Central Research Laboratory (CRL) is about doing extraordinary things – making extraordinary products, starting extraordinary businesses and giving ambitious teams an extraordinary place, with everything they need to bring their innovations to the marketplace.
What makes CRL unique is that it’s designed to support entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey – from concept development, through prototyping, first batch production and beyond – with mentoring and investment provided along the way.
We also have a strong commitment to collaboration and community. Our programme of mentoring, technical advice, exhibitions and events is just as important as our prototyping labs and workspace.
Head to our Partners page to read more about the organisations behind CRL.

Last September we launched CRL in its ‘pilot’ phase. After a highly competitive pitching process we accepted our first 11 startups onto CRL Hardware Accelerator Programme.

They’re a diverse group, including technologists, designers, musicians, physicists, biologists and toymakers alike. You can learn more about them on our portfolio page.

Applications are now closed and the startups from cohort 2 will be revealed soon.

CRL startups are provided with an unrivalled package of support. For 9 months, they receive:

  • Daily support from our world-class team of in-house designers and manufacturing experts
  • Access to expert mentors, dedicated to helping you grow your business
  • Regular workshops and masterclasses from successful designers and entrepreneurs
  • A vibrant events programme
  • Membership of a pioneering community of hardware entrepreneurs
  • 24/7 access to a bespoke workspace at the Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes, West London
  • A wealth of prototyping equipment and technical support
  • A chance to learn firsthand about manufacturing, supply chains and distribution during a trip to a local, European or Asian manufacturer
  • £5k grant per business to support start-up costs
  • Access to key investors and practical help with raising funding

This is in return for a 6% equity stake

We commit to supporting you in all aspects of building your business – from commercial advice and mentoring, to investor readiness and detailed design for manufacture support.

Central Research Laboratory is fully equipped with the latest prototyping technology, from power tools to CNC machinery and electronics equipment.
Not only that but we have skilled staff on hand to support, guide and even help design and make your prototypes
Download our equipment list at the link below or get in touch to find out how we can help:
Our heritage inspires our future
CRL is based in The Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes, West London, the former home of EMI, the world’s largest producer and exporter of vinyl records. Not only was this the birthplace of records by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, it was also one of the world’s most innovative manufacturing companies of the past 100 years.
The beating heart of The Old Vinyl Factory was the original EMI Central Research Laboratory – the company’s collaborative R&D division. Here, scientists and inventors pioneered innovations such as stereo sound and airborne radar. They turned television into a commercial product and developed the CAT scanner. Their brief was simple: to invent products that could be commercialised and would revolutionise markets. Our goal is to recreate this model of creative, collaborative and commercial innovation for the 21st Century.