Today, PraxisUnico becomes the lead partner in Young Company Finance’s Spinouts UK project - a listing of all spinouts from UK universities since 2000, with information about their origins, their activity, their growth, and their current status.
The project output - The PraxisUnico Spinouts UK Survey - will, for the first time, provide a continuous series of data which will be updated regularly to give the most comprehensive and reliable source of information about this important sector. The extensive database includes 1,500 spinout and start-up companies. This is the first survey to investigate this sector by taking a cumulative ‘bottom up’ approach, compiling data company by company and updating it regularly. The annual reports will analyse and comment on trends in the data, and highlight successful outcomes for spinout companies as possible exemplars or case studies for improving success rates overall.
The first analysis of this data has already provided data to dispel some myths about spinout companies. For example, it is widely believed in some quarters that most spinouts are very short-lived - this is mistaken; the Survey shows that spinouts fare as well as most other early stage companies in this regard with 73% of the companies in the survey over five years old. Many spinouts grow into successful businesses with around 10% achieving stock market flotation or trade sale. The results are impressive - we have price data for only 50% of spinouts achieving trade sales, but the figures we do have, plus the valuations of spinouts floating on stock markets, amount to a conservative total of just short of £5 billion.
Dr Douglas Robertson, Chair of PraxisUnico and Director of Research and Enterprise Services, Newcastle University, said “It is clear that spinout companies are only part of the technology transfer portfolio; but in my view an important part. Spinning out a company is a real challenge, particularly in the present financial environment. However, between 2003 and 2010 PraxisUnico data produced for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills shows spinouts going to trade sale and public offerings had a combined capital value of £4.8 billion. Clearly only a small part of that value will end up as a financial return to the university concerned, but the activity contributes employment and economic value to UK plc. “
The link with PraxisUnico will enable Spinouts UK to build the database and keep it updated much more effectively. Both partners share the goal of communicating the successes of the university commercialisation sector more widely.
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The Spinouts UK project has collected data from 150 universities and HEIs across the UK, and has created an online database of 1,500 companies originating in these universities since 2000, with information about their origins, their activity, their growth, and their current status.
This is the first survey to investigate this sector by taking a cumulative ‘bottom up’ approach, compiling data company by company and updating it regularly. The objective is to build up a comprehensive and reliable database of information about companies formed by universities, to enable the analysis of trends and patterns, and to give a basis for informed discussion of the role of universities in maximising the commercial impact of UK innovation and invention.
The first annual report, published in April 2011, gives the first analysis of the information contained in the online listing. It focuses specifically on true spinouts (those based on the exploitation of intellectual property (IP) owned by the university of origin) formed between academic years 1999/2000 and 2009/2010, and gives a ‘broad-brush’ summary of the main characteristics of the companies in the dataset.
1. PraxisUnico is a not-for-profit educational organisation set up to support innovation and commercialisation of public sector and charity research for social and economic impact. PraxisUnico encourages innovation and acts as a voice for the research commercialisation profession, facilitating the interaction between the public sector research base, business and government. PraxisUnico provides a forum for best practice exchange, underpinned by first-class training and development programmes.
2. PraxisUnico is the UK’s leading research commercialisation association.
About Spinouts UK
Spinouts UK wwwspinoutsuk.co.uk is published by Young Company Finance (the trading name of Edinburgh House Publishing Ltd).
Young Company Finance (YCF) has been devoted to tracking and reporting on early stage companies in Scotland since it was started in 1998, and it is the only publication to cover this market exclusively.