The UK’s largest innovation centre, Plexal, based at Here East on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, was designed and built in a record-breaking 12 months and opened by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and CEO, Claire Cockerton, in June 2017.
Since opening it has grown a community of deep tech innovators and become a beacon of attractive, high-value innovation spaces – designed to support entrepreneurs and large organisations to explore technology’s new frontiers.
The £13.5million deal for the London Cyber Innovation Centre ensures that Plexal is on the technology map for years to come, and that cyber security is integrated into business-building and innovation activities.
Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East, commented: “In such a short space of time we have delivered a truly world-class centre for innovation and tech, built on the wider Here East campus for creativity, commerce and education. Already two thirds of the Here East space is taken by a blend of high-quality organisations, including the London Cyber Innovation Centre. 2018 and beyond will be about further cementing this position on the world stage.”
Claire Cockerton commented: “I always believed Plexal would be a success because of our inspirational location and the deep pool of technology talent in the UK – but the business has grown and stabilised faster than anticipated, and it is now time for a new challenge. The success of Plexal is a tribute to the talented and passionate team, which has in turn created a diverse and exciting community to be part of and proud of.”
As Plexal moves into its second year ready to cement its position as a world leading innovation centre, Claire Cockerton will step down to pursue new ventures. Prior to joining Plexal, Claire founded a number of innovation centers, accelerators and enterprises that have made a significant contribution to London’s tech scene, including Level39, Innovate Finance, Cognicity and Plexiglass (for female founders). Her launch of Plexal cements her reputation as one of the UK’s most active entrepreneurs in developing innovation centres.
Here East and Plexal extend their huge thanks to Claire for her commitment to establishing and building Plexal. A new CEO will be appointed in due course. In the meantime, Andrew Roughan, COO of Here East, will act on an interim basis to oversee the ongoing growth of Plexal.