Plexal Here East

Entrepreneurs welcome at Barclays’ latest Eagle Lab at Plexal, East London

Image credit: Plexal

Barclays has announced its latest ‘Eagle Lab’ at Plexal, East London, as a place for the capital’s entrepreneurs and businesses to collaborate, innovate and grow.

One of 24 such spaces that the bank has opened across the UK, Barclays’ Eagle Labs aim to work as incubators for new ideas, bringing together a community of likeminded entrepreneurs and providing them with access to a collaborative environment, peer networks and growth opportunities.

The focus is to help accelerate UK scale-ups and enable access to new and emerging ‘Industry 4.0’ technologies such as AI, blockchain, 3D printing, advanced manufacturing, robotics and the Internet of Things.

This latest iteration - the Eagle Lab at Plexal– is based at the Plexal innovation centre, located at the Here East campus in East London. Launched in 2017, Plexal is designed as a mini-city, with its own indoor park, high street, indoor street food and a prototyping workshop. The various startup and scaleup members of Plexal’s workspace benefit from a comprehensive programme of events and in-house professional services.

Plexal was also appointed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to deliver the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA), a three-year innovation programme aimed at scaling the cyber-security solutions needed most by industry.

Eagle Lab at Plexal includes a workshop space, co-working desks, a maker space and a dedicated Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality zone. Entrepreneurs using the space are supported by an Ecosystem Manager and a dedicated Lab Engineer who provide the technical expertise, mentoring and connections required for Industry 4.0 businesses to flourish.

Many of Plexal’s existing members, such as Valkyrie Industries (developing a universal technology of haptic touch for virtual simulations) and Massless (creators of the Massless Pen for more intuitive input in 2D and 3D interfaces), will take desk space in the Eagle Lab. All Plexal members will enjoy free access to the Lab, as well as guidance from the team. Barclays’ local business banking teams and specialist ‘high-growth’ managers are also available to provide banking support to companies and entrepreneurs.

Jon Hope, director Barclays Eagle Labs, said: “Plexal is an ideal location for our dedicated Industry 4.0 Eagle Lab and this new facility will further our investment in London’s entrepreneurs. The fourth industrial revolution is changing how and where we all work and the skills we need. Eagle Labs is committed to supporting develop skills in entrepreneurship, innovation and in new and emerging technologies such as AI, data exchange, connected devices, advanced manufacturing and much more.

“As a partner, Plexal is as passionate as we are about helping London’s entrepreneurs to maintain their position at the forefront of technology.”

Andrew Roughan, managing director at Plexal, said: “It’s essential that everyone in society has the skills needed for Industry 4.0, so we’re excited and proud to be hosting Barclays’ flagship Eagle Labs right at the heart of our innovation centre. It’s hugely beneficial for our members to have access to the equipment in the lab, along with the expertise of the Barclays’ team. This is the start of an exciting journey, as we witness how our community of creatives, designers, engineers, coders and makers comes together to find new and innovative solutions.”

The opening of Eagle Lab at Plexal follows the creation in 2018 of a new business unit at Barclays called Barclays Ventures. Barclays Ventures has an independent mandate to deliver new customer experiences at pace and scale – ultimately driving growth for communities, businesses and Barclays – and is responsible for growing the Eagle Lab network.

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