Join us for the virtual launch of AVIATE+ which will support innovative small companies in the AvTech sector to scale and thrive.

Cranfield University has been designated as a University Enterprise Zone (UEZ) by Research England and awarded £1.2 million, enabling the development of the new AVIATE+ facility to support the growth of an AvTech-focused business cluster. The clustering of innovative companies, along with the advantages and benefits of co-location with the University, will create a dynamic environment for AvTech companies to scale and thrive.

Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university, situated in the heart of the Oxford-Cambridge-Milton Keynes Arc and within the SEMLEP region. The region is at the forefront of the future of flight aerospace sector deal, which aims to make the UK a leader of hybrid-electric and electric propulsion and exploit related new markets such as drones and urban air mobility vehicles.

The University is renowned for its world-class research and facilities. It is the number one university in Europe for aerospace with its own global research airport on site. It has unrivalled links with industry and long-term partnerships with leaders in the sector including Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing and Rolls-Royce.

AVIATE+ will operate alongside Cranfield’s established Eagle Lab which was set up in partnership with Barclays to incubate early-stage companies in the AvTech sector. AVIATE+ will support companies as they move further along their growth journey and will provide private workshop space, a fully equipped makerspace, co-working-desks, tailored business advice, introductions to investors and help to access the University’s cutting-edge expertise and graduate talent.

With technology developing at pace, Cranfield University is in an ideal position to accelerate innovation in aviation. AVIATE+ will offer a number of membership options to support small firms who have high-growth potential in this sector and bring to fruition the technology of tomorrow.

Event Programme

9:30-9:55am Dr Christine Thompson - Director of Research and Innovation, Cranfield University
Paul Scully MP - UK Government Minister for Small Business
Hilary Chipping – Chief Executive, SEMLEP
Cllr Richard Wenham – Leader, Central Bedfordshire Council
9:55-10:25am Cranfield University, world-class expertise and facilities to support your business

Professor Iain Gray - Director of Aerospace, Cranfield University
Dr Stephanie Hussels - Director of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship, Cranfield University
Dr Adrian Cole - Programme Manager DARTeC, Cranfield University

10:25-11:00am Cranfield University Enterprise Zone and AVIATE+, incubation and grow on support

Veronica Rigby - Business Development Manager AVIATE+, Cranfield University and the cluster and business support team

11:00-11:15am Break
11:15am-12:00pm Company collaborations showcase

Herotech8 - Edward Anastassacos, CEO
114ai - Vinayak Dalmia, Director
MIME Technologies - Anne Roberts CEO
SAMAD Aerospace – Seyed Mohseni CEO
QudSAT– Joakim Espeland CEO

12:00-12:45pm Funding and support for your business

Rob Desborough – Seraphim Space Fund, Partner and CEO Seraphim Space Camp
Lewis Stringer - British Business Bank, Senior Manager UK Network – East & South-East Midlands
Wil Benton - ATI Boeing Accelerator, Venture and Ecosystem Director
Dr Sandra Messenger - Knowledge Exchange Manager RIO Cranfield University
Kamran Hussein - Knowledge Transfer Advisor, KTN
Vicky Hlomuka – Growth Hub Manager SEMLEP
Liz Boadi – Ecosystem Manager, Cranfield Eagle Lab
Veronica Rigby - Business Development Manager AVIATE+, Cranfield University

12:45-1:00pm Round up and close

Who should attend

Entrepreneurs, businesses, suppliers and partners looking to engage with Cranfield’s Aerospace and AvTech cluster.


Free to join.

How to register

Register now to hear more about AVIATE+ and the team behind it on 22 June.