotr and assessing his needs, we recommended the University of Warwick Science Park as a place to move to due to its flexibility in terms of office space, its links to the University, and its central location.”

Piotr added: “Being based at the Science Park will allow us to grow Format in a way that we have not been able to do before. We are confident that we will not only continue to do fantastic work with CERN, but to start relationships with many other HPC clients in the UK and around the world.

“We are hoping to recruit around 10 highly skilled software and electronic engineers to help Format grow over the next three years, and with the talent coming out of the University, we think we will be able to fill these roles quickly.”

Mark Tock, Chief Operations Officer at the University of Warwick Science Park, added: “We’re so pleased that such a high-achieving company has chosen to base itself here at the Science Park.

“Our connections to the best graduates at the University make the Science Park very attractive to companies such as Format, and we are looking forward to helping the company achieve its ambitious goals.”