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Building connections, growing the community

Monday

Monday started a week that was cold and frosty, but the atmosphere in the Lab was full of energy and excitement! Our Lab manager, Harry and technician, Sharon were joined by cyber and information security student Nathan, as part of his work experience placement.

Nathan was introduced to our resident businesses and the Maker Space as he gained an overview of how the Lab enables collaborative innovation and digital empowerment for all. He then focused on finding out more about digital fabrication through learning about 3D printing with Mork and Mindy. He was able to see how the Maker Space supports rapid prototyping as customers called in to collect a 3D printed prototype and to watch test pieces laser cut onto cardboard.

The afternoon was an opportunity to find out about emerging technologies and how the Lab builds relationships in the local community. First a group visit from Kings Education Enterprise group; 8 international students who are exploring developing their own products alongside their current studies. After enjoying VR experiences on the HTC Vive the group discovered how the Lab can support them in protecting what they know, product design and prototyping and routes to generate funding.

The evening brought a lively and informative series of talks as PHP Dorset held their regular meet-up in the lab, accompanied by pizza. A local user group, open to all, these front end developers are sharing knowledge and building their community. Mobile App Development company WeAreBase provided the speakers as Jonathan Ginn shared his enthusiasm for Flexbox, while Dave Hulbert compèred an open discussion.

Tuesday

Started bright and early as Ross ‘The Cyberman’ Martin presented Cyber @ Eagle
Labs
; a breakfast workshop giving businesses an introduction to Cyber Security and the opportunity to begin to learn about how to protect themselves and their employees from cyber attacks. The audience included 12 businesses who were visiting the lab for the first time.

Harry was in London, sharing practise and exploring new ways to support high potential and high growth businesses. Meanwhile, the maker space was busy once again with 3 SIDED CUBE laser etching personalised mugs and 3D printers again working on prototype designs.

As our hard-working resident businesses began to think about a well deserved evening meal, Ellie arrived to set up for the first of three MakerClub sessions in the week. MakerClub is built on the founding principle that practical technology and digital literacy are fundamental to becoming a successful member of today’s and tomorrow’s society. By teaching through project work, members are equipped with essential invention skills like research, design, prototyping and iteration, and develop key learning and life skills like resilience, collaboration, analysis and evaluation.

Wednesday

Brought the return of the Bournemouth and Poole College Enterprise and Entrepreneurship course. Having started the academic year with a day learning about stocks and shares, BBC micro:bit coding and rapid prototyping at the Lab, they have reached the point where they need to pull together business plans and plan their pitch. Supported by Di Trott and Emma Farrell from the Barclays Premier team, the group spent the morning working with these mentors to develop and organise their ideas. A busy session was rounded up with an opportunity to ask questions and explore opportunities to further their knowledge with sessions at the Lab.

The pace didn’t stop as the Barclays content team from Speak Media visited to see how Eagle Labs combine community education and co-working with a range of facilities for budding inventors and innovators. Laura, Laura and Geoff quickly got involved as the group from The College relaxed with some VR and Pete joined Sharon in the Maker Space for a machine induction and CAD design session. 
 
Once again, the Maker Space was busy with customers printing prototype kitchen drawer clips and laser etching coasters to welcome a new client. Sharon also spent some time printing items for MakerClub who held their second session of the week in the evening.

Making connections is important to the lab, and Harry enjoyed the Femtech fireside panel at StartUp Grind Bournemouth.

Thursday

Brought more new businesses into the Lab, and provided opportunities for co-working residents to participate in workshops. The first of these was a Research and Development Tax Credits seminar organised by Mark Walker, High Growth & Entrepreneur Business Manager and presented by Rob Sowden of GGTC.

As this progressed, Sharon visited a local school to introduce a year 8 class to rapid product development and branding as part of their Business and ICT Dragon’s Den project. It was clear from their questions that this years presentation evening will be as exciting and innovative as previous competitions.

We were delighted to welcome both Zunelle and LightIn back into the Maker Space for machine bookings as they fulfil new orders.

Despite the cold, the evening saw a rapt audience as Chris from Luv4Marketing presented a workshop focused on how to know and deliver your USP. Supported by Steve Allanson, Barclays Business Manager, participants had the opportunity to network and find out more about how Eagle Labs nurture resident businesses.

Friday

Dorset County Council Economic Regeneration Officer Lloyd Savage and his colleagues joined us as part of their research into work innovation hubs on Friday. Their tour focused on how Barclays are re-purposing under-utilised space and how this feeds into and strengthens the local economy.

That Friday feeling was evident as co-workers and Labs staff gathered for pizza at lunchtime and shared highlights of the week. It’s great to hear each story as important business and personal goals are reached.

Before the Maker Space was made ready for the final MakerClub session of the week on Saturday, Sharon completed some outstanding jobs on the laser cutter; fabulous business cards for a special event next week and commemorative boats for the Jubilee Sailing Trust Round Britain Voyage.

“There are some very inspiring people both in terms of staff and people visiting the Eagle Lab to develop their ideas – and some really impressive work going on, which was great to experience at first-hand.”

- Geoff Chang, Speak Media

Bournemouth Eagle Lab

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Close up of  a 3D printer

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