Barclays is opening its second Eagle Lab in Scotland to support entrepreneurs in the North East of the country and drive innovation in the region. The space in Aberdeen will be based within the city’s new home of digital and entrepreneurship, the ONE Tech Hub, as part of the ONE Codebase incubator and will be open for business in September.
As one of Barclays’ flagship Labs for Industry 4.0, it will help North East entrepreneurs build on and diversify from the area’s natural strength in oil and gas, as well as unlock the potential of emerging technologies – such as the Internet of Things, advanced manufacturing and robotics – associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The Lab’s Maker Space will feature facilities for digital fabrication, 3D printing and laser cutting, and a range of electronics equipment. This will provide businesses with access to the tools they need to rapidly produce and test prototypes in a matter of hours rather than weeks, avoiding prohibitive costs or having to look overseas.
Entrepreneurs using the space will be supported by an ecosystem manager who will provide mentoring, create connections and share opportunities to help high growth businesses achieve their ambitions. A dedicated Eagle Lab engineer will also be available to offer technical expertise and advice to enable Industry 4.0 businesses to flourish. Barclays’ local business banking team in Aberdeen and specialist ‘high-growth’ managers will also be available to provide banking support.
The Barclays Eagle Lab network is one of the largest co-working and incubator networks for start-ups and scale-ups in the UK. With 25 locations across the country, Labs are spaces to help entrepreneurs and ambitious businesses collaborate, innovate and grow, nurturing and futureproofing skills and creating thriving ecosystems that will positively impact the economy locally, nationally – and even globally.
The facilities in Aberdeen will complement ONE CodeBase’s wider offering to provide a range of expert support for digital tech start-ups with unrivalled access to hot desks, co-working spaces, offices, meeting rooms and social areas. ONE CodeBase is a partnership between private-sector development body Opportunity North East (ONE) and the UK’s leading tech incubator CodeBase and sits at the heart of the digital community created by the ONE Tech Hub.
Stuart Brown, Head of SME Scotland at Barclays said: “Aberdeen has a wealth of businesses and entrepreneurs with ambitions, ideas and deep technical expertise who need access to the right resources and advice to help them start up and scale up. Opportunity North East and CodeBase share our vision for boosting economic prosperity and diversification through innovation and entrepreneurship. By working in collaboration, we can maximise the support we are able to offer business in the region.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing how and where we all work and the skills we need. Eagle Labs is committed to supporting the development of skills in entrepreneurship, innovation and in new and emerging technologies such as AI, data exchange, connected devices, advanced manufacturing and much more.”
Sir Ian Wood KT GBE, chair of ONE and ONE’s D&E sector board, said: “ONE has invested at pace to build a digital tech community and cluster and Barclays’ decision to open an Eagle Lab in Aberdeen is another strong endorsement of the region’s talent and potential and further evidence of the continued growth of the local digital scene.
“The Eagle Lab will be a unique addition to the ONE Codebase community which provides digital tech companies access to a range of mentors, investors, partners and on-site technical expertise to support company creation and scale-up.”
Derek Mackay MSP, Finance Secretary, said: “The Scottish Government’s vision is for Scotland to be a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation. We want to be the producers, the designers and the creators of world-changing innovations and not merely its consumers.
“I am delighted that Barclays are opening their second Eagle Lab in Scotland. This investment further demonstrates that the economic potential of Scotland’s people is well recognised.
“We are doing all we can to create a Scotland where growth and innovation go hand-in-hand with benefits to wider society and I am very pleased that Barclays is seeking to play such an active role in seeing this vision for Scotland delivered.”
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.