Founded in 1960 by three Cambridge graduates – Tim Eiloart, 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," 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.
Initially, the company was privately run. In January 1972, it became part of Arthur D. Little (ADL), an 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 product development capabilities to the 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 the end of 2016.
The current CEO of Cambridge Consultants is Alan Richardson, first appointed in July 2012.
On June 16, the company entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Synapse, a product development company based in Seattle.
Cambridge Consultants' work spans a range of different industry sectors.
Within the medical technology industry, it has the 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 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:The first single-chip Bluetooth device, which was spun out to create Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR plc), now the market leader in Bluetooth chips
Innovative product development and technology consultancy services are also provided. 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 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.
As of 2015, the company employs of around 500 staff including 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 2013, the company was named Employer of the Year in the Cambridge News Business Excellence Awards.
Since 2014, the company has achieved a place in The Sunday Times 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work For.