Cyber tech entrepreneur takes the birthplace of Charles Darwin from obscurity to global status


Louis-James Davis the cyber tech security entrepreneur and philanthropist founder of VST Enterprises Ltd – one of the UK’s leading cyber security technology companies – has stepped in to save the historical birthplace and childhood home of Charles Darwin, the eminent naturalist, geologist and biologist who defined the theory of evolution.

The Manchester based innovator and entrepreneur – who invented the VCode® and VPlatform® encryption software – was approached to help to rescue Darwin House in Shrewsbury from obscurity and dilapidation and to restore it as an important global asset.


Mount House a Georgian Grade II listed building located on the Mount in Shrewsbury, is of major national, historical and scientific importance as the birthplace of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution.

Louis-James Davis – one the UK’s youngest leading cyber tech innovators and a passionate philanthropist – agreed to buy the lease of the building and to develop a world class university facility and centre of excellence for global research and education in the natural sciences that fascinated Darwin for his entire life. Inspired by Darwin’s personal struggles and his thirst for knowledge, Louis-James was keen to secure the future of Darwin’s birthplace and childhood home to develop into something meaningful to future for generations, especially young people.

In acquiring the lease, Louis-James will not only have secured the future of this historic building for the next two centuries but will have ensured that Darwin’s legacy to natural sciences and its significance to the study of evolution and natural history continue to be championed around the globe. Equally as important The Darwin will become a centre of world class excellence, to inspire young people and develop the next generation of gifted scientists to follow in Darwin’s footsteps.

Louis-James Davis CEO of VST Enterprises and Founder of Davis Co Holdings Ltd said;

“I am delighted to be involved with The Darwin and to support the great work and vision of the team who introduced it, including Mike Marchant, who has been a passionate advocate of this project to bring a world class university and centre of excellence to Shrewsbury. Working with partners in science, technology, education and local communities, we intend to develop a wide range of content for a worldwide digital learning platform for people of all ages.

We are looking forward to working collaboratively with English Heritage, Shropshire Council and other bodies to restore this building of national and global importance.

As we are all encouraged to go green there is an ever-increasing global demand for scientists. We need to encourage a new generation of young people to become scientists, researchers and disruptors. People who understand how we use natural resources and challenge conventional thinking. By creating The Darwin we can encourage, support, and develop the coming generations of young scientists and ignite their greater interest in natural botany, zoology and geology.”

The Darwin will not only create inward investment to the region. It will also create many new jobs and boost tourism whilst also giving back the local community a building that celebrates and pays homage to the work of Charles Darwin.

Louis James added;


“In doing this we create the next generation of innovative thinkers and disruptors – making those bright minds available to industry and business. At the moment we are not supplying business with the right skills and knowledge to take their environmental responsibilities seriously. Universities are not delivering enough within their current academic framework for natural sciences. The political message and dependence on legislation to go green is not enough. We need to encourage and nurture great minds to become impassioned, to shape and educate the world with better knowledge combining science and technology. We need to establish an all-age digital platform for the natural sciences and use it to inspire future generations of young people and great minds like Darwin.”

With the future of Darwin House now secured and with Louis-James Davis as the founder of The Darwin it has already had far reaching overtones on the world stage with other like minded philanthropists. Such is the importance attached to this initiative with international audiences that it has already secured two offers of endowments from wealthy individuals alone worth over £500M. Those two donors share the same collective vision of helping young people to be enchanted by natural phenomena and to develop their skills as botanists, zoologists and geologists.

Mike Marchant co ordinator and curator for The Darwin said:

“We are delighted and thrilled that Louis had the shared vision and empathy for The Darwin initiative and stepped in to support the project. Darwin was a disruptor to conventional thinking and the sciences, challenging the way in which generations before him saw the world around them. Louis is very much a parallel modern day disruptor in cyber technology, challenging the conventional way in which we think and use technology to better the world we live in. It was a natural joining of minds.”

This substantial private philanthropy will also mean that there will be major economic and academic benefits to Shrewsbury and Shropshire from The Darwin’s planned summer schools, lecture series and other events that will attract international visitors. Working closely with English Heritage, the local council and various other bodies it is envisaged that work on Darwin House will be completed by late 2022, restoring the buildings and giving them a new, important purpose.

Mike Marchant added;

“We had been aware of Louis’ quiet but active support and philanthropy, sharing the benefits of his success with VCode, when we approached him concerning a global project that urgently needed a patron: The Darwin aimed to build an entirely new model of education in the natural sciences and had captured the imagination of organisations around the world but it needed someone with equal vision – and funds – to step in to buy the only place in the world suitable for the project’s base – the birthplace and childhood home of Charles Darwin.


A restored global asset; a new world-class university facility; young people globally becoming natural scientists; assured budgets and economic benefits. All from the willingness of Louis-James to share his success and to see that children across the world are inspired to become scientists and to help shape a better world.”

The Darwin will become a centre of educational activities involving voluntary organisations, community groups, schools and universities around the world in a digital network that will use VST Enterprises technology platform. It is expected that VCode® and VPlatform® will be at the heart of data security and that it will provide a unique and ground-breaking means of authenticating research data.”

Louis-James Davis and Nicole Davis are the Manchester based tech entrepreneurs behind VST Enterprises Ltd through their family backed holding company Davis Company Holdings Ltd. Louis-James was the innovator who created the VCode® widely seen as the cyber technology equivalent to human DNA for its unique traceability and secure encrypted application.

The unique “VCode®” and “VPlatform®” technology allows genuine users to authenticate themselves in a secure and encrypted way across online transactions and interactions. The company is paving the way in financial technology, counterfeiting, anti piracy, financial authentication and secure ID services.

VSTE counts some of the biggest global brands and blue chip companies in its client base in the banking and financial services sector, retail, fashion apparel and high end luxury consumer goods brands. Each of these organisations and companies uses VCode® in its business operations to authenticate identity, financial transactions, supply chain management, marketing, sales and promotion campaigns.


Last year VSTE CEO and founder Louis-James Davis was named as the new Science & Technology Ambassador to the Zimbabwean Government by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The ambassadorship was granted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He will be presented to the President of Zimbabwe in an official ceremony later this year to be attended by Ministers and Government officials. VSTE is now actively providing technology in the country to help with the economic recovery of Zimbabwe. The company will be implementing VCode® to tackle illegal mining, counterfeiting and issues with border control, as well as introducing identity cards and tax collection for informal businesses to provide life-changing benefits – such as new infrastructure, schools and a boost in the economy – for the entire population.

Earlier this month Louis-James Davis and his wife Nicole Davis were appointed as ambassadors to CODE NATION a computer coding and programmingschool in Manchester. Louis and Nicole are behind a joint campaign to champion and nurture both male and female future code breakers and code makers in Manchester. Nicole Davis is also specifically behind a campaign to educate and encourage women into STEM and in particular cyber technology.