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University of Birmingham campus at night.

David Coleman, CEO of University of Birmingham Enterprise said: “We welcome the conclusion of the government's spin-out review and are pleased that it recognises the great work done in universities to commercialise research and contribute to the UK economy.

“In 2022, we undertook our own spin-out review and had already started to adopt a new approach. We are pleased to note that many of the recommendations align well with this. We look forward to opportunities arising from its recommendations to work with others in the sector, including investors, to accelerate the development and growth of spin-out companies.”

The government has an ambition for the UK to be a science and technology superpower, with thriving partnerships between universities and high-tech spin-out companies contributing to economic growth and productivity. The review looked at the most successful university spin-out ecosystems across the world, and within the UK, to identify best practices and opportunities to support spin-outs to generate greater investment and grow faster in the UK.

University of Birmingham Enterprise provides an end-to-end service for the University’s academics, enabling their innovative ideas and expertise to be commercialised, typically through licensing, consultancy or through the development, growth and investment in our spin-out companies. It also owns and manages Birmingham Research Park, where its resident companies (including spin-outs) obtain support and facilities to help them grow. Examples of recent innovations include:

  • Liquid resins that when cured are biocompatible and bioresorbable, and can be 3D printed. Spin-out company, 4D Biomaterials, is currently developing an interference screw using this technology, which is intended to help repair injuries of the anterior cruciate ligament.
  • Dexter, a software developed at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, automates the process of sorting through healthcare data, unlocking real-world evidence to bring new treatments to patients as quickly as possible. To accelerate commercialisation, and validate a future spin-out business plan, a University of Birmingham Enterprise Operating Division has been set up.
  • A collaboration between Nonacus, a med-tech company established at BioHub®, and University of Birmingham researchers, has led to the development of a urine test that can quickly and accurately detect bladder cancer, sparing patients invasive procedures.

In 2022-23, University of Birmingham Enterprise created eight new spin-outs and Operating Divisions and generated £13m of value for the University and its academics. Its Annual Report contains more stories of spin-outs, academic consultancies and successful commercialisation.