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University of Southampton ranked amongst best in the world for spin-out companies

Published: 
16 March 2007

The University of Southampton is ranked among the best in the world for spin-out companies, a new survey shows.

Southampton's impressive spin-out record and success in commercialising academic research has been favourably compared with top US university Stanford in a recent Library House study.

The venture capital research firm, chaired by former Dragons' Den panellist Doug Richard, compiled a list of all companies spun out from British universities since 2001 and compared the volume of venture capital money they attracted with the amounts backing companies spun out of three top US universities Stanford, Wisconsin and Washington.

In the study, featured in the Daily Telegraph and Financial Times, Southampton came out below the world-leader Stanford, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, but above the other leading US universities of Wisconsin and Washington. Stanford in California has had phenomenal successes with spin-outs such as Google and Sun Microsystems.

Mr Richard said he was particularly impressed by Southampton's performance. "It means UK universities, and Southampton as an example, are far more effective at the creation of innovative companies through the spin-out process than their counterparts in the US," he commented.

The findings show that Southampton has become extremely efficient at identifying and supporting new academic research that has commercial potential. Tony Raven, Director of the University of Southampton's Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI) commented, "The fact that Southampton's success in creating world-class spin-out companies has been recognised is testament to the high quality of research generated by the University, and the expertise, commitment and dedication of academics in identifying commercial opportunities and transforming world-class research into quality profitable business."

Twelve companies have been spun-out since 2000, three of which have been admitted to London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) with a combined market capitalisation value of over £100 million. Theses are Oil exploration company Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping (OHM), asthma research company Synairgen, and fibre laser manufactures SPI Lasers.

Notes for editors

  1. Library House is a venture capital research group that provides information on the fastest growing, most innovative ventures around Europe.
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship.  It is one of the UK's top 10 research universities, offering first-rate opportunities and facilities for study and research across a wide range of subjects in humanities, health, science and engineering.  The University has around 20,000 students and over 5000 staff.  Its annual turnover is in the region of £310 million.
    The University of Southampton is one of the country's top institutions for engineering, computer science and medicine, and has a strong enterprise agenda.  It is home to a range of world-leading research centres, including the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, and the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies.

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