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Barclays today announces the launch of its latest Eagle Lab - the Eagle Lab at the Wood Centre for Innovation [WCFI] in partnership with The Oxford Trust.

Located on the east side of Oxford at the Wood Centre for Innovation at Stansfeld Park, Headington, the space is the flagship Lab for early stage science and technology companies aimed at supporting spinout scientists, university graduates and entrepreneurs in their quest of unlocking innovation and business potential. The sector focus is to help the UK define areas of real competitive advantage on the global stage through its emphasis on industries of the future.

The Barclays Eagle Labs network is one of the largest incubator network for start-ups and scale-ups in the UK, providing a platform to connect the UK's entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Labs are spaces to help entrepreneurs and ambitious businesses of all sizes, to access a broad range of skills to stimulate innovation, promote collaboration and enable skills development across a range of areas. 

Barclays now has a network of 25 labs including Oxford, which are aiding nearly 2,000 entrepreneurs to grow their businesses from the places where they live and work.

The Eagle Lab at WCFI will provide space for up to 40 entrepreneurs whilst offering use of the onsite facilities, including 28 permanent and 12 hot desks. An Ecosystem Manager and a dedicated Lab Manager will provide the technical expertise, mentoring and connections required for science and technology businesses to flourish and will support residents using the space. Residents will also benefit from access to the wider Eagle Labs support proposition, including the international 'Global Connect' programme, which provides tailored industry support for HealthCare, LawTech, AgriTech and funding solutions. 

Barclays' local business banking teams and specialist 'high-growth' managers are also available to provide banking support to companies and entrepreneurs in order to help them maximise and accelerate their growth.

The Eagle Lab will be open for business from March 2020 and businesses can register their interest in joining the community through the Eagle Lab website.

The facilities will complement those already provided by the Trust's Wood Centre for Innovation, which is uniquely located in fifteen acres of picturesque woodland boasting a wide range of flexible office space for science and tech businesses, business lounge, meeting and conference facilities and sector-specific business support. Since opening in May 2019, as a sister location to the Trust's Oxford Centre for Innovation (OCFI), several exciting tech businesses have taken up residence including medical AI-focused Ultromics. The centre is managed by Oxford Innovation - the UK's leading innovation centre specialists - who oversee 26 centres across the country, including five in Oxfordshire. All WCFI residents will enjoy free access to the Lab as well as guidance from the team.

Jon Hope, Director Barclays Eagle Labs, said: "Oxford is an ideal location for our first dedicated science and technology Lab and this new facility will further our support for Oxfordshire's entrepreneurs. The Science and technology sector is of increasing importance to us in our daily lives and the opening of our lab in Oxford will help continue to develop this capability."

"As a partner, The Oxford Trust is as passionate as we are about supporting Oxfordshire's entrepreneurs in maintaining their position at the forefront of innovation, particularly in the science and technology sector."

Steve Burgess, CEO, The Oxford Trust, said: "We are really pleased to partner with Barclays to launch an Eagle Lab at our new Wood Centre for Innovation (WCFI) at Stansfeld Park in Headington. This area of the city, widely known as 'The Hill', has a fast-growing life science, medtech, digital health and data sciences community. The Eagle Lab's focus on incubating businesses in science and tech closely aligns with the Trust's strategy to encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise in the region."

The opening of the new Eagle Lab 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.

Eagle Lab at WCFI

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