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SETsquared CONFERENCE 2021

25 – 29 January 2021




CATEGORY: #MAKINGITWORK (How SETsquared pulled together with its members during the pandemic)

AutonoMe, SETsquared Bristol Company

AutonoMe, who provide technology to help those with learning disabilities overcome barriers to independence, rolled out a free version of their product at the beginning of the pandemic, to help ensure people with learning disabilities don’t feel disconnected from society during this uncertain time.


COVID19 SME Grants, University of Surrey

The COVID-19 SME grant Scheme was put in place in May 2020 to support our innovation ecosystem in this time of crisis and was specifically designed to support those SMEs who are engaging with us in innovation activity and contributing to economic development and prosperity in the region.

We created a funding pot of £100,000 and offered grants of up to £5,000 per eligible SME. As expected, the need exceeded the funds available but all 60 applicants made a valid claim and so we distributed the funding between all applicants, awarding grants ranging from £1000 to £5000.

Examples include helping Clutch Space, Accelogres and Fox Robotics keep their development staff active in collaborative R&D, allowing PlayWell to accelerate the sale of their mental wellness game, and supporting companies like Crowd Connected, Basemap, PeopleSpace and more to pivot their digital solutions to support Covid secure working solutions across many sectors.

Surrey launches Covid-19 SME Grant Scheme

Friday Forum, SETsquared Bristol

To keep SETsquared Bristol members connected during the initial lockdown in March, we introduced a new weekly drop-in Friday Forum at 12.30pm, chaired by Community Manager, Paul Forster. The Forum is a space to troubleshoot, problem solve and keep the community connected during the uncertain times. As the Forum continued it facilitated the crowdsourcing of knowledge on everything from cash flow to client retention and created a space where larger members could offer support to smaller members with sharing resources (i.e., people). As the pandemic has continued far longer than we ever predicted, the Forum is continuing to bring members together members, connecting and offer support in an informal setting that allows opportunities for valuable incidental conversations.

Neighbourly’s fund to support community organisations, SETsquared Bristol Company

The loss of community interaction due to COVID-19 has left many vulnerable people at risk. In response, our alumni member Neighbourly, the award-winning giving platform, ramped up their incredible connective work and have created a new fund for community organisations have been most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

With thanks to M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Nutricia (Danone), Coca-Cola European Partners, giffgaff, Southern Coop, HEINEKEN and their customers and members, Neighbourly were able to provide micro-grants of £400 to support good causes that are helping communities affected by the Coronavirus outbreak and supported over 330,000 people so far.

The neighbourly team also launched a “virtual volunteering programme” which enables staff members furloughed or still working, to support local causes they care about.

Operations Team – SETsquared Bath

Keeping the Innovation Centre going? Making it covid-safe for all the users? Communicating clearly with everyone despite the constantly changing situation? Missing a key part of the management team and still nailing it? Nicola, Danielle and Sophie deserve this award for the way they have managed not only to hold things together but to drive things forward at the Innovation Centre. The ground floor may have been turned into a Covid-testing centre and there may be 4 floors of isolating students above us but Nicola, Danielle and Sophie have been going in at the crack of dawn to organise the post, members access cards, phone calls, office set up, one-way systems, repairs and tradesmen and cleaning. No one will have seen them in the office but everyone who has used the innovation centre since March has only done so safely because of them and I think we owe them a huge thank you.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the NHS during Covid-19, University of Bath

University of Bath donated more than 400k items to the NHS during a six-month project which started in March 2020.

The university’s effort to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for the NHS to help keep frontline workers safe during the coronavirus outbreak concluded in September, with a total of more than 400,000 items donated.

Staff from Bath’s Faculty of Engineering & Design started making PPE including face shields, eye protectors and ear-protecting ‘ladders’ for face masks in March. Working from a secure lab on the University campus, the team of 60 produced 200,000 pieces of PPE, while local firm 4Ground produced a further 200,000 eye protectors of their own, using designs developed at the University.

Staff also worked with local sewing enthusiasts to produce medical gowns, of which 9,000 were made.

The project received widespread support from the local community, in the form of cash donations, assistance and materials donated by businesses and food and drink.

#MakingItWork – Voting is now closed

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