UK university spin-outs - building on progress and good practice


A review of university-investor links has been published, commissioned by Research England from Mike Rees, former deputy group CEO of Standard Chartered, start-up commercialisation expert and angel investor. 

Research England asked Mike Rees, former deputy group CEO of Standard Chartered, to review ways to strengthen university access to finance that supports spin-out company formation and university-investor relationships. The review focused on universities with large-scale investor links and those seeking support through schemes, such as the Research England Connecting Capability Fund (CCF). The Rees Review listened to advice from a broad range of stakeholders, through more than 90 interviews, and drew evidence from a data report by Tomas Coates Ulrichsen (Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI) Policy, University of Cambridge), also commissioned by Research England. 

The review builds on existing reports, in particular 2016's McMillan review of Technology Transfer, and incorporates views from a wide range of stakeholders including many PraxisAuril members. Its positive view of the university spin-out environment is to be welcomed; in particular the appreciation of the remit, resources and challenges that university technology transfer offices face. A key message from the review is that the sector - universities, investors, funders and policy makers - now need to work together to strengthen the spin-out environment. 

PraxisAuril is committed to sharing good practice and developing skills for technology transfer through our training and events programme (see New Venture Creation 1: First steps towards spin-outs and start-ups). Our expert knowledge is captured in research reports and consultation responses, most of which touch on aspects of commercialisation. See in particualar UK University Technology Transfer: behind the headlines (April 2015) which was written by PraxisAuril members from the '6U' group of most research-intensive universities. 


The Rees Review and the Technical Note by Tomas Coates Ulrichsen can be downloaded from the Research England website