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Linking corporates with start ups to help make new ideas fly

Last year, SETsquared secured funding from the Intellectual Property Office’s Fast Forward Competition to develop an Open Innovation programme.

By definition, the concept of open innovation enables organisations to look beyond their internal resources to develop new products, services and sources of revenue by collaborating with start-up companies.

In a globalised economy, innovation and speed to market are vitally important. Rather than seeing their corporate venturing targets as proxy R&D departments, or the means through which to access new markets, some corporates are developing a more sophisticated view of how start-ups can exist and flourish within their own supply chains.

Following two pilot events in 2012, SETsquared saw an opportunity for a wider programme which would broker introductions between large organisations and innovative solution providers drawn from SETsquared’s extensive network of over a 1000 current and former company members and university researchers.

SETsquared is currently working with following organisations to identify innovation issues, opportunities and challenges: Altran UK, Astrium Services, BAE Systems, Barclays Corporate Banking, Buro Happold, CGI, Freescale, Johnson & Johnson, Philips Innovation Services, Sony EU, South West Water, & Ericsson, West of England AHSN and Westpac Bank.

The benefits of an open innovation approach definitely flow both ways. On the other side of the coin for start ups it can be difficult to navigate into large organisations and there are constant fears about compromising IP.  So by facilitating open innovation, SETsquared are offering another value-added service to the start-up ventures, which are incubated across the five SETsquared Centres.

SETsquared will present the programme at the IPO’s The innovation ecosystem – Intellectual Property in university-business collaborations event on 12th March, at which Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science will also speak.

To discuss joining the SETsquared Open Innovation Programme or if you have any queries please contact Karen Brooks.

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SETsquared is a partnership between

  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Southampton logo
  • University of Surrey