The University of Manchester (UoM) has welcomed the Independent Review of University Spinout Companies, published in November 2023. The Review set out the important contribution that UK universities are making to the economy and society, through commercialisation of intellectual property generated by their research. The recommendations provide important guidance on the pathway to building a world-leading innovation ecosystem and the University is now taking steps to implement the recommendations from the Review.

As an active member of the TenU  group of international leaders in university research commercialisation,  and co-author of the USIT (University Spin-out Investment Terms) Guide and USIT Software guide, launched on 20th May, UoM recognises the distinction between intellectual property intensive areas such as the life sciences and the simpler pathway for some software commercialisation and sets out practical ways to improve the speed and efficiency of spinout formation. UoM has therefore initiated a review of intellectual property policies and practice, in collaboration with their partners in the Northern Gritstone investment company, which was established as a positive response to the high concentration of VC funding in London to provide VC funding in the North.

Innovation is a core theme for the University and UoM’s ambition is to create a thriving innovation ecosystem, which supports our entrepreneurs, spinouts and partners to start up, secure investment and scale, contributing positively to the prosperity of our region. As the University of Manchester Innovation Factory, we have produced 29 spinouts in the past three years and remain committed to providing the optimal environment for entrepreneurs to develop their ideas. Our policy review and founder friendly approach and commitment to supporting spinouts, will catalyse growth of a vibrant regional ecosystem which supports companies to grow and scale.

Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy President and Vice-Chancellor and lead for Innovation said: “The Spinout Review showed the vital role of universities in generating IP-Rich companies in the advanced areas most likely to revitalise our economy. We will use its recommendations as a platform to double down on bringing leading edge discoveries to the market.”

Dr Catherine Headley, Interim Chief Executive, University of Manchester Innovation Factory, said: “We feel confident that by adopting the recommendations we will be perfectly placed to nurture more successful spin outs who thrive and succeed within our regional ecosystem, helping them to secure investment, generating positive impact and driving prosperity.”

UoM’s joint venture partnership with Bruntwood Scitech to develop the North Campus into an Innovation District, will additionally provide an anchor location for spinouts to establish and succeed within the community, with an opportunity to access space, investors, facilities, partners, business support and networks within one location.