SQW (initially known as Segal Quince Associates, and then the Segal Quince Wicksteed Partnership) was first established in 1983. The firm’s origins were strongly in knowledge-based local economic development and the steps needed to realise competitive advantage through innovation. SQW’s first major publication (in 1985) was The Cambridge Phenomenon: the growth of high technology industry in a university town. Cambridge was the location of the firm’s first main office.

Over subsequent years, the company developed its national and international reputation, including in the Asia Pacific Region and Central Europe. In the mid 1990s, it was awarded the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement.

Reflecting a growing client base and increased staff numbers, additional offices were established by the early 2000s in London, Edinburgh and Manchester. These continue to thrive.

In over 35 years, SQW’s specialist expertise has both broadened and deepened. Today, we work across four key policy areas and disciplines: spatial and local economic development; innovation, business support and the role of the science and research base; children and young people; and health and social care. In these domains, we bring foremost expertise in research and analysis, business case development and appraisal, and evaluation, and we work extensively with partners, stakeholders and clients from across the public, private and community sectors. In 2019, BBP Regeneration – a firm with which we had worked for over 20 years – formally became part of SQW. This provided the business with more specialist expertise in land and property, strengthening further our spatial and local economic development practice.

SQW has been part of the SQW Group since 2006. Within SQW Group, our sister companies are Oxford Innovation Space (providing incubation services to innovative start-up and high-growth companies), Oxford Innovation Advice (OIS delivers coaching, training and mentoring support to high growth businesses), and the Oxford Innovation Finance (home of one of the UK’s longest running angel investor networks, connecting entrepreneurs and firms with highly active potential investors).

Now well into its fourth decade, SQW has a depth of knowledge and insight which provides a unique understanding of policy research and delivery. Our team consists of fifty permanent staff. It blends highly experienced senior staff with exceptional junior consultants to offer effective solutions to clients. Our company values are defined in response – focusing on the quality of what we do; the integrity with which we do it; the beneficial impacts we achieve as a result; and the collaborative way in which we work. Read more about our impact here.