Academic consultancy reported its highest ever turnover, and the Birmingham Research Park reported its highest income yet. Spinouts raised £60m new equity, of which £4m was in very young spinouts, and for a third successive year they celebrated a successful exit event. Development partners were also found for new technologies, formed three new spinouts, and have a record number of spinout candidates under advanced development.
The support provided to Birmingham researchers enabled advances in COVID-19 testing, customised PPE for health and care workers, and potential novel therapeutics to gain the IP protection that is necessary for these innovations to come to market and deliver benefit for those who are still at the pandemic coalface.
Birmingham now has a rich pipeline of non-COVID medical innovation, and new spinouts in diagnostics, medical imaging and devices, new technologies for energy transmission and storage, and translational projects that will deliver greater sustainability.
This increase in momentum comes at a time of great challenge for the university sector. David Coleman, CEO of University of Birmingham Enterprise, explains: “Universities and academics are under a lot of pressure to demonstrate the benefits they bring to society. Enterprise activities, whether consultancy, licensing, or new (spinout) company development, are increasingly important vehicles for this. As an organisation, we have to adapt to that increasing demand. The development of world class facilities at the University, such as the Tyseley Energy Park, the Exchange, and the Precision Health Technologies Accelerator certainly help, and we need to make sure we really connect across these and capitalise on our unique assets.”
“We are also striving to create an innovation ecosystem at Birmingham that is amongst the most inclusive in the U.K., and we expect this will result in greater diversity amongst innovators and entrepreneurs, and enhance the prospects of ideas being adopted.”
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