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Video: Cardiff University’s ‘Home of Innovation’ tops out \

Cardiff University’s flagship innovation centre, now known as sbarc | spark, has been ‘topped out’ by Cardiff University and Bouygues UK.

Cardiff’s #HomeofInnovation

sbarc | spark brings together researchers, entrepreneurs, student start-ups and academic spinouts in a state-of-the-art building at the heart of Cardiff Innovation Campus.

Featuring commercial units, a visualisation centre, auditorium and fabrication lab, the hub provides the seedbed in which Wales can nurture and grow tomorrow’s big ideas as the UK recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, with dedicated space for student entrepreneurs.

It is the largest innovation facility of its kind in Wales, featuring 12,000m sq of floor space across six storeys, with commercial units and lab spaces for spinouts and start-ups.

Expert academics from 11 social science research groups - collectively known as SPARK - will share spaces with public, private and third sector partners to create, test and incubate fresh ideas that can help build a better society.

“Our committed investment in sbarc | spark brings hope of igniting new ways of working that can help Wales recover as lockdown eases. Working with Bouygues UK, we have been able to provide a space where collaborators, funders, business entrepreneurs and student-led enterprises can thrive, helping Wales emerge from the socio-economic downturn which will affect all our lives.”

Professor Colin Riordan Cardiff University President and Vice-Chancellor

Benefits to the local community

More than 70% of site contractors and labour are based locally, bringing economic benefits to Wales during the construction phase.

Up to 800 people will eventually work in sbarc | spark. In addition to bringing future economic and social benefits to Wales, the construction of this latest phase of the Campus has created immediate construction and supply chain jobs. To date, more than 1,000 people have been enrolled to work on the site.

The ground floor will be a public open space with a café, a flexible auditorium for TEDx style events and an open staircase – the 'Oculus' - designed to drive social engagements and collaborations within the building.

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