Spinouts UK, a body that lists all spin-outs from UK universities, has suggested that Scottish universities produced more spin-out enterprises than any other region in the UK in the past decade. Spin-outs are created by universities seeking to harness the commercial potential of the intellectual property produced through their research and development functions. These enterprises aim to make such ‘products’ marketable: applying business principles to secure funding, register patents and license the use of innovations.
Recent squeezes on funding for education may see even more spin-outs appearing as universities attempt to maximise returns on their intellectual property. The climate is favourable for such set-ups: there are gaps in the market following the turbulence experienced by traditional companies. There is also an ever expanding pool of talented personnel available as high calibre graduates struggle to find work in the mainstream job market and experienced employees in industry suffer from lay-offs.
With success stories such as Dundee’s Cypex, Tayside Flow Technologies and Ceimig, as well as PhotoSynergy of St. Andrews, it is clear that spin-outs have the potential to play an important role in boosting Scotland’s economic recovery.
The corporate and commercial team at Blackadders is experienced in dealing with spin-outs and is well equipped to advise in this specialist area.