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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

Registration for this event has now closed.