Welcome to our roundup, where you can catch all the South West tech news highlights from the past week.

As usual, a lot is going on in the community. We’re hitting the ground running in this new year. Luckily you can now quickly access the headlines under one roof here. From technological breakthroughs to unmissable events, what’s the latest from our techie world?

If you have a piece of news to share, do reach out to our Head of Content, Shona Wright at shona@techspark.co

UWE Bristol to lead on £6m ‘Immersive Arts’ project

Designed to support over 200 UK-based artists and organisations, Immersive Arts is a new project led by UWE Bristol, in partnership with the Pervasive Media Studio and Watershed. Funded through a £6 million grant from the XRtists scheme, the three-year will build on the UK’s record of supporting artists to unlock the creative potential of new technology.

The Immersive Arts programme will give artists based in the UK the opportunity to access training, mentoring, specialist facilities and vital funds, with £3.6 million in grant funding available to help them get their ideas off the ground.

SETsqaured Bristol appoints new Entrepreneur in Residence

Kevin Simmons joins the team as the newest Entrepreneur in Residence. A General Partner of a $50m early-stage pan-African VC technology fund, he has helped launch several successful angel networks, and has invested in over 150 technology companies, including three of Africa’s eight unicorns. 

He has also built three startups in the energy and mobility space, and led one as the CEO as it was acquired, and is adviser to several tech startup CEOs in Africa, US, Canada and the UK. He tells us, “I’m really looking forward to helping tech founders to overcome the difficult challenges they face, that when overcome can lead to exciting and new ways for all of us to live and work.

“The SETsquared process is all about creating a growth synergy where people and technology intersect and if I can be a small part of that bigger impact, then I will have hopefully helped in some small way.”

The Enterprise Sessions return with academics’ stories of commercialising research

How have cuttlefish inspired new technology to improve eye healthcare? What are the challenges in using hydrogen as a renewable aerospace fuel? How can smart socks help support people with dementia? These are just some of the fascinating topics discussed in the new season of the University of Bristol’s Enterprise Sessions which launched last week.

In these interviews, accessible as both videos and podcasts, the guests discuss their journeys from academic research to raising capital, forming academy-industry partnerships and translating research discoveries into real-world impact.

Check out the first episode with Harry Destecroix, the founder of the Science Creates ecosystem, and co-founder of Ziylo, a hugely successful University of Bristol spin-out company on YouTube now. 

Bristol Games Hub brings its meetup to the wider South West throughout February

Bristol Games Hub is a community of like-minded people who get together to talk all things games development through speaker events, demos, discussions and games testing. Popular in Bristol, the team is now looking to delve further into the South West.

To kick off this venture, BHG has two events planned: 

Clue Software raises £4m to detect, investigate and prevent rapidly advancing worldwide threats

Clue Software, the leading provider of software for investigations and intelligence management, has today announced its £4m funding led by Frog Capital, with £1m from angel investors and employees, supported by investment advisor ScaleUp Group. Founded by Clare Elford (CEO), and Thomas Drohan (CCO), the tech for good platform has grown exponentially despite challenging UK market conditions for tech investment.

Clare Elford, CEO at Clue, says “This funding is the latest step in our journey of supporting investigations and intelligence teams across the globe. Our mission to protect society from harm goes beyond developing intelligence and investigation software. We are building a networked community of investigation professionals across sectors worldwide to explore common challenges and share best practices.”

Join the Watershed for its free family creative tech workshop this half-term 

8-14 year olds are invited to a 2 hour audible weaving workshop with Dhaqan Collective, a British feminist art collective of Somali women, where they will bring some materials alive through sound. 

Attendees will explore oral storytelling, experiment with techniques for capturing those stories, and weave them into their own audio friendship bracelets which they can take away with them.

Sign up here.

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.