Barclays has selected Discovery Park in Kent as the home for its next Eagle Lab, which will open later this year.
The lab will help facilitate collaboration between the Life Sciences and Technology sectors, with the aim of driving development of a community base focused on clean energy, agri-tech and addressing future challenges in healthcare.
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 intended to help entrepreneurs and ambitious businesses collaborate, innovate and grow.
Jane Kennedy, Chief Business Officer at Discovery Park, said: “Discovery Park is home to over 160 companies, with a significant proportion of these working in science and technology-based businesses.
“We’re incredibly excited to welcome the new Barclays Eagle Lab to Discovery Park which will provide a fantastic opportunity for collaboration and innovation among the Life Sciences and Technology sectors. We have real aspirations of creating a tech cluster at Discovery Park and this partnership with Barclays will help us achieve this. “
With recent YouGov figures reporting that almost 70 per cent of Life Sciences companies are either already collaborating with a tech software partner or expect to in the near future, the lab will support for existing companies while offering an incentive for rapidly growing organisations to join the network.
Jon Hope, Director of Barclays Eagle Labs, said: “We’re really excited to partner with Discovery Park and bring the first Eagle Lab to Kent. We’ll bring our Eagle Labs philosophy to Sandwich helping to provide start-ups and scale-ups a home and fostering the connections to help them grow, as well as the new facility furthering our support for the region’s entrepreneurs.”
One of seven Life Science Opportunity Zones in the UK, Discovery Park is a 220-acre science and technology park which offers laboratory, office and manufacturing facilities. The site currently employs around 3,500 people. It offers access to financing and has strong links to the local scientific talent pool.
The park has been home to Pfizer since the 1950s, which has helped build the site’s reputation as a centre for global drug discovery. Many of Pfizer’s key business components are based at Discovery Park, including Pharmaceutical Sciences, Safety and Regulatory, Medical, quality assurance and wider business support functions.
Melissa Hanna-Brown, Senior Director, Global External Strategic Innovation Lead, at Pfizer, said: “Fostering incubation development is critical to support start-up companies to achieve future success.
“For Pfizer, being able to access and tap into new innovative approaches to life science development on our doorstep is vital as we continue to drive our purpose of delivering breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. We look forward to working with Discovery Park as they forge this exciting new relationship with Barclays Eagle Labs.”