New innovation director to head the successful SETsquared incubator network

March 27, 2014

The SETsquared network, the UK’s top university business incubator with a base in Bristol, has appointed Simon Bond as its new head.

As innovation director, Simon, pictured, the former director of the SETsquared innovation centre at the University of Bath, will oversee the way the partnership incubates hi- tech start-ups from its centres.

He takes over from Graham Harrison, who is expanding his role at the National Composites Centre on the Bristol & Bath Science Park and working with the University of Bristol.

Simon has worked at SETsqured for 10 of the 11 years it has been in existence, during which he has developed key projects including entrepreneurship courses, sector networks and the Open Innovation programme as well as leading incubation and research commercialisation within the University of Bath.

It is this approach that the board members said made him the perfect candidate for the role.

Simon said: “I’m passionate about SETsquared and in my experience the partnership has made a very real impact on the UK economy, fostering some of the most exciting hi-tech start-ups in the country. Businesses within the SETsquared incubator have a higher than average 90% survival rate and often go on to create hundreds of jobs.

“My key areas of focus going forward will be business acceleration, student enterprise, research commercialisation and ensuring that SETsquared builds on its reputation as the best university business incubator in Europe.”

SETsquared management board chairman Sean Fielding said: “Graham has led SETsquared for the last two-and-a-half years and we are very grateful for all his commitment and energy to build up our profile and reputation and which has put us in a very strong position as a leading player in the field.

“Simon Bond is a highly-respected figure in the SETsquared family and we are delighted that he has accepted the challenge of taking SETsquared on to its next phase.

“He has unrivalled experience in every element of our work, which will be of huge benefit as he leads us forward.”

SETsquared has been listed by the UBI Index as the joint best university business incubator in Europe and the fourth best globally. Since its inception it has developed more than 1,000 hi-tech start-ups and helped them secure some £1bn in investment.

The other universities in the network are Bath, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. The Bristol SETsqaured centre is based in the Engine Shed at Temple Meads.


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