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University spin-offs numbers soar

The number of spin-off companies established each year by UK universities increased by nearly half during the second half of the last decade, figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) have shown.

The figures, published yesterday in Hansard, show that UK universities established 186 formal spin-offs in 2005-6. 
But this increased by more than 20%, to 226, the following year. Although the number dropped back slightly in each of the next two years (to 219 and 215 respectively), in 2009-10, it jumped to 273.
Meanwhile, the total number of university spin-off companies that had been active for three years or more climbed steadily, from 746 in 2005-6 to 976 in 2008-9. It fell back slightly in 2009-10, however, to 969.
The figures also show wide variation in the success universities have had in generating spin-offs.
Imperial College London leads the field, and by 2009-10 its research had generated 70 companies that had remained in operation for more than three years.
Others generating significant numbers of companies include the universities of Edinburgh (57), Cambridge (48), Sheffield (46) and Oxford (39).
But these five institutions are between them responsible for more than a quarter of all such companies operating in the UK in 2009-10.
You can read more on the commercialisation of research in the April issue of EducationInvestor, out this week. And you can read HESA's full figures here.

Posted on: 22/03/2011

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