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The partnership with the regional hubs will see the SETsquared Exeter team having a presence in the partner facilities in order to meet with start-up and early stage businesses which might benefit from the range of support programmes.

Expansion of university accelerator will benefit North Devon businesses

North Devon based Start Ups and early-stage businesses will be able to connect more easily with the business support and acceleration services offered by the University of Exeter as a result of the recently announced collaborations with partners across Devon which include the Centre of Technology and Innovation Excellence (Cotie) at PETROC College of Further and Higher Education and Node Cowork in Barnstaple.

The expansion of the University of Exeter’s business acceleration offer, provided by SETsquared Exeter (Global Number One University Incubator), is enabled by the University of Exeter Enterprise Zone (UEEZ) thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

This funding allows connections with regional hubs such as those in North Devon, enabling businesses to access the support programmes whilst continuing to base their operations at locations local to themselves.

The partnership with the regional hubs will see the SETsquared Exeter team having a presence in the partner facilities in order to meet with start-up and early stage businesses which might benefit from the range of support programmes.

They will also be able to facilitate remote access to specific activities such as the SETsquared Exeter Business Acceleration programme and the Technology Exploration Lab, which are headquartered at Exeter Science Park.

Increasing the accessibility of support such as that delivered by SETsquared Exeter aligns with the  University’s Strategy 2030, which sets out an inspiring vision to use the power of education and research, through people, place and partnerships to lead progress towards a sustainable, healthy and socially just future.

In addition, the Civic University Agreement focuses on the importance of regional innovation, encouraging students to establish businesses in the region and support entrepreneurs and investors to drive innovation-led growth.

Professor Lisa Roberts, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter said: “The University of Exeter  is committed to working with our local community with the aim of increasing opportunities for local people, and playing our part in the prosperity and success of the region.

“Our new strategy highlights our goal of increasing the University’s presence and accessibility across the region. The development of our partnerships in North Devon will help entrepreneurs and small businesses to access the University’s business support services and accelerate the development of thriving start up communities.”

Selaine Saxby, MP for North Devon, highlighted the opportunities for regional businesses: “This is great news for Northern Devon, we have so many small businesses ready to be unleashed. Working in collaboration with SETsquared at NODE can give them that stepping stone and support to reach out and expand.”

“This is brilliant news for northern Devon,” commented Stuart Brocklehurst, Chair of the Heart of the South West Innovation Board. “Research from MIT shows that every job created in a company working with a university generates another five in the broader economy. SETsquared has an impressive track record supporting start-ups and scale-ups. It’s great they’ll be bringing that capability to talented entrepreneurs across the county. ”

SETsquared Exeter is running an ongoing series of “Discovery Rooms”, with funding from the ERDF for the University of Exeter Enterprise Zone (UEEZ) which bring together SMEs, sector experts, researchers and entrepreneurs to learn about effective business applications of new technologies and innovations. The next free event on 2 February features how to make sustainable choices with positive impact for your business. For more information visit the Eventbrite page.

The UEEZ project is receiving up to £712,107 of funding from the England European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014- 2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) are the Managing Authorities for European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund funding through the Growth Programme, funds established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development. By investing in projects the funds will help to support innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs. For more information visit:

Date: 27 January 2022

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