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22 June, 2006 - 08:44 By Staff Reporter

SQW merges with Oxford Innovation and targets IPO

Cambridge consultancy SQW, author of the prioneering Cambridge Phenomenon report, has merged with Oxford Innovation, which operates innovation centres that provide space for hundreds of high growth technology companies.

Cambridge consultancy SQW, author of the prioneering Cambridge Phenomenon report, has merged with Oxford Innovation, which operates innovation centres that provide space for hundreds of high growth technology companies.

The new SQW Group, with 150 employees across six UK locations, aims to grow significantly with the objective of a London stockmarket float in within 2-3 years.

SQW is a leading economic development and management consultancy. It works mainly with public sector clients at national, regional and local scales in the UK, and internationally, providing strategic and action-oriented advice on a range of issues including: urban and rural regeneration; national policies on science, innovation and business development; skills development and social inclusion policies; and public service performance.

Its defining report ‘The Cambridge Phenomenon’, brought Cambridge’s hi-tech industry to worldwide attention and has remained a global benchmark for technology clusters.

Oxford Innovation is the UK’s leading operator of Innovation Centres and currently provides premises in 12 centres that include new buildings at Silverstone and the Portsmouth Technopole, to over 350 fast-growth technology companies, a number of whom have floated on AIM.

The firm is recognised as a specialist in helping early stage technology businesses to raise finance through its four business angel investment networks.

Oxford Innovation also delivers innovation services for government, such as the Innovation Advisory Service South East, a new regional initiative to encourage innovation in SMEs funded by SEEDA.

Ian Laing, an Oxford-based property entrepreneur and business angel investor, becomes the new group chairman. SQW’s managing director, Chris Green, becomes group CEO.

Green said: “As well as expanding in our current locations, we now plan to open further offices, with the East Midlands identified as an initial area of interest, and the South West, Northern Ireland and Wales as longer-term possibilities. We are actively recruiting to fill a number of key positions over the next year.”

SQW was founded in 1983 by Nick Segal, Roger Quince and Bill Wicksteed and employs 75 people. It is headquartered in Cambridge with regional offices in Edinburgh, Leeds, London and Manchester.

Oxford Innovation was founded in 1987 by Sir Martin Wood, co-founder of Oxford Instruments plc; it is headquartered in Oxfordshire, with additional Innovation Centres in Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and Portsmouth.

 

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