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Reuters rates University of Manchester for the high commercial impact of its patents

A list recently produced by Reuters ranks The University of Manchester as the seventh most innovative in Europe – jumping nine places from the 2017 report – and third in the UK.

The Reuters Top 100 Most Innovative Universities ranking is based on the number of academic papers, patents filed and citations by other academics and industry which introduces a quality rather than a volume measure.

The University’s world-class research base has an excellent track record of innovation spanning over 30 years. All of the brilliant ideas which are generated by the University’s researchers have the potential to save lives, improve health, increase efficiencies in industry and the environment, or otherwise enhance society and make positive contributions to our economy.

Clive Rowland, CEO of UMI3 Ltd, the University’s agent for IP commercialisation, comments: “The University continues to promote its long-standing commitment to improving society through innovation, whether such positive impacts are achieved by our social enterprises or for commercial gain through our spin-out company and technology licensing work.

“We recognise that to be an innovative organisation we need to look for quality as well as volume with our patenting – our patents need to be both thorough and defensible.

“It’s pleasing to see that our results-focussed approach and continuous improvement in our way of working, that we introduced some time ago, is having an effect as shown by our upward movement in this index.

“The difference between us and those towards the top of the table, in respect of the impact measure, is narrowing too.”

Since 2004, IP enterprises have generated over £115 million to the University through the sale of shares in spin-outs, licensing income and through IP grants and contracts activity. Furthermore, over £430m has been invested by 3rd party venture funders in the University’s spin-outs, a number of which have received national and regional enterprise awards.

Manchester is synonymous with graphene following its isolation in 2004 by Nobel Prize winners Professors Geim and Novoselov. The University has one of the most extensive portfolios of IP rights relating to graphene and 2D materials with over 300 scientists engaged in 2D materials research here in Graphene City ®.

IP encompasses technologies in areas including: the production of 2D materials, 2D inks, desalination and nano-filtration membranes, barrier coatings, polymer composites, thermoelectric composites, sensors, touch screen interfaces, printable electronics and wearable technologies to name a few.

Earlier this month the University with spin-out Nanoco Group PLC, which develops and manufactures quantum dots and nano-materials, launched Nanoco 2D Materials Ltd to develop a new generation of nano-materials. Potential commercial applications for these materials span across a wide range of sectors including novel catalysts, photo-detectors, photovoltaics, inverters and light emitting devices.

Spin-out and AIM listed SkinBioTherapeutics, a skin health specialist, raised £4.5m when it listed on the London stock market last year. The company recently announced that its cream formulation has passed effectiveness studies in models of skin and will now undergo further testing for stability.

Earlier this year, another spin-out MicroBioSensor – which is behind a medical device designed to detect life threatening infections – received a £1.4m investment boost and has just successfully completed its first clinical trial.

Reuter’s latest ranking follows recent news that the University has attracted the most research income from UK industry of any institution in the country, with £24,831,000 of research income in 2016-2017 from UK industry, commerce and public corporations.

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