Exeter Science Park and the University of Exeter have joined forces to create a joint focal point for science, technology, engineering, maths and medical (STEMM) innovation.
The University has transferred the business activity of its Innovation Centre to Exeter Science Park and released £2.25m funding to support the provision of innovation services by SETsquared Exeter over the next 18 years.
Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park, said: “Our mission is to help innovative STEMM businesses to deliver extraordinary growth. This landmark agreement brings a new focus to the existing collaboration between Exeter Science Park and the University’s SETsquared Exeter team that will support recovery and drive growth. It will ensure that Exeter Science Park Centre tenants will continue to benefit freely from SETsquared, Exeter’s world-leading business incubation services.
The partnership also opens the way for joint initiatives to secure new resources for businesses in the area, initiatives such as the new University Enterprise Zone and the Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab.
Dr Basker added: “Our goal is to secure and create high-value jobs, enhance productivity and boost economic growth in the South West and this agreement gives us the opportunity to do that, as well as reinforcing Exeter Science Park’s position as the hub for STEMM-based business expansion in our region.
Professor Lisa Roberts Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter, said: “The University of Exeter has always been an active and collaborative partner in the Exeter Science Park, but this landmark agreement takes this one step further by focusing our combined efforts into developing a beacon for STEMM innovation in the South West.
“Working together in this way, we can even further harness the University’s high-quality STEMM research and innovation for economic growth in the region. This kind of collaboration between start-ups and Universities is going to be essential for our region’s post-COVID recovery, helping businesses innovate and grow”.
There are currently around 500 people employed by the tenant businesses at Exeter Science Park and projections forecast a seven-fold growth over the next 15 years, taking employee numbers to 3,500 by 2035, with new buildings and membership packages being developed.