The SETsquared Partnership, a collaboration between five of the leading UK research universities, has been named the Business Incubation Champion by the industry body UK Business Incubation (UKBI).â€¨â€¨
At the same time, SETsquared Bristol has been awarded the Business Incubator Design award for its newly opened facility, the Engine Shed, which aims to create 5,000 jobs in the technology, creative and low carbon sectors in the next 15 years.
â€¨â€¨The honours complete a memorable year for the partnership – between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey – which is celebrating its tenth anniversary.
â€¨â€¨In July, the University Business Incubator Index listed the SETsquared incubator group as the best in Europe, alongside jointly-placed NDRC LaunchPad in the Republic of Ireland.
The ranking puts SETsquared fourth in the world, with the only other higher-ranking counterparts hailing from the US.â€¨â€¨Then, in November, the Partnership staged the Accelerating Growth event in Westminster, with more than 50 tech companies and the UK’s largest investor showcase, attracting MPs, a cabinet minister, national media attention and around 200 investors.
The event celebrated SETsquared’s proud record of incubating more than 1,000 technology companies, which have attracted around £1 billion of investment and made a major contribution to the growth of UK PLC, creating a significant number of high-value jobs.â€¨â€¨
The UKBI said its awards ‘reward those who strive to support world class businesses and entrepreneurs, impacting on local, regional and national economies whilst at the same time creating a sustainable environment for the future.’â€¨â€¨
David Rowe, UKBI Chair, said: ‘All our winners this year have been at the forefront of proclaiming the need for environments dedicated to entrepreneurship, innovation, start-up and growth. They have consistently helped hundreds of new businesses to start, survive and grow each year.”
â€¨â€¨SETsquared Partnership Director, Graham Harrison, said: “This is a fitting way to end what has been a fantastic year for SETsquared. Recognition from our industry for the quality and national significance of the fine work taking place across our five sites, day in and day out, is a source of genuine pride.â€¨â€¨
‘We have been supporting the UK’s economic growth by championing innovative start-ups for the last 10 years and, without question, we see the UK’s economy over the next decade being underpinned by the kind of high-tech, start-up businesses being nurtured in our centres. The work we do makes a major contribution to the future prosperity of UK PLC and it is very welcome to have it recognised.’