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The University of Exeter launches new programme to power high-growth UK companies

Pictured (L-R): Sean Fielding – University of Exeter, Matt Daniel – Brain in Hand, Joe Pearce – SETsquared Exeter

The University of Exeter, as part of the SETsquared Partnership today launched a programme to enable some of the UK’s best tech scale-up companies become the sector giants of tomorrow.

It is expected to generate over £25bn for the economy by 2030, create an additional 30,000 high-skilled jobs in the tech sector, and help improve Britain’s poor investment record in research and development.

SETsquared is the Global No 1 business incubator and since it started it has helped over 3,500 businesses who have gone on to create over 20,000 jobs and raise £1.5bn in investment. This is already generating a cumulative impact on the UK economy of £8.6bn.

Sean Fielding, Director of Innovation, Impact and Business, at the University said:

“Today we are launching our new scale-up programme which will help hundreds of growing businesses access the knowledge and resources of our five Universities to accelerate their innovation and growth – this will benefit the UK economy in a major way. Utilising our proven track record of supporting early stage tech companies to raise investment and building R&D partnerships with the Universities we can support these SMEs to become successful enterprises as they grow into global leaders in their industrial sectors.”

The Rt. Hon Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy added:

“The SETsquared Partnership has not only helped nurture and grow British technology businesses, but it has also contributed £8.6 billion to the UK economy, which is an incredible achievement.

“Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we’re calling on businesses to invest in the latest technology trends, and through our Sector Deals and Grand Challenges, we want the UK to be at the forefront of the technology revolution and make Britain fit for the future.”

SETsquared’s new scale-up programme tackles the issue of how to ensure more UK tech start-ups develop to become major forces in their field.  It has been supported by £5m of government funding through Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund which will enable 240 of the most innovative scale-up companies to access support.

Ministers have committed to increasing productivity in the UK and increasing spending on Research & Development from 1.7% of GDP to 2.4% to tackle these economic challenges. The UK currently ranks 22nd in a list of OECD developed countries.

Commenting on the impact that SETsquared’s member companies have on R&D, Sean Fielding added:

“With the UK’s ‘R&D gap’, we want to show how SETsquared can drive innovation in the UK. We know that technology scale-ups are likely to produce 42% more GVA than traditional scale-ups and generate 16% more jobs.

Matt Daniel, Programme Director of Exeter based-company Brain in Hand said:

“Our system is transforming lives for people with mental health issues and Autism. This produces better health outcomes and also offers a cost-effective solution. SETsquared have supported us to bring our technology to market and help the number of people that we knew it could. We now want to build on our firm foundations and take our business to the next level.”

Over 20 member companies from SETsquared attended an event in Parliament to tell UK lawmakers about the challenges of starting or scaling a tech business in the UK.

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