The FINANCIAL — Barclays will launch an ‘AvTech’ Eagle Lab at Cranfield University, a co-working space for ambitious entrepreneurs to scale and grow, drawing on the University’s aerospace heritage stretching over 70 years.
Barclays and Cranfield University have announced a partnership to establish the first Eagle Lab dedicated to aviation technology, or AvTech, based on the University’s campus.
From December, the co-working and innovation space – one of the first cross-industry collaborations to accelerate the development of AvTech – will open for ambitious entrepreneurs in industry to scale and grow. Residents will benefit from business advice and mentoring from Barclays experts and access to world-class specialists and facilities at Cranfield University.
The Eagle Lab is the first step in the University’s ambitious aviation, innovation and entrepreneurship project which will create unique specialist enterprise facilities and programmes at Cranfield University to support start-ups and SMEs, particularly those with high-growth potential.
Located at the heart of campus, the Lab will be tailored to the aerospace and aviation community, drawing on the University’s global research airport.
Built on a former RAF base, Cranfield is one of only a few universities in the world to own and run its own airport, providing a unique facility that can further help start-ups and scale-ups as they develop and test their innovations.
The Lab will include over 60 desks laid out over two floors with a combination of private offices, meetings rooms, hot-desking and breakout spaces.
The ground floor will be home to a fully-stocked Maker Space, a facility to support rapid prototyping and product development with features like 3D printing and specialised AvTech equipment – all supported by dedicated Eagle Labs staff.
The launch of the Cranfield Eagle Lab follows the creation in April this year of a new business unit at Barclays called Barclays UK (BUK) Ventures. BUK Ventures has an independent mandate to deliver new customer experiences at pace and scale – ultimately driving growth for communities, business and Barclays – and is responsible for growing the Eagle Lab network.
The announcement is a continuation of Barclays’ commitment to growth for the wider region. Earlier this year, the bank launched a new £370m investment fund for SMEs in the Midlands to help generate sustainable economic growth across the area. The fund is working in tandem with the government’s Midlands Engine Investment Fund to boost the targets of supporting over 1,400 smaller businesses and creating around 3,800 new jobs.