Welcome to my weekly South West Tech News roundup, where you can get all the headlines from the past week in one place.

What has our busy tech and digital community been up to this week? From award wins and innovative breakthroughs to unmissable events and capital raised, take a moment to reflect on the hive of daily activity taking place in our region.

If you have a story to share, wizz it over to shona@techspark.co – I look forward to hearing from you!

Nominations are open for The SPARKies 2024 

The biggest tech awards in the South West is back and open for nominations. Take a browse at the 17 categories this year, and start planning who you’ll be putting forward to receive an award this year.

We’re sure you know of a multitude of award-worthy creative minds, impactful startups and budding talent – we’re even more sure they will all appreciate your time in recognising their hard work. For this to be bigger and better than last year, we need you all to have your say! And remember, as always, The SPARKies is open to self nominations.

SETsquared named the number three startup hub in Europe by the Financial Times

“We’re probably slightly different to some of the cookie-cutter style accelerators as we have a very patient model,” says Marty Reid, interim executive director at SETsquared. “Probably owing to the fact that our origin is from universities and [the fact we] rely on a mix of public funding as well as private funding . . . we don’t have a model of pushing companies through, and out, the door.”

Read the full piece outlining what makes SETsqaured’s approach so effective here. 

University of Bath receives £25m to train researchers 

A new generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers is to be trained at the University of Bath to solve some of the most important social, health and environmental challenges of our times, thanks to new funding of around £25 million earmarked for the university.

Collectively, the centres will address key challenges including net zero, AI, defence and security, healthcare and quantum technologies.

CyberFirst girls from across the country get recognised for their success in cyber security competition 

More than 50 girls attended the celebration event hosted in Oxford after being crowned champions of their respective finals in the 2023 CyberFirst Girls Competition, run by the National Cyber Security Centre – a part of GCHQ.

The girls undertook activities such as multilingual codebreaking, coding and programming drones in several scenarios.

It’s your last chance to apply to Tech Nation’s Rising Stars pitching competition

Ready to take your startup to the next level? Tech Nations’s Rising Stars pitch competition is back and better than ever! This is the chance for startups across the UK to showcase their innovation and secure a spot on stage at London Tech Week. 

If you are a pre-seed to pre-series A startup based in the South West ready to skyrocket your success, find out more about eligibility requirements, the application process, and what’s at stake 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.