The University of Bath is setting up new business acceleration hubs for advanced engineering and digital innovation companies in the region.

In association with SETsquared, the world’s number one university business accelerator, £1.5m of European funding will be available to support startups and scale up companies in the West of England. Grants of up to £10,000 are available for knowledge exchange, mentoring, research and innovation expertise and resource, business-university research partnerships.

Rosie Bennett, Centre Director at Bath SETsquared announced the news at the monthly Centre’s First Tuesday networking event saying; “This is a fantastic opportunity for growth  companies in our thriving tech cluster to access fully funded business acceleration support – tailored to their strategic goals – we encourage eligible companies in the digital and advanced engineering sectors to get in touch with us and take advantage of the opportunity.”

The digital innovation hub will support 100 companies. These companies will be working on new technologies in the health, well-being and creative media sectors.

The advanced engineering hub will help up to 130 companies, working on technologies that can be used with the £60m Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) that is scheduled to open in 2020.

“This project will enable the University to offer its expertise and facilities to work with businesses to undertake research, development and innovation leading to the adoption and commercialisation of new products, services and technologies that will drive this sector’s growth and productivity, particularly in the health and healthcare sectors,” said James Bilzon, Professor in Human and Applied Physiology in the University’s Department for Health and the programme lead for the digital innovation hub.

“The long-term impact of the project will be a much-improved innovation eco-system, where local SMEs will establish deep long-term relationships with the University that are mutually beneficial,” said Dr Jon Hunt, Director of Research & Innovation Services at the University.

IAAPS is a key centre for the University, developing the next generation of propulsion systems for cars and trucks. “The advanced engineering hub will ‘pump prime’ SMEs to engage with the University’s new £60m automotive research facility,” said Professor Gary Hawley, Dean of Faculty of Engineering & Design and programme lead for the advanced engineering hub. “IAAPS will play a central role in building this SME network by providing access to world-leading expertise to build their capacity and learning, as well as its state-of-the-art facilities.”

Bath SETSquared at the University of Bath Innovation Centre (UBIC) will launch the hubs alongside existing programmes in Sustainable Technology and Social Enterprise. If you think the acceleration hub sounds right for you, you can register your interest on this form. UBIC also supports the Assisted Living Action Network (ALAN).