London’s first Urban Farm and AgTech Incubator
In 2016 Green Lab founded what was to a seminal moment in the organisation’s direction and vision as an innovation lab. Located inside on old school in Bermondsey, London – the team designed and built London’s first incubator workspace for urban farming entrepreneurs and ‘agritech’ startup businesses; working to create a new city community for sustainable food innovators in the capital and country’s growing £14 billion agri-tech sector.
The first Green Lab occupied 3500 sqft of temporary space within 3Space, an urban regeneration charity; the lab provided a collaborative and affordable studio environment, ‘wet lab’ facilities, a bio lab, fab lab, grow spaces, an event space – and access to a network of experienced mentors and investors.
Our lab was a place for individuals and businesses to design, prototype and build more circular food production systems and experiment with the development of bio-materials. Using our facilities to go from a bench-scale pilots to scaling ideas into impactful businesses.
Over the four years we operated the Green Lab we achieved many significant milestones that helped build and make Green Lab into an innovative and impactful organisation:
- Operated four unique labs (biomaterial, fabrication, grow lab and biolab BSL1)
- Mentored the growth of 25+ early stage startups
- Supported the raising of $2 million seed capital
- Delivered a schools programme to over 800+ KS2 & KS3 children
- Hosted 15 student research residencies
- Hosted 2 EU Erasmus funded research residencies
- Developed a commercial portfolio working with Seedlip, Tom Dixon, IKEA & FTSE 100 companies
- Green Lab Founder received a HereEast ‘East London Innovator’ Award.
A handful of the startups we supported
Green Lab London was a unique facility, home to over 30 early stage startups and innovators working in aquaculture, lighting systems, alternative food sources, entomology (insects), hydropobic, bio materials and materials research.
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Atlas of the future – London’s first ‘agri-tech’ incubator
Ande Gregson, Founder of Green Lab, said the inspiration to start the lab came from a series of visits he made to Valldaura, a self-sufficient habitat in Barcelona, as well as visits to Kew Gardens, one of the world’s oldest and best-known botanical education facilities.
‘ …I wanted to create a new creative workspace in London that blended traditional agriculture principles with tech innovation, in a bid to help grow sustainable new food businesses. Green Lab provided an opportunity to design sustainable food systems, with access to high-end technologies. We designed a space that sits at the intersection of great design, technology, science and agriculture… ‘
Green Lab London closed at the start of the COVID pandemic in May 2019.