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Barclays announces the launch of its latest Eagle Lab – the Eagle Lab at Plexal. Based at the Plexal innovation centre, located at the Here East campus in east London, the space is the flagship Lab for Industry 4.0 and will help entrepreneurs unlock the potential of the emerging technologies – such as the Internet of Things, Advanced Manufacturing, and Robotics – associated with the fourth industrial revolution, known commonly as Industry 4.0.

The Barclays Eagle Lab network is one of the largest co-working and incubator networks for start-ups and scale-ups in the UK. The Labs are spaces to help entrepreneurs and ambitious businesses collaborate, innovate and grow - effectively skills factories for the UK.

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.

Barclays’ local business banking teams and specialist ‘high-growth’ managers are also available to provide banking support to companies and entrepreneurs. 

The facilities will complement those already provided by Plexal, which is home to over 700 entrepreneurs. Plexal is a co-working space and innovation centre, which features a 68,000 sq ft workspace for members and has its own innovation team that’s focused on three key areas: cybersecurity, mobility and inclusion. Many of Plexal’s existing members, such as Valkyrie and Massless, will take desk space in the Eagle Lab. In addition, all Plexal members will enjoy free access to the lab as guidance from the team. 

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.”

Two companies at the forefront of Industry 4.0 are already benefitting from Eagle Lab at Plexal, Valkyrie Industries and Massless. Valkyrie Industries is developing a universal technology of touch (haptics) for virtual simulations. Its proprietary wearable tool allows developers to create more impactful virtual simulations to allow richer content creation such as training, touch before you buy and applied engineering applications. 

Kourosh Atefipour, CEO & Cofounder of Valkyrie said: “The support and infrastructure provided by Barclays Eagle Labs has been instrumental in our core R&D activities in building groundbreaking innovations within the VR and AR industry. Having the space to quickly build new design iterations and deploy them for testing in the same day is a luxury that every hardware startup needs to acknowledge.”

Jack Cohen, CEO and Founder of Massless added: “We started Massless to dramatically improve the way professionals interface with the digital world. We believe the experience can be easier, faster and more intuitive. Our products include the Massless Pen for precise and intuitive input in 2D & 3D and Massless Studio design platform for collaborative creation and review inside or outside of VR. Massless is in use by world leaders in film, animation and product design. 

The Eagle Lab in Plexal has been a one of a kind workspace for Massless to design, prototype, test and assemble the Massless Pen. The Eagle Labs team have been very supportive, knowledgeable and helpful for Massless and share our vision for creating better tools for design and engineering.”   

The opening of Eagle Lab at Plexal follows the creation in 2018 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, businesses and Barclays – and is responsible for growing the Eagle Lab network.

Eagle Lab at Plexal

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