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The Biggest Innovation Facility of its Kind in Wales


Cardiff Uni

sbarc | spark will house both Cardiff [email protected] and the world’s first social science research park (SPARK), creating a unique facility where world-class expertise sits alongside commercial and public innovation. 

The biggest innovation facility of its kind in Wales provides: 

  • Physical space for external collaborators, start-ups, spinouts and enterprise. 
  • Creative space to support inter-disciplinary research and impact; and 
  • A home to 13 key social science research groups from SPARK comprising 400+ experts from disciplines across the University. 

sbarc |spark provides an outstanding environment for researchers to co-locate with external organisations alongside entrepreneurs, knowledge-based SMEs, start-ups and innovators.  

Its unique combination of co-located researchers, research users and stakeholders from the private, public and third sectors working together to produce commercial and public value will mark out Cardiff University’s approach to the societal challenges of our time. 

  • Cardiff [email protected] will be the University’s ‘front door’ for business, providing enterprise expertise, engagement activities and events that drive innovation.  Space will be let commercially to organisations involved in translational collaborations with University research groups. Cardiff [email protected] will act as a landing space for inward investments to the Cardiff Capital Region. Its location alongside the Translational Research Hub (TRH) will enhance opportunities for industrial and commercial interaction.  
  • SPARK co-locates our best applied researchers alongside key external organisations working in a collaborative, transdisciplinary problem-focused manner to translate world-leading research into real world solutions and interventions.  SPARK will advance a ‘social laboratory’ approach to research and innovation activities, providing a step-change in the capacity of the social sciences to undertake collaborative and interdisciplinary research with STEM researchers and external research stakeholders. It builds directly on Cardiff’s collaborative projects with external organisations, including the WCPP (funded by the Welsh Government and the ESRC) and the Public Services Innovation Lab (funded by NESTA and the Welsh Government).  SPARK will play a key role on matters such as policy formation and alignment, and political and public understanding of social science and its applications.  
  • sbarc | spark will be the focal point of the Innovation System developments and will provide a range of social and collision spaces to enable serendipitous behaviour and outcomes. Researchers from nearby buildings including the TRH, Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, Cardiff Business School and Hadyn Ellis are expected to use the space. Exhibition, meeting and conference space will be available supported by eating, drinking and networking spaces.  

Cardiff Innovation Campus has been developed in partnership with strategic partners including the UKRPIF, UKRI (SIPF), HEFCW, Welsh Government, Welcome Trust, ESRC, ERDF, ESF, CSA Catapult, EPSRC, Wolfson, DSV (RemakerSpace), NESTA, Cardiff Capital Region, Future Generations Commissioner, Public Health Wales, Social Care Wales, NIHR and MRC