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How Cardiff Uni’s sbarc Building will Nurture Post-Pandemic Recovery


Cardiff Uni

sbarc | spark is Cardiff’s newest space for innovation, start-ups and spinouts. The largest facility of its kind in Wales will bring people together to grow partnerships and enterprise in a new centre – Cardiff [email protected]. Dr Dave Bembo, Director of Research and Innovation Services at Cardiff University, explains the benefits.

First, the building. Sbarc | spark has the facilities young enterprises need to flourish. Designed by award-winning architects Hawkins\Brown, it will help experts and entrepreneurs join forces to create, test and incubate new initiatives.

Featuring commercial units and wet and dry lab spaces for spinouts and start-ups, the building a visualisation centre, ideation spaces and creative areas to bring ideas to life.

Comprising of an impressive 17,500 sq.ft of dedicated space across four floors and an impeccable attention to detail in its designs, Cardiff University says that it is designed to be a stimulating environment for businesses to engage with everything the University has to offer and to flourish and grow.

To learn about the impact the sbarc Building will have on innovation in the Cardiff Capital Region, Business News Wales spoke with Dr. David Bembo, the Director of Research and Innovation Services at Cardiff University:

“I see sbarc as delivering far more than a cutting-edge incubator for new businesses. Bricks and mortar, glass and steel are the basic ingredients but this will be a hub for innovation, a gateway to accessing the University’s talent and expertise for the purposes of co-creating ideas and the co-delivery of research and development and the products and services of the future. Post-pandemic, Sbarc should be a bustling, stimulating and supportive environment and a melting pot of culture and ideation. I’d like visitors to come away with a sense that this is somewhere where they are welcome and where high aspirations are valued and lofty ambitions can be realized and made tangible.”

All units housed within the building are fully furnished and fully serviced – including cleaning, security, and reception services, along with 24/7 key card access, internet connectivity (speeds up to 500 Mbps), telephony services, 24-hour support, tea points and onsite café.

In addition to the hardware, our collaborators will have access to multidisciplinary academic talent. The Social Science Research Park (SPARK), which brings together 12 leading social science research centres, is co-located in sbarc | spark. The 400 SPARK experts specialise in a range of disciplines including health, crime and security, social and economic research, climate change and children’s social care.

sbarc | spark will be home to young minds with great ideas and new ways of working. Recent Cardiff University graduates and students will develop enterprise ideas and prototypes in the building.

Not only that. [email protected]sbarc will also be supported by professional support from my own department, Research and Innovation Services. We specialise in helping enterprise to thrive. We have a dedicated business support team and specialist knowledge across areas including intellectual property, bid writing, and technology transfer.

We maximise the impact of our research by actively working with organisations of every size from early stage fledgling start-up companies to large global corporations, not-for-profit and public organisations.

Combine all of the above with a ground-floor café selling good quality coffee – a perfect place to stimulate great ideas – and you’ll see why Cardiff [email protected]sbarc will be the perfect ‘melting pot’ for shaping new ideas.

You can listen to our full audio interview with David Bembo below:

If you’re interested in having a chat about working with Cardiff [email protected]sbarc, feel free to get in touch.

Due to open in autumn/ winter 2021, Cardiff Innovation Campus is located on Maindy Road, Cardiff.


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