Cambridge Consultants

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Cambridge Consultants
Private (Private company)
Industry Product Developers and Technology Consultants
Founded 1960
Headquarters Cambridge, United Kingdom
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Number of employees

Cambridge Consultants is a global product development and technology consultancy firm. It provides outsourced research and development services to start-ups and blue-chip multinationals that need to develop innovative products.


Founded in 1960 by three Cambridge graduates – Tim Eiloart,[1] Rodney Dale, and David Southward – to "put the brains of Cambridge University at the disposal of the problems of British industry and to provide solutions to real world problems,"[2] Cambridge Consultants was one of the UK's first technology transfer businesses. The early work laid the foundations for what is now known as the Cambridge Phenomenon or Silicon Fen. Indeed, most of the high-tech companies in and around the city of Cambridge can trace their roots back to either Cambridge University or Cambridge Consultants.[3]

Initially, the company was privately run. In January 1972, it became part of Arthur D. Little, the American management consultancy firm, gaining professional management support and access to international markets. Cambridge Consultants remained part of Arthur D Little until 2001. In 2002, the management team at Cambridge Consultants acquired the company, backed by Altran, Europe's largest technology consultancy, following ADL's process through Chapter 11.

Despite the early difficulties witnessed by many technology companies at the turn of the millennium, Cambridge Consultants continued to grow. This included the launch of a US office in Boston in September 2004.

In April 2013, the company announced its expansion into Asia, with the opening of an office in Singapore. The new office has been set up to deliver innovative product development capabilities to the rapidly growing Asian market and build on existing clients based in countries such as Australia and Japan as well as Singapore.

Having grown year on year over the past decade, Cambridge Consultants is looking to increase its global workforce to 600 by 2016.

Current business[edit]

Cambridge Consultants building in the Cambridge Science Park in April 2011.

Cambridge Consultants' work spans a range of different industry sectors.

Within the medical technology industry, it has the experience and capability to develop products and technology for drug delivery (respiratory, transdermal, injection, etc.), clinical diagnostics and life science instrumentation (both lab-based and point-of-care devices), surgical and interventional devices, wireless medical technology (both inside and outside the body) and provide medical business consulting services.

It acts as an independent partner for advice, ideas and the rapid development of innovative wireless products and technology. The company has one of the world's largest independent wireless product development teams combined with state-of-the-art labs and extensive intellectual property and expertise. Through the development of chips to complete products, Cambridge Consultants is active in the majority of wireless technologies available today, from satellite and WiMAX to ZigBee, UWB and NFC. It is responsible for many 'world firsts' in wireless communication, including:

Innovative product development and technology consultancy services are also provided in the energy industry, and for industrial and consumer products. Application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are also developed. Many of the ASIC projects undertaken make use of its own XAP processor core. Projects it has been involved in include Prism 200, an advanced handheld through-wall radar, and the open standard Universal Metering Interface (UMI) for smart metering.

Cambridge Consultants as a technology consultant advises companies on market strategy, transaction support and innovation management, especially where complex technology is involved. Consultants and analysts carry out technical and commercial due diligence for clients around the world, and provide expert reports for companies listed on the UK stock market. Using a range of bespoke consulting tools, it helps organisations to better manage ideas, and to prepare more effectively for future market scenarios.

Offices and facilities[edit]

As of 2013, the company employs about 380 engineers, scientists, mathematicians, consultants, analysts and support staff in Cambridge (UK), Boston (USA) and Singapore.

In-house facilities include:

  • 100,000 sq ft of development laboratories in Cambridge(UK) and Cambridge(MA)
  • design studios and virtual prototyping tools
  • advanced proprietary software development tools
  • advanced specialist laboratories such as optics, radar, radio and life sciences
  • secure facilities for confidential projects
  • rapid prototyping facilities including a machine shop with CNC, electronic production, fabrication and low-volume production capability
  • a proprietary document management system
  • integrated management systems embracing safety, health, environment and quality, certified to ISO 14001, ISO 9001, ISO 13485 and TickIT (software) by BSI


In 2009, Cambridge Consultants was awarded a prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category, in recognition of the strong growth of its export business.

In 2011, it was awarded a second Queen's Award for Enterprise, this time in the Innovation category, for its groundbreaking through-wall radar, Prism 200.

In 2013, the company was named Employer of the Year in the Cambridge News Business Excellence Awards.[4]


Cambridge Consultants has created more than 20 new ventures in the past 25 years, several of which have gone on to achieve listing on the London Stock Exchange, namely Domino, Xaar, Prelude Trust, CSR plc and Vivid (sold to Vectura Group). Other successful spin-offs include Alphamosaic and Inca, which have subsequently been acquired by Broadcom for $123 million and Dainippon Screen for €43.8 million, respectively. Both sales were achieved within five years of the companies being formed. The company's latest spin-out, Aveillant, aims to mitigate the conflict caused between air-traffic control and the loss of signal incurred above and around wind farms.

External Video Links[edit]


  1. ^ "Altruistic city pioneer passes away, aged 72". 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  2. ^ Jeanette Walker, Cambridge: Europe's leading location for biotechnology, Drug Discovery Today 10(14), 956-959, 2005.
  3. ^ Yupar Myint, CfEL "The effect of social capital in new venture creation: the Cambridge high-technology cluster", Journal of Strategic Change, 21 June 2005
  4. ^ "Cambridge News Business Excellence Awards". 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Dale, Rodney (1979) From Ram Yard to Milton Hilton: A History of Cambridge Consultants Ltd, 1960-1979, 36 pp. Cambridge: Cambridge Consultants Ltd
  • Dale, Rodney (2010) From Ram Yard to Milton Hilton: Cambridge Consultants - the early years, 120 pp. Haddenham, Cambridgeshire: Fern House Publishing, ISBN 978-1-902702-24-7

External links[edit]