This week, the UK’s first dedicated hardware incubator programme launched at its new base, the Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes. The Central Research Laboratory (CRL) is housed in the former home of EMI – the birthplace of records by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and aims to replicate EMI’s passion for creativity, innovation and success.
Leading voices that are shaping today’s hardware revolution convened at the CRL in front of an audience of 180 to discuss the role of the Laboratory, the pitfalls and opportunities that abound in financing hardware and how the industry can support and deliver on product innovation in the UK.
Investors Olivier Huez from C4 Ventures, Jonathan Keeling of Crowdcube, Tim Stone of Breed Reply and Simon Menashy from MMC Ventures spoke on the bright future in store for the UK’s hardware market.
The audience heard from resident companies – including Digital Kinematics, Deep Six and Animus Technologies – for the hardware showcase, which underlined the CRL’s broad church of novel ideas and products. Companies are based in fields as diverse as bionics to clean energy, music and underwater exploration.
Listening to speakers Bethany Koby, co-founder of Technology Will Save Us, Joachim Horn, founder of SAM Labs, Colin Richardson, founder of Cocoon and John Gahagan, the Regional Director for Northern Europe of SONOS gave a fundamental insight into the hardware landscape of today and showed that the CRL will be the home of the hardware revolution for years to come.