Academic roll

Intellectual property commercialisation company IP2IPO has added Bristol University to its growing roster of academic partners.

Intellectual property commercialisation company IP2IPO has added Bristol University to its growing roster of academic partners.

Under a 25-year deal, the company will identify and help set up spin-out businesses across the university and invest an initial £5m in return for an equity stake in them.

According to IP2IPO, Bristol is one the UK’s leading research universities, with 10 of its engineering, science and medicine departments receiving the highest possible rating in recent national ‘league tables’. The group said it has already identified a ‘pipeline of very promising opportunities’ within the university.

Vice-chancellor Prof Eric Thomas claimed the partnership would help ‘maximise the impact of the knowledge generated by Bristol academics.’

Bristol is the latest institution to sign an exclusive partnership deal with IP2IPO. Founded in 2001, the commercialisation specialist formed its inaugural partnership with Oxford University’s Chemistry Department. In 2003, its relationship with Oxford was expanded to cover seed capital funding of £5m for spin-out companies across the entire university.

A similar agreement was signed with the University of Southampton, under which IP2IPO also received a 20 per cent stake in Southampton Asset Management, a company set up to hold the university’s equity stakes in its spin-outs.

King’s College London and the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) based at the University of York, have also signed deals with IP2IPO.

CNAP is a flagship research centre specialising in plant and microbial gene discovery. Under this agreement, a new company, called Amaethon, was created with the right to commercialise CNAP’s IP for 25 years.

To date, five spin-out companies from the IP2IPO portfolio have listed on AIM. They are Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping, Synairgen, Vastox, Proximagen Neuroscience and GETECH.