Thursday 14th October 2010

Universities minister praises SETsquared Partnership’s contribution to UK economy and world-class research

Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science addressed a packed auditorium of over 200 industrialists, entrepreneurs and academics who attended the SETsquared Changing Worlds event on Wednesday this week in Westminster.

The event which brought together the SETsquared Partnership universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey, demonstrated the economic and social impact of their research in a unique exhibition and a series of presentations. The Minister congratulated the four universities on their ten year collaboration, and recognised their contribution to the UK economy and this Country’s reputation for international quality research.

The research case studies presented are estimated to have contributed many billions of pounds to the UK economy, and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people living in the developing world. Details of these projects may be found at The event attracted visitors from outside the academic sector including business leaders, MPs and Lords.

Event chair, Professor Glynis Breakwell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bath stated that: “The SETsquared Partnership strongly believes that maintaining the environment for a high performing research base within the HE sector is essential if the UK is to remain a global leader and a prized destination for international talent.”

She also asked the Minister to note that “Our research excellence will not survive a stop-go funding approach which would cut off funding for a few years until we hope the public purse will be stronger.”

Celebrating a decade of working in collaboration, the SETsquared Partnership’s goal is to maximise the benefit of its university research to the economy, society and the environment. SETsquared universities collectively employ 6,500 academics, teach over 74,000 students and manage 7% of the UK’s higher education research budget. The Changing Worlds event marked the start of a new approach to communicating the successes of their research and encouraging a broader understanding of the role of university research, outside the academic sector.



Editors notes:

More information on the featured research and their key outcomes is available at For press enquiries contact Karen Brooks at [email protected].