IP Group plc (LSE: IPO) (“IP Group” or “the Company” or “the Group”), the developer of intellectual property based businesses, is delighted to announce that it has extended its commercialisation agreement with The University of Manchester (“the University”) through its technology transfer company, UMI3 Ltd, to include Proof-of-Principle (“PoP”) funding for graphene projects.
The Group also announces that, subject to completion of its Capital Raising announced on 23 January 2014, it intends to commit a further £2.5 million of funding, bringing the total to £7.5 million, under the revised terms of the agreement which has also been extended to 2019. The Capital Raising is due to complete on 14 February 2014.
Sir Kostya Novoselov and Sir Andre Geim first isolated graphene at The University of Manchester in 2004 and their ground-breaking experiments on the material earned them the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010.
The University is also the home of the National Graphene Institute (NGI). The £61m 7,600 square metre building, which is due to open next year, will house state-of-the-art facilities. Funding for the NGI will come from the Government (£38m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), as part of £50m allocated for graphene research, and from the European Research and Development Fund (£23m).
Graphene, a two dimensional material consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb or chicken wire structure, is the thinnest material known and yet also one of the strongest. It conducts electricity as efficiently as copper and outperforms all other materials as a conductor of heat.
Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group, said: “The University is world famous for being the home of the isolation of graphene and we are delighted to have reached agreement with UMI3 around funding graphene projects. IP Group’s first graphene company, Applied Graphene Materials, floated on AIM in November and we look forward to making more investments in this exciting area.”
Clive Rowland, UMI3 CEO, said: “The University has been developing a number of intellectual property projects which have now reached the stage where Proof-of-Principle investment is necessary to take them to the next phase and to bring on another set of inventions coming through our system. The University’s very active engagement with industrial companies is informing our understanding of which graphene areas are most relevant to develop and the possibilities for setting up intellectual property joint ventures with companies already in the market place means that our projects will be well placed for market adoption. We have been working with IP Group since last year and feel that its expertise, resources and investment capital adds significant and complementary value to our own well regarded innovation system and networks. A partnership of this nature achieves a critical mass necessary to succeed in an emerging technology field like graphene.”
IP Group signed its original agreement with the University, through UMI3, in February 2013. Under the terms of that agreement, IP Group agreed to create a PoP funding facility for the identification and formation of new spin-out companies and to make available an initial facility of up to £5 million to provide capital to new proof of principle projects intended for commercialisation through spin-out companies.
In return, IP Group receives equity stakes in such spin-out companies on pre-agreed terms and has the right to invest further in these companies as they progress. In addition, IP Group provides access to its relevant experts, business building expertise, mentoring, coaching and co-investing networks, recruitment and business support.
For more information, please contact:
IP Group plc www.ipgroupplc.com
Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive Officer +44 (0) 20 7444 0050
Liz Vaughan-Adams, Communications +44 (0) 20 7444 0062 / +44 (0) 7979 853 802
Ben Atwell, John Dineen +44 (0) 20 7831 3113
Clive Rowland, Chief Executive +44 (0)161 603 7750
Press office: Allan Prits +44 (0)161 606 7240
As part of HEFCE’s £2 million programme to strengthen and broaden support for Social Enterprise in Higher Education Institutions, UMIP is delighted to announce the Social Enterprise Competition Round 2 is NOW OPEN.
The University of Manchester continues to develop an ecosystem of support for budding Social Entrepreneurs and the UMIP Social Enterprise Competition not only offers prize money for winners but also provides a series of mentoring opportunities, business development sessions and further funding opportunities.
The competition will close on the 13th June 2014 however, we strongly advise candidates to submit an application as soon as possible to receive feedback from the team and to improve the chances of being successful.
• Are you a member of staff or an academic at The University of Manchester?
• Do you have an idea that could have a social or environmental application/ output?
Then we want to hear from you!
