Oxford and Imperial lead in the spin-off age

June 29, 2001

Oxford University was crowned the most innovative university in Britain in a business competition last week, with Imperial College, London, coming a close second. Dundee was awarded best emerging university.

The Launchit2001 competition invited universities to submit summaries of their innovation activities. The 15 entries were assessed on the number and value of spin-off companies and the strength of their links with local, regional and international business.

Innovation education, networking and student liaison schemes and the strength and value of intellectual property portfolios were also considered.

Marcus Gibson, a competition judge, said future winners could well be from new universities, citing impressive entries from Bournemouth and the University of the West of England.

Oxford, which won £20,000, has 35 spin-off companies, six with stock exchange listings, with a combined value of £2 billion. Imperial has 53 spin-off companies, worth about £1.1 billion.

Dundee University has more than 30 projects licensed to Scottish companies and has spun off seven companies.

  • The competition included a technology business plan contest with a £1 million pot to fast track ideas from universities into the marketplace.

    Venture capitalist company Cross Atlantic Capital Partners, sponsor of the competition, chose companies from Keele and Edinburgh universities, which will receive £100,000 to £500,000 each to develop their businesses.

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