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Regional Engagement


Since 2016 we have led or partnered regional regeneration projects worth £156million. Through our European Regional Development Funded projects we have supported R&D and innovation in over 750 regional businesses in sectors as diverse as renewable energy, marine technology, environmental intelligence, data analytics, agritech, health and wellbeing, space, defence and security, and the circular economy.

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Regional business support

University Enterprise Zone

Our University Enterprise Zone at the Exeter Science park enables us to nurture and grow new businesses and link them with our own researchers and graduates. Through our expanding start-up activities we encourage our students to explore entrepreneurial ideas and set-up new businesses in the region.

SETsquared Exeter

Provides a wealth of award-winning business support to help turn ideas into tomorrow’s flourishing ventures. It supports new start-ups, incubates new businesses and manage business acceleration services. Part of a partnership between six leading research-led UK universities: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, the SETsquared partnership has been recognised as the Global Number 1 Business Incubator since 2015.

> Find out more

Community Partnership Hub

The Community Partnership Hub connects public, voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations with researchers and students at the University of Exeter. Our aim is to help establish long-term, sustainable relationships which support partnering through research projects, student placements and internships, or volunteering.

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Examples of regional projects

Agri-tech Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

The University of Exeter is a partner in this £11.8million project to increase research development and innovation in the Agri-tech sector. This is a unique opportunity for small to medium-sized Cornish businesses to develop and apply new agricultural technologies assisted by project partners, research grants and graduate placements.

Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab

The Lab offers game-changing technical assistance in data analytics to SMEs that have a big data and/or environmental futures opportunity enabling them to grow to the next level. The University of Exeter leads this partnership of seven world-class Devon based organisations.

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Marine-i is a pioneering project designed to help marine technology businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through research, development and innovation. Partners include: Cornwall Development Corporation, Cornwall Marine Network, Plymouth University, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

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South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications

The catapult helps businesses exploit the use of satellite data, technology and applications to gain a competitive advantage in a global market. The region has strong expertise in space technologies and satellite applications, including Goonhilly Earth Station, Spaceport Cornwall and the Aerohub Enterprise Zone. Led by the University of Exeter this project includes: University of Plymouth and Falmouth University.

> Find out more

Futures 2023 - A Festival of Discovery

FUTURES 2023 is a free festival of discovery that celebrates research and innovation across the South West with an exciting programme of events and activities. Taking place across venues in Bath, Bristol, Cornwall, Exeter and Plymouth during the last weekend of September, the festival gives its audiences a unique opportunity to find out more about the region's world-class research.

> View the full programme of events here


Centre for Resilience in Environment, Water and Waste

CREWW was established thanks to a £21million commitment from South West Water and a £1.5million grant from Research England. It will enable us to undertake transdisciplinary research into how we can manage our precious natural resources in ways which are sustainable and resilient in the face of climate change and population growth.

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The South West Partnership for Environmental and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) brings academic experts, businesses and policy makers together to solve some of the challenges involved in managing, utilising and improving the natural environment.

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Tevi helps businesses improve their processes, save money and benefit Cornwall’s natural environment. It aims to create economic and environmental growth in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Led by the University of Exeter, our project partners include: Cornwall Council, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Cornwall Development Company.

> Find out more

Health and wellbeing


Inclusivity helps Cornish business owners with staff wellbeing by supporting small local businesses to benefit from inclusive recruitment and retention and innovating new staff solutions. Partners include: disAbility Cornwall, Age UK Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, the Local Enterprise Partnership, and the South West Academic Health Science Network.

> Find out more


The University of Exeter is leading this innovative research project looking at how technology can be used to help us live healthier and happier lives. Partners include: Coastline Housing, Cornwall Council and Volunteer Cornwall.

> Find out more

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Decorative Squares