The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and The University of Manchester’s agent for IP commercialisation (UMIP) are set to work together to enhance the innovation output of the University’s extensive research base. The partnership will fast-track the innovation process by embracing the business acumen of entrepreneurs and business alongside its creative academic researchers and intellectual property to build and share value through company formation and licensing. The UMIP EIT scheme will work closely with, but be independent of, the existing ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ (EIR) scheme already undertaken by the STFC.
UMIP’s ‘Entrepreneur in Transit’ scheme (EIT) will complement its current activities in the commercialisation of intellectual property and will build new capability to enhance technology commercialisation outputs. This scheme will integrate with existing UMIP infrastructure and mechanisms wherever possible to inject additional entrepreneurial flair and domain expertise. Entrepreneurs will work alongside UMIP’s venture team within identified Schools so as to be closer to the academic innovators. One of the first EIT schemes at the University will be in the School of Physics and Astronomy which has a very strong link with STFC via its big science projects.
Dr Rich Ferrie, Director of IP Commercialisation, Head of UMIP, comments: “The University of Manchester has a rich and successful history of IP commercialisation spanning over two decades, and yields over 370 inventions a year. Our role is to harness this creative output and build “real world” applications through spinning out new technology-based companies and by licensing to industry.
Our partnership provides the foundations of the new UMIP EIT scheme and will enable creative innovation teams to be formed between our academics and external entrepreneurs and businesses at a much earlier stage than our standard process. In principle, this should allow us to respond to the needs of the market in a more agile way and direct our innovation activities at better validated commercial targets, priming our IP for earlier and more successful commercialisation. We are sending out a signal that UMIP is literally “open for business” and willing to share value with those seasoned entrepreneurs who are willing to share risk with us along this exciting journey.”
STFC will be providing support through their experience, models and case studies of stimulating new projects by engaging with external entrepreneurs. One such example is such as Cella Energy, a spin-out from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory RAL at Harwell, developing safe, low cost hydrogen storage technologies. Another STFC Business Venture Project is Surfuzion™ (NanoSpray) where entrepreneur Adrian Ryder has been working alongside Prof Bob Stevens, providing the business and general management input and perspective. Adrian has a background in the surface coating industry and material modification from his time running both surface treatment and filtration technology and manufacturing companies.
Ian Tracey, who runs the STFC Entrepreneur in Residence programme, said: “We have demonstrated the importance of matching investment ready management, to our world class science to increase the Economic Impact of our science base and to increase the ease by which investment money can be obtained. There is every reason to work with UMIP in scaling this up across their innovation landscape and to co-create new research based enterprises.”
For further information about UMIP’s EIT scheme, please contact:
Tony Walker, Head of Sales and Marketing
0161 603 7780
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