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University of Bath business incubator partnership set to contribute £26.9 billion to UK economy and 22,000 jobs by 2030

University of Bath business incubator partnership set to contribute £26.9 billion to UK economy and 22,000 jobs by 2030

The SETsquared Partnership, the global no.1 business incubation and start-up growth acceleration network, comprising five research-intensive universities: Bath, Southampton, Bristol, Exeter and Surrey, will contribute £26.9 billion to the UK economy by 2030, independent research undertaken by Warwick Economics and Development (WECD) has found.

Key findings from the report:

  • It is estimated that 965 businesses were supported by SETsquared between 2015 to 2017, with the partnership providing 3,645 business assists since 2002.
  • The Gross Value Added contribution of supported businesses each year indicates that they have directly contributed a total of £5.8 billion to the UK economy between 2002-17.
  • The level of employment supported by these businesses is estimated at 10,900 jobs in 2017. This is projected to rise to 22,200 by 2030.
  • Projecting the forward impact of the programme, assuming the level of support continues at the current rate, supported companies could rise to 6,650 and contribute a further £12.4 billion to the economy between 2018-2030.
  • Including an estimate of supply chain impacts of the businesses, the cumulated direct and indirect impacts on the UK economy are estimated to be £8.6 billion by 2017 and a further £18.3 billion by 2030.

SETsquared operates five incubators on, or near, each partner university’s campus. The Bath SETsquared Innovation Centre, which is in the heart of the city, offers virtual and residential memberships as well as business acceleration support programmes that align with the University of Bath’s research strengths, which include advanced engineering, digital innovation, health and sustainable technology.

Rosie Bennett, centre director at SETsquared Bath, said:

“The findings from the report show the important role incubators, such as SETsquared, play in nurturing new businesses, entrepreneurship and innovation in the UK, as well as the positive impact this has on the UK economy through job creation and GVA contribution. With the expansion of SETsquared’s support to scale-up companies, and the significant growth we have seen in the number of start-ups we are supporting, we hope to exceed the projections outlined by the WECD in its latest report.”

One of the incubator’s local success stories is Bath-based Ubiquisys, which was established in 2004 as a developer of ‘small cells’: devices that help mobile operators to increase capacity and provide high quality coverage in their wireless networks. After the successful growth of the business, through a total investment raise of $86M, in May 2013 Cisco completed the acquisition of Ubiquisys for $310M in 2013.

Speaking about SETsquared’s support, Pete Keevill, co-founder and VP engineering at Ubiquisys, added:

“The co-founders all came from a large company background, so one of the biggest worries for our investors was the transition from a big corporate to being self-sufficient entrepreneurs and our openness building the right management team. We had to prove we could make this change, and SETsquared helped us position ourselves successfully to achieve it.”

To download a copy of the full WECD report, click here

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SETSquared is a partnership between

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