Team Siymb, finalists in this year's Microsoft Imagine Cup.

SETsquared named as best university incubator in Europe for third time

SETsquared has been ranked as the top university business incubator in Europe for the third year running.

SETsquared, which is the partnership between the universities of Exeter, Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey, was ranked in first place ahead of PoliHub Startup District & Incubator at the Polytechnic University of Milan and INiTS Universitäres Gründerservice Wien at the Vienna University of Technology.

Over the last 13 years, SETsquared has helped over 1,000 hi-tech start-ups to develop and raise more than £1bn of investment, as well as contributing over £3.8bn in GVA (Gross Value Added) to the UK economy.

The European ranking announcement took place at the Incubatore di Imprese Innovative del Politecnico di Torino in Turin this morning, at the end of a two-day event that saw SETsquared’s innovation director Simon Bond present to the continent’s top incubators on university business incubation for accelerating growth.

Sean Fielding, Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Exeter, said: "This is fantastic news for the South West. We are creating a vibrant innovation community in Exeter leading to new jobs and new opportunities. Being part of Europe's best university business incubator and launching the Exeter Science Park enables us to bring new entrepreneurship activities to our region.”

Robin Jackson, Centre Director at SETsquared’s innovation centre in Exeter, said: “It’s been an exciting year for SETsquared in the South West as we’ve just moved into the new Exeter Science Park based on our experience and success at our home at the University of Exeter Innovation Centre.

“We’ve also been hard at work building on the success of the student enterprise programmes, which among other accolades, have led to repeat successes in the Microsoft Imagine cup nationally and globally, the continued development of research commercialisation through our Researcher to Innovator and ICURe programmes and connecting the start-up and new product development communities in Exeter through Startup Weekend, Castle Demo nights and the Exeter Initiative for Science and Technology.”

The UBI Index is the first global index to benchmark the performance and best practice of university business incubators. The organisation is holding continental rankings around the world, culminating in a global ranking event in London next month.

Dhruv Bhatli, Co-founder and Director of Research at UBI Global, said: “We’re delighted to see SETsquared hit the top spot in Europe for the third time in a row. The partnership’s continued dedication to entrepreneurs and start-ups has resulted in high economic impact and growth for the companies it supports.”

SETsquared will find out where it stands in the world rankings on 25 November.

Date: 27 October 2015

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