Discover SETsquared – Wednesday 27th September


Calling all early-stage aspiring entrepreneurs and academics looking to commercialise your research. SETsquared Bristol’s acclaimed incubator is opening its virtual doors on 27 September, 4-5pm. 

Book to attend to find out how its bespoke business support programme can help you grow your business and make an impact in the world. Includes talks from Centre Director, Kimberley Brook, Entrepreneur in Residence, Rick Chapman and CEO of alumni company Optect.

Discover SETsquared open event – 16th March

Calling all early-stage or aspiring entrepreneurs and academics looking to commercialise research. SETsquared Bristol’s award-winning incubator is opening its virtual doors on Thursday 16 March, 4-5pm. 

Book to attend to find out how their bespoke business support programme can help you grow your business and make an impact in the world. Includes talks from Centre Director, Kimberley Brook, Entrepreneur in Residence, Anna-Lisa Wesley and alumnus Tom Eyre, Co-founder of Loqbox.

SETSquared Bristol’s Breakthrough Bursary – Open for Applications!

Calling all UK tech entrepreneurs from a minority ethnic background – take your business to the next level!  Apply for SETsquared Bristol’s Breakthrough Bursary to access heavily discounted business support. 

SETsquared’s incubation programme can help early-stage startups with market readiness or help existing businesses to scale and raise investment.

If you want help to grow your business and make an impact in the world, apply by 7 November.

University of Bristol centre of innovation for 138 years, archives reveal

Our research and enterprise team have discovered patents dating back to 1884.

We, the commercialisation team at Bristol file patent applications to University intellectual property and were interested to understand when Bristol may have started filing patent applications. Three patents have been unearthed from between 1884 and 1886, submitted by famous inventors of their time Prof Henry Selby Hele Shaw and Prof Silvanus-Phillips-Thompson.

The academics worked at what was then known as University College, Bristol before it received its Royal Charter, on this day in 1909, enabling it to confer degrees and formally establishing the University of Bristol.

Henry Selby Hele Shaw was Bristol’s first ever Professor of Engineering and submitted our first known patent for a mechanical device composed of a sphere with two sets of rollers – a classic mechanical engineering product, which at the time could be applied to various mechanical and electrical machines for increased accuracy.

He developed various inventions throughout his lifetime including hydraulic variable-speed gear, the Victualic pipe joint, the streamline filter and pumps. However his most famous invention was the variable-pitch airscrews in which the inclination of the blades could be varied to assist an aeroplane when quick starting and needing to climb. This invention was acquired by the Government, and in October 1940, after the Battle of Britain, Prof. Hele-Shaw received commendation for his invention’s contribution to Britain’s successful campaign.

The second and third patents were linked to telephones in the days before the device had been streamlined. The inventor, Silvanus Phillips Thompson was Professor of Experimental Physics at University College, Bristol. While teaching, Prof Thompson contributed to the development of electric dynamo machines and radiotelegraphy and authored the book Calculus Made Easy in 1910, which is still in print today.

Bristol has a long history of innovation having invented many famous products over the years such as Ribena, mobile phones, Spitfire wings and environmentally friendly fake snow used today in Hollywood.

In the late 1930s, Sir Alfred Pugsley – one of the leading structural engineers of his generation – advised the designer of the Spitfire, R. J. Mitchell, to increase the stiffness of the aircraft’s wings to reduce vibration. Mitchell’s final design was so sound that over 22,000 Spitfires were built and played a major role in securing victory in World War II.

Ribena was invented at the University by scientist Dr Vernon Charley in 1936 as a blackcurrant cordial to be added to milk for nutrition. During World War II it was distributed for free to children and pregnant women as an important source of Vitamin C.

In 1980, Professor Joe McGeehan started work on a new portable mobile radio for the parcel delivery firm Securicor. His design was subsequently manufactured for Securicor by the Finnish firm Mobira-Oy (now Nokia) and the radio became the basis of the company’s first civil mobile phone.

Other famous inventions to originate at Bristol include fake snow, developed by Masters student Lizzie Mould. She worked with Snow Business, the world’s leading supplier of artificial snow, to invent a new environmentally-friendly fluid which could be pumped out of its snow machines in the form of foam to create the effect of snowflakes and is used in Hollywood movies and cult TV series.Prof Philip Taylor, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, said: “Bristol has been at the forefront of cutting edge science since its inception.

“The discovery of these historic patents pre-dating the Royal Charter show that the foundations that place the University as a world leader in research today, were laid from the very beginning.”

Carolyn Jenkins, Research Commercialisation Manager, said: “It is fantastic to see the long heritage Bristol has in translating excellent research into applied technology that really demonstrates significant contribution to society and the economy.”

1909 Royal Charter

Credit University of Bristol

Ribena bottling line

Credit University of Bristol

Birds eye view of University College, Bristol

Credit University of Bristol

Henry Selbe Hele Shaw

Credit Public domain


Credit University of Bristol

University College, Bristol crest

Credit University of Bristol

University College, Bristol, Park Row 1876

Credit University of Bristol

University Road

Credit University of Bristol


Credit University of Bristol

UoB Spin Out Fluoretiq acquires exclusive licence to AST Technology


We are excited to announce the acquisition of an exclusive licence to SCFI™- an Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing technology from the University of Bristol.

In 2017 Professor Massimo Antognozzi and his team developed Sub Cellular Fluctuation Imaging (SCFI™) which enables real-time capture of metabolic activity within bacterial cells. SCFI™ has been proven as a fast, phenotypic technique that can provide actionable information at the patient bedside. By entering an exclusive licence agreement with the University, FluoretiQ have acquired the rights to develop and commercialise this technology.

FluoretiQ CEO, Neciah Dorh commented:

“At FluoretiQ, we are passionate about bringing products to market that support the fight against AMR and sustainable prescribing of antibiotics. We will develop SCFI™ as a sister technology to NANOPLEX® to promote evidence-based and effective antibiotic treatments”

Ros Darby, our Head of Research Commercialisation and Investment said “We have been working with Fluoretiq since its inception in 2017 as a spin out company of the universityFluoretiQ has developed a revolutionary technology platform NANOPLEX® which supports their first product line aimed at diagnosing infections in fifteen minutes flat. Now we are pleased to be able to support FluoretiQ further with this licensing agreement and are proud to be supporting them in their AMR mission”.

Read the press release here:

Bristol academics in UK entrepreneur list

It’s always good to see great UK science in the headlines. Hummingbird Ventures have highlighted some of the best bioscience labs. They welcome additions, so tell them if yours isn’t there!

Working at the University of Bristol, we’ve always known we had great bioscience. What’s been astonishing is the rapid growth of spinouts in recent years – all thanks to great entrepreneurs and great commercialisation experts. 

Discover SetSquared!

Calling all tech entrepreneurs! Come to SETsquared Bristol’s open event to find out how our programme can help grow your business

About this event

Discover SETsquared is our open event where you can find out about our business support programme and meet the team. The next event is Thursday 24 March from 4 – 5 pm and includes a talk from Entrepreneur in Residence, Anna-Lisa Wesley and a SETsquared alumni member.

Tech founders or aspiring tech entrepreneurs of all levels and backgrounds are welcome to attend. The event will take place online to be accessible to anyone in the UK and is aimed at non-SETsquared members.

Our award winning incubator, SETsquared Bristol, grows global technology businesses from Bristol. All UK tech entrepreneurs can benefit from our high-quality, bespoke business support, whether you are from the private sector or a university spin-out. For more info visit

This event is kindly supported by Startups Magazine.