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Helping companies win funding and investment through university collaboration

Build business value through innovation and R&D

Raise your profile as part of the award-winning SETsquared university-business network

Secure investment to grow your business


About the Programme

For companies working with advanced technology, fast-moving competitors and ever-changing market opportunities ‘business as usual’ isn’t an option. With innovation comes risks as well as great rewards, which is where our Scale-Up Programme comes in.

Designed around the key challenges of securing public grant and private investment for company-led R&D and innovation, we’re here to support and accelerate the growth of your business.

You’ll be joining hundreds of the most dynamic and innovative companies in the UK in a cohort of members which have secured over £100m of investment in their innovation and growth since the Programme began in 2018.

The Programme is provided by SETsquared, a world-leading university-business network, directly linked to the research talent and expertise of our six partner universities – Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey – with whom we can help you collaborate to successfully secure public and private investment for R&D.

Membership benefits

No one size fits all, so Scale-Up membership benefits are tailored to match your requirements as your business needs them.

Reserved places for your leadership team on our Innovation Workout, an intensive short course to help you explore new ideas, models & market opportunities for your business

 Access to our Stimulus Fund to help secure collaborative R&D projects and private investment (Angel & VC) for your business’ innovation

New opportunities to network with like-minded business leaders, prominent researchers and specialist investors and innovators


Interested but want more details? Find out more about the benefits

Membership is subject to confirmation from SETsquared and a sign-up fee of £150 (inc. VAT) will be charged to businesses accepted on to the Programme. Additional fees apply for some services eg to access the Stimulus Fund though these can often be offset against Subsidy Control allowances.

Want to speak to someone before applying? We’re more than happy to discuss your application with you to ensure this is the right programme for your business. Email us at [email protected]

Innovation Workout

Innovation Workout

Get your business fit for innovation. Fast-paced and dynamic, this fully-funded workshop which is offered as part of our scale-up programme, will help you identify new areas of growth, new markets and an action plan for growth.

Find out more and apply

Funding opportunities

We are currently offering funded support for companies and academics to apply for selected Government R&D funding calls. The calls we’ve selected are categorised under five themes; Digital Innovation, Innovation in Health, Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing, Sustainability and Quantum Technology. Use the pages linked below to see what calls we’re supporting under those themes.

If you’re not looking for support for R&D at the moment but want to tap into the other benefits of our Scale-Up Programme – please apply using the application form below.

Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing

Funding & business support opportunities for companies and researchers developing solutions for advanced engineering and manufacturing

Find out more and apply

Innovation in Healthcare

Funding & business support opportunities for SMEs & academics in the healthcare sector

Find out more and apply

Sustainable Innovation 

Funding & business support opportunities for SMEs & academics in the sustainable innovation sector

Find out more and apply


Funding & business support opportunities for SMEs & academics in the digital innovation sector

Find out more and apply

Quantum Technologies

Funding & business support opportunities for SMEs & academics in the quantum technologies sector

Find out more and apply


Our current areas of focus are listed above but we are open to companies with strong growth ambitions from any sector.

If you are still unsure please contact us

“The SETsquared Scale-Up Programme is a fantastic thing for SMEs. Too often, SMEs are focussed on their core business of delivering to their customers, and don’t have the resources to grow their businesses at the same time. The Scale-Up Programme is ideally placed to facilitate the conversations and partnerships that SMEs so desperately need to achieve their growth goals.”

Professor Rick Hillum, Executive Chairman, Claritum

Application Form

If you would like to become part of our Scale-Up Programme, please complete the form below.

Membership of the Scale Up programme is open to any company pending internal review of the expression of interest raised by the company and incurs a one off charge of £150 inc. VAT. Full Membership will be offered to companies who are already part of our network and wish to access the CR&D proposal development support or investment raising support services. Full membership is subject to payment by the member company of a one-off fee and Membership is valid for one year. For the year 2020/21 the Membership Fee is £1,600 inc. VAT or for any eligible company, it can be waived under the Article 3.2(4) exemption of the Subsidy Control chapter of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement ("TCA"), and which requires eligible companies to complete a Statement of Previous Aid declaration.

The Scale-Up Programme is a partnership between: