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sbarc|spark celebrates its 2nd anniversary

20 March 2024

Sally O'Connor - SPARK Director of Operations, Emily Travis - SPARK Community Manager, and Alice Walden - Cardiff Innovations Business Support Officer surround by banners of sbarc|spark residents.

sbarc|spark celebrates its 2nd anniversary in spectacular style.

On 6 March sbarc|spark celebrated its 2nd anniversary with community activities and lightning talks taking place across the building.

The day kicked off with the inaugural ‘sbarc|spark games’, which saw participants working as teams to go head-to-head in a series of mental and physical challenges which paid homage to popular gameshows including ‘The Traitors’ and ‘Treasure Hunt’.

The games were followed by a series of thought-provoking lightning talks conducted by 15 sbarc|spark residents. The talks showcased the impactful research taking place in SPARK, as well as the innovative entrepreneurship being undertaken in Cardiff Innovations. The talks demonstrated both the range of organisations now populating sbarcIspark, which includes graduate start-ups, scaling businesses, third sector organisations and SPARK research centres, as well as the opportunity for collaboration that the building brings.

A networking lunch was also enjoyed and provided residents with the opportunity to meet and mingle in a relaxed and celebratory atmosphere.

Professor Chris Taylor, Academic Director of SPARK said:

“As we come to the end of our second year of sbarc|spark we have much to celebrate."

It was wonderful to see so many colleagues from across the sbarc|spark community come together and share their ideas and work around collaboration, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Our community is growing and we already beginning to see the benefits of this in terms of collaboration around research and knowledge mobilisation.
Professor Chris Taylor Academic Director, SPARK

He continued: "In the last year we’ve welcomed over 300 new SPARK members and Cardiff Innovations tenants. Our latest residents include three new research centres - the Centre for the Creative Economy, the Hartree Centre Cardiff Hub, and CARE: The Centre for Adult Social Care Research – several private sector organisations, including Rockly Phototonics, and the Compound Semiconductor Centre, and vital public and third-sector organisations, including  Child Friendly Cardiff and Disability Wales. We look forward to another year of growing our community and how sbarc|spark will play a key role in Cardiff University’s future.”

sbarc|spark is the largest innovation facility of its kind in Wales. It connects social science researchers, public sector leaders, entrepreneurs, and professional advisers to shape our futures.

The 12,000sq.m space supports a growing community of over 700 individuals from diverse backgrounds, fostering innovation and collaboration across sectors.

It is home to SPARK - the world's first social science research park. SPARK brings together 16 interdisciplinary research groups to address issues that affect us all and is collaborating with over 100 partners across every continent of the world, including 50 in Europe.

It also hosts Cardiff Innovations which welcomes over 40 external organisations, ranging from graduate entrepreneurs to NGOs and private sectors, to its co-working, lettable office units and labs.