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Reconstructed online, every lunchtime
25 – 29 January 2021

About the Conference

Our 2021 SETsquared team conference will be ‘reconstructed’ for the online environment with a week-long series of focussed discussions taking place at lunchtime each day.

What are the challenges and opportunities facing our sector? How is the Partnership best placed to tackle these for the benefit of our student, academic and business communities?

Each day will feature different topic areas, panels and speakers.

At the end of each session, participants will be asked to help contribute to key drivers on the content of each topic. The key drivers will be shared within the Partnership at the end of the conference.

So, grab your sandwiches and get involved in this week of engaging talks and sessions on our Partnership and plans for 2021.



Monday 25 Jan 12.30 – 14.00 Challenges & Opportunities for the SETsquared Partnership

Host: Simon Bond, Innovation Director, SETsquared
Guest speaker: Jo Shanmugalingam, Director General, Industrial Strategy, Science and Innovation, BEIS


  • Dr Lorna Colquhoun, Research and Innovation Services Director at the University of Southampton
  • Dr Jon Hunt, Executive Director for Research & Enterprise and Divisional Head for the Research & Enterprise Division at the University of Bristol
  • Caroline Quest, Director of Research & Innovation Services at the University of Bath
  • Dr David Bembo, Director of Research & Innovation Services, Cardiff University

Tuesday 26 Jan 12.00 – 13.00 Building our Ecosystem

Host: Joe Pearce, Head of Business Support, SETsquared at the University of Exeter, SETsquared Scale-Up Programme Project Board Member, Business Acceleration Centre Practice Group member and iKEEP Programme Manager


  • Steve Mayers – Head of Scale-Up Programme, SETsquared
  • Prof. David Sampson – Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Research & Innovation at the University of Surrey
  • Jim Mawson – Editor-in-chief at Global Corporate Venturing

Wednesday 27 Jan 12.00 – 13.00 Investing in Innovation

Host: Rosie Bennett, Investment Manager at SETsquared


  • Caroline Fleming – Head of Incubation at the University of Surrey, Interim Management Board member and SETsquared Surrey Business Acceleration Centre practice group member and Interim Chair for the group.
  • Bruce Colley – Access to Finance Manager at Innovate UK
  • Jenny Tooth – Chief Executive Officer at UK Business Angels Association

Thursday 28 Jan 12.00 – 13.00 Global Britain in the world market

Host: Karen Brooks, Programme Director at SETsquared


  • Sean Fielding – Director of Innovation, Impact & Business at the University of Exeter, SETsquared Management Board member
  • Andrew Clark – Director of Programmes at the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Sven De Cleyn – imec.istart Program Director at the Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre

Friday 29 Jan 12.00 – 13.00 Key Drivers for 2021 & The Awards


  • Rosie Bennett – Investment Programme Manager at SETsquared
  • Karen Brooks – Programme Director at SETsquared
  • Simon Bond – Innovation Director at SETsquared
  • Joe Pearce – Head of Business Support SETsquared at the University of Exeter, SETsquared Scale-Up Programme Project Board Member and Business Acceleration Centre Practice Group member

The Awards

Every year we ask you to nominate staff, academics, companies, members or mentors from across the Partnership, who have gone above and beyond, have achieved something exceptional or have succeeded despite the odds.

We are asking for nominations for the following award categories:

  • Best New Initiative
  • Resilience
  • Rising Star
  • Achievement
  • Impact
  • #MakingItWork (how SETsquared pulled together with its members during the pandemic)

The only criteria is that the initiative must have taken place in the last 12 months. You can nominate another person or team or you can put yourself forward.

All of the entries will be voted on during the conference week. Each winner will receive a prize as well as a featured profile on the SETsquared website and with their university’s PR team.

Nominations have closed and voting has opened.

Vote here

Register now

Please register to attend the conference online and so that we can keep you updated with the latest alerts and reminders

SETsquared 2021 Conference sign up

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