Central Working White City, the company’s first university-linked shared workspace, will house around 400 growing businesses.
All members of the space will have access to Central Working’s wider network across eight UK sites, as well as Imperial’s extensive network of researchers, academics and other corporate partners.
The new site opens in the recently completed Translation & Innovation Hub (I-HUB) at Imperial College London’s White City Campus – a 23-acre research and innovation district for science, engineering, medicine and business in West London.
The 13 story I-HUB aims to drive forward the commercialisation and translation of research and innovation for the benefit of society by co-locating start-ups, entrepreneurs, and major corporations alongside Imperial’s academic community. Members of the new workspace will also have access to the I-HUB’s facilities for companies specialising in deep science and bioscience – where they will have the opportunity to collaborate with Imperial College researchers.
The first member to join Central Working White City was OGCI Climate Investments, a start up with $1billion of funding from major oil and gas companies to invest in technologies to reduce the emissions footprint of the oil and gas industry. OGCI Climate Investments will base itself from Central Working White City where it will leverage the UK’s innovative start-up community and Imperial’s access to world-leading researchers to accelerate deployment of low-emissions solutions.
Alongside the opening, Imperial and Central Working have announced the Scalable Business Award, providing five promising technology companies with support worth a combined £250,000. Successful applicants will receive a year of free office space, and all the guidance, business connections and advice that Central Working membership brings. The award is open for companies with teams of between two to five that are developing technology or a business that has the potential to transform an industry. Companies can apply via scalablebusinessawards.com.
Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, said: “London is a centre of excellence for education, research and innovation. Combined with a strong science base, first-class infrastructure, access to finance and ties with the business world, the capital is the best place for a business to grow.
“I’m really pleased to see Central Working launch its latest workspace in White City, which is further proof London is open to investment and innovative business ideas.”
Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital, said: ”Imperial’s White City Campus is at the heart of Europe’s fastest growing Innovation eco-system. It is the ideal environment for science, tech start-ups and scale-ups to thrive.
“The new Central Working facility in the Innovation Hub brings together entrepreneurs, researchers and industry partners – providing a vibrant co-creation workspace in central London.”
Grant Powell, Managing Director of Central Working, said: “This site exists to bridge the gap between the education and business communities, and with access to state of the art facilities and research, it’s the ideal location for cutting edge tech to thrive.
“Nurturing business is in Central Working’s DNA, so we’re tremendously proud to launch the Scalable Business Award, which will provide vital support to promising young companies. This programme goes beyond simply office space, and successful applicants will receive the day-to-day support and valuable business connections that Central Working is famous for.”
Dr Eulian Roberts, Chief Executive of Imperial College ThinkSpace, said: “Central Working and its members, both current and future, will have a unique opportunity to work alongside some of Europe’s best research teams, academics, start-ups and established businesses. This new community will provide a dynamic and evolving network of talent, innovation, discovery and resources from which companies at every stage of development will be able to benefit.”
Dr. Pratima Rangarajan, the newly appointed CEO of OGCI Climate Investments, said: “This site will provide an excellent base for OGCI Climate Investments, as we collaborate with London’s researchers and startups to develop innovative technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
“We believe we need to collaborate with the best and brightest, and at Imperial College London’s White City Campus we are well placed at the intersection of the scientific and business communities.”
The I-HUB is located on the north site of Imperial College London’s White City Campus, alongside research academic hubs fostering research in molecular sciences and biomedical engineering. As well as the new Central Working space, the I-HUB is home to a newly-opened incubator for lab-based start-up and spin-out companies, helping to translate research into new products and services. The wider campus will provide space for multidisciplinary academic research, commercial and research partners, and public areas for people to meet, mix and engage with Imperial’s work.