Spin cycle: 11 research-intensives foster over half of spin-outs in past decade

A group of 11 universities has produced more than half of all the spin-off companies to have been launched by higher education institutions in the past 10 years, according to new figures.

April 23, 2011

Spinouts UK, a newly launched database of information on the commercialisation of intellectual property in higher education, tracks the progress of spin-offs across the sector.

An analysis of its data reveals that Imperial College London produced more spin-offs than any other UK university. It fostered 59 new companies from 2000 to 2010.

The other high performers were also high-ranking research-intensive universities.

Imperial was followed by the universities of Oxford (which started 55 companies), Edinburgh (49), Cambridge (44), Warwick (36), Strathclyde (35), Newcastle (28), Bristol (28), Sheffield (28) and Queen’s University Belfast and Leeds (both 25).

Between them, these 11 universities fostered 412 of the 820 spin-off companies formed during the decade.

Around 10 per cent of universities fostered more than 20 companies in the past decade.

Scottish institutions produced more spin-off companies than those in any other region – 172, of which 125 are currently active.

Across the sector, sales of spin-offs totalled £3 billion.

Jonathan Harris, author of the study, said: “Despite promising signs, the UK is not yet commercialising its tremendous intellectual property and innovation in the same way as the US. I hope this survey and our annual updates will help to change that.”


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