Knowledge Networks: London and the Ox-Cam Arc
Here East is London’s campus for technology and innovation, home to a thriving community of start-ups, global corporates, creative businesses, and academic institutions. At the heart of Here East is Plexal, an innovation centre and co-working space for startups to grow and collaborate with the full spectrum of the UK tech ecosystem. Every company based within Plexal, and every programme they run, is designed to ensure technology has a positive impact on society.
Here East is a catalyst for growth and London’s fastest growing innovation campus. Located at the heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, it is a launchpad for innovation and is recognised as the most successful post-Olympic transformation of an International Press and Broadcast Centre in the world. The campus provides over 1.2 million square feet of versatile space which encourages cross-sector collaboration and helps foster a tight community.
Here East is home to three of the fastest growing clusters in the capital: esports, mobility and the creative sectors. Tenants include: BT Studios, Plexal, Fiit.tv, Sports Interactive, Ford Smart Mobility, Studio Wayne McGregor, MATCHESFASHION and The Trampery on the Gantry who provide 21 studios for local artists and designers. The campus is home to over 4,500 academics and innovators, and is designed to foster collaboration, allowing tenants to scale and grow at pace. In addition to this, Here East recently launched East London Innovators — an initiative to form and foster an impactful community network across East London and shine a light on the innovative people and companies across the area. The initiative now has 100 members and is growing.
At the centre of Here East lies Plexal — an innovation centre and co-working space which is home to some of London’s most innovative companies. Collaboration runs through Plexal’s approach to innovation, which is defined by the connections it forges between industry, academia, investors and start-ups to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society.
Plexal also delivers the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) — an innovation programme, backed by DCMS, which aims to scale the UK’s most prominent cybersecurity companies and make the internet safer for everyone. In addition to its work in the cybersecurity sector, Plexal also specialises in supporting innovation in mobility and social inclusion. As part of its social inclusion arm, Plexal delivered OpenDoor, an accelerator focused on scaling technology solutions that make society and our economy more inclusive, with specific emphasis on addressing the challenges of under-represented groups.
Here East and Plexal work hand in hand to foster collaboration and innovation across and within the companies that are based there.
‘If we, as a global community, are going to make definitive progress against the challenges we currently face, from climate change to cybersecurity, we must embrace cross-sector collaboration. The approach must be universally embraced & take place across every level of our industries; between businesses big and small, central government and local authorities, academic researchers and scientists. This collaborative approach is not always straightforward; after all, each sector will have competing considerations. From my experiences at Here East, I find that where we convene these diverse groups, all are eager to collaborate and strive together to find real-world solutions.’
Gavin Poole, CEO, Here East