Top universities boost investor confidence with new spinout framework to spur economic growth
24th April 2023
The University of Oxford partners with top universities and investors to agree terms which will greatly increase the UK’s capacity to turn world-leading research into spinouts that will generate economic growth and societal impact.
The UK’s universities are joining forces in an unprecedented drive to generate economic growth and support the UK’s ‘Science Superpower’ ambition. The University of Oxford, along with leading institutions Manchester, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Imperial College London and University College London today launched the University Spinout Investment Terms (USIT) Guide. This landmark publication, supported by Research England and developed with seven prominent investors, aims to galvanise investment and streamline the approaches needed to create successful spinouts from cutting-edge research.
Answering many of the questions set out in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s recently announced review into university innovation, the USIT Guide establishes a new suite of standards drawing on best practices from around the world, including notable successes like Oxford Nanopore Technologies from Oxford and Cambridge’s ARM. The guide provides invaluable direction and guidance on equity share and intellectual property (IP) by streamlining the process and fostering closer collaboration between universities and the investment community. The USIT Guide has the potential to improve the speed of creation and scale of investment in high-impact technology businesses that can drive the UK’s economic growth.
“The USIT Guide represents a paradigm shift in how we approach research commercialisation,” said Matt Perkins, CEO of Oxford University Innovation (OUI), the technology transfer office (TTO) of the University. “These investment terms will build investor confidence and galvanise more spinout creation. By creating a common framework we are helping to harmonise approaches across all UK university spinouts, driving impact and positive change globally.”
The USIT Guide comes at a pivotal moment as the UK higher education sector seeks to further enhance its reputation as a global leader in transforming ground-breaking university research into commercially successful spinouts. With the launch of this initiative, the UK’s leading universities are laying the foundations for the UK to become a true ‘Science Superpower’, driving innovation, creating jobs, and fostering positive societal change.
“This is a bold initiative, the first of its kind to bring together the investor community and top universities,” said Jim Wilkinson, Chief Financial Officer at Oxford Science Enterprises, which contributed to the report. “The USIT Guide has the potential to encourage further investment and ensure that we’re driving the growth of high-impact businesses that will shape the future of our economy.”
The USIT Guide promises to accelerate the speed and quality of spinout creation. Importantly it hopes to also advance spinouts capability to scale up globally, generating more jobs, more productivity, and a brighter future for the UK as a leading ‘Science Superpower’.
Jessica Corner, Executive Chair of Research England, added, “The USIT Guide has come out of the deep professionalism and commitment of UK TTOs to collaboration: sharing approaches internationally, and working with others – particularly investors – to make our ecosystem more effective.”
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