If you’re not sure what makes a social enterprise, or how to go about starting, just get in touch. We’re happy to talk to interested candidates.
To find out more about Social Enterprise and how to apply to the competition please visit: www.umi3.com/social-enterprise
Student social entrepreneurs will be able to apply for funding via the Manchester Enterprise Centre Venture Further Competition (https://mec.portals.mbs.ac.uk/Enterpriseactivities/Competitions.aspx )
His Royal Highness The Duke of York visited UMI3 in Manchester earlier this week as part of a visit to the University to learn more about graphene and the University’s successes and challenges in commercialising research and to meet some student technology entrepreneurs. He also visited NanoCo, in the University’s Innovation Centre, as an example of a successful manufacturing spin-out which grew from a proof-of-principle project to a £100M+ stock-market listed company in six years.
Following a tour of the graphene facilities and a lunch hosted by the University President, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, The Duke of York was greeted at the Innovation Centre by Vice-President for Innovation, Professor Luke Georghiou, and UMI3 CEO, Clive Rowland. His Royal Highness visited UMI3 as part of his desire to see that the UK is recognised as the best place in the world for Science and Engineering.
Clive commented, “It was very encouraging to see how knowledgeable and positively engaged The Duke of York is about research commercialisation and related activities such as student enterprise projects. He is keen to see the University continue to develop its capabilities in this regard and promote its successes and products internationally. He is extremely enthusiastic about the potential of graphene and interested in the different applications and routes to market for it. For those of us who try our best to contribute to the British economy’s industrial leadership through creating entirely new science-based businesses and via licensing of technology enhancements of existing processes and products arising from the University’s top-class research, it’s highly motivating to hear how passionately His Royal Highness offers suggestions to develop our work and how he promotes our cause internationally.”
About UMI3 : UMI3 is The University of Manchester’s Innovation Group. Annually the University assesses some 350 inventions with commercial potential and initiates over 20 new business projects a year. In total its spin-outs attract an average of £10M in third party investment income and it concludes over 30 new licences a year. In collaboration with the technology transfer offices at UCL and The University of Edinburgh, the University’s technology transfer company, UMI3, has just announced a campaign to raise a £150M spin-out seed investment fund “ The Orion Fund”, managed by MTI Partners.
His Royal Highness The Duke of York with Nanoco's CEO, Dr Michael Edelman and CTO, Dr Nigel Pickett.
The University's Innovation Centre, UMIC.
Media Contact : Mr Allan Prits: 0161 606 7240 ( allan.prits@UMI3.com ) web www.umi3.com
UMI3 director Bryan Bodek has been named Ernst & Young Business Products and Services Entrepreneur of the Year 2011. Mr Bodek who is chief executive of Airline Services' serves on the UMI? board as Non Executive Director (Independent Director) Deputy Chairman.
His former roles have included being a former lawyer with Manchester legal firm Kuit solicitors and he is also the ex vice chairman of Manchester City Football Club.
Airline Services has tripled size in the last six years and now operates from eleven UK airports. Its most recent accounts show turnover growth of 26% to £40.9m and profit growth of 82% to £3.6m.
Mr Bodek said he was 'overwhelmed' to take the national award for Business Products and Services. He said:
"I'm surprised and delighted and I'm still scratching my head as to how I'm here.
Not such a long time ago I was sitting behind my desk as a corporate lawyer in Manchester, but I had a vision and an opportunity, and I'm now leading a business serving 226 airlines around the world.
l am lucky, I have a great team around me, we have a good order book. The growth of Airline Services has been a team effort."
Elaine O’Donnell, partner at Ernst & Young in the North West and regional leader for the Entrepreneur of the Year programme, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Bryan and the other winners have been recognised for their great innovation, integrity and clear vision.”
Guest speaker was Business Secretary Vince Cable, who said the Government was doing all it could – against a backdrop of "a very dangerous and difficult period" – to support business growth and entrepreneurialism.