News release

Date: 6th October 2011

SETsquared appoints Partnership Director to lead industry collaboration and support of high-growth businesses

The SETsquared Partnership, one of the UK’s most successful university collaborations, today announced the appointment of Graham Harrison as its new Partnership Director.


October 6th 2011 - The SETsquared Partnership, one of the UK’s most successful university collaborations, today announced the appointment of Graham Harrison as its new Partnership Director.

Graham’s most recent role was as International Business Director at the South West of England Regional Development Agency, where he worked with academia, industry and government to develop and lead partnerships, and to creative innovative support for SMEs. He has worked in senior roles in both the public and private sectors over nearly three decades.

Keith Robson, chair of the SETsquared management group, said: “Graham brings with him a wealth of experience, and has the proven ability to work with investors and business to deliver innovative, large scale industrial collaboration projects. He will make a substantial impact to help SETsquared generate value from its research base, and to enable the partnership to help drive economic growth.”

Graham Harrison, Partnership Director of SETsquared, said: “I’m delighted to be joining SETsquared at a time when the universities’ role in generating economic growth through collaboration with industry and support of early-stage businesses is more important than ever, and I look forward to the challenges ahead.”

One of Graham’s first activities will be to act as host of SETsquared’s annual Investment Showcase, which takes place in London on October 12th. The event brings together investors and nineteen early-stage companies, with innovations on show in healthcare, green technology, software and a broad range of engineering disciples. These companies are the life blood of our economy going forward and through events such as this SETsquared endeavours to fast track their growth and development.

As International Business Director at the South West of England Regional Development Agency, Graham’s responsibilities included attracting foreign direct investment, engaging with strategic businesses and supporting the development of priority sectors including aerospace, bio-medical and micro-electronics. Two recent initiatives included the building of a consortium of university and multi-national businesses to successfully bid for £25m of government and EU funds to establish the National Composites Centre in Bristol, and the formation of innovation networks (iNETs) to offer support to SMEs in five high-growth sectors.
The SETsquared Partnership is the enterprise collaboration between five universities: Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. The Partnership works with academia, industry, students and start-ups to generate economic growth and has the UK's largest network of incubators for early-stage hi-tech, high growth potential companies.

Graham Harrison can be contacted by email : graham.harrison[at]setsquared[dot]co.uk

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Note to editors: Photo of Graham Harrison available on request

About the SETsquared Partnership
www.setsquared.co.uk
www.twitter.com/setsquared
The SETsquared Partnership is the enterprise collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. Together, the universities employ 7,400 academic staff; and earn nearly 10% of the UK’s higher education research budget.

The partnership has a 10-year track record of supporting companies through its business acceleration centres, which provide access to industry specialists, investors and experienced entrepreneurs. SETsquared currently supports over 250 early stage high-tech, high growth potential businesses, and 90% of its incubated companies are still in business three years on. In the past five years, nearly £0.75bn in investment funding has been raised by spin outs and incubated companies.

SETsquared supports student enterprise including an annual showcase and a global scholars program. It provides opportunities for industry to access academic ideas with commercial potential and seeks to promote the impact, economically and socially, of its institutions’ research and enterprise activities.

Media Contact:
Nick Daines,
Lumen PR
Email: nick[at]lumenpr[dot]com
Tel: 0115 8412109
Mobile: 07958 534731

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