The Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH)

The Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH)

Since its launch in mid-2014, the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH) has helped transform the ideation and prototyping ecosystem at Imperial, growing to over 1000 members from all Faculties across the college.

ICAH gives Imperial College students and staff access to a variety of workshops and labs around the College campuses, offering use of the equipment and opening up opportunities for collaboration with “like-minded makers” on campus. ICAH is more than a series of lab spaces; it is a community of innovators and encourages serendipitous interactions, leading to a multidisciplinary approach to innovation. Partners who are interested in joining this community may also join as members (contact Julia Zanghieri for more information).

ICAH members have designed and created products such as HAIZE, a smart compass to make navigating on your bike simpler and safer; Lifebox, the world’s most affordable baby incubator for use in underdeveloped, war torn and poverty stricken communities; and Gyroglove, a responsive wearable device to restore the quality of life and independence of those with hand tremors.

In just over 18 months the EPSRC funded initiative has proven the impact of its translational activities, enabling ICAH to secure 450m2 of dedicated space at Stadium House (Wood Lane) and 200m2 within the Molecular Sciences Hub at White City. Following on from the success ICAH has seen with staff and students, plans are afoot to establish The ICAH Tech Elevator that will connect the ICAH ecosystem with industry and the local community.

The ICAH Tech Elevator will include a digital “Challenge Wall” offering members of the Imperial community and industry a hit list of new challenges requiring multi-disciplinary solutions and new collaborations. An exhibition space housed within the new “Ideation Garden” will host both permanent and dynamic exhibitions showcasing EPSRC funded Imperial research at the forefront of innovation. Running alongside these initiatives will be a series of showcase-by-doing events and “Hackathons”, inviting new end users in academia and industry to participate. This initiative is led by Dr Oscar Ces and Dr Nick Jones, describing this initiative as “a serendipity engine, where bottom-up innovation and entrepreneurship collides with academia and industry”.


The exciting proposal for our partners is the “Industry Passport” which will allow access to the full facilities offered across the ICAH spaces, from hot-desking to prototyping tools to training programmes. The passport will invite industry partners to occupy a central space within the ICAH ecosystem, maximising the innovative potential of Imperial’s activities and collaborations.

Other opportunities for corporate partners


These are industry-defined challenges, with multi-disciplinary teams from the Imperial community and the company assembled. Specialist facilitators and academics are available to support the idea generation and solution development. Participants have access to a wide range of facilities through Imperial College Advanced Hackspace. You can see a video of our last Hackathon BREATHE here.

Memberships of District of Hack at Imperial White City

  • Full access to all spaces in The District of Hack (biohack, wood/metal/electronic/plastics, design studio, ideas garden), allowing industry staff to spend time in the Hackspace and immerse themselves in the culture and community
  • Bespoke, company-tailored immersive innovation training courses on specific technologies
  • Rapid testing of ideas working with a Hackspace Fellow to progress and select project ideas through short-term rapid prototyping pilot exercises.