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The University of Southampton

Southampton spin-out company lists on London Stock Exchange

Published: 6 May 2010

University of Southampton spin-out company, Ilika plc, has announced its intention to float on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange at a market capitalisation of £18.7m. The first day of dealings will be 14 May.

Ilika has established a strong client base of multi-national companies such as Toyota, Shell, Asahi Kasai and NXP, and is one of 12 successful companies that have been spun out from Southampton since 2000.

The technology platform used by Ilika was initially developed at the University through an investment of more than £6m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

The company was founded to use technology developed by Professors Mark Bradley, Brian Hayden and Mike Hursthouse and Dr Samuel Guerin of the University’s School of Chemistry.

Since being spun-out of the University of Southampton in 2004, the company has established itself as a global leader in the development and application of innovative research and development techniques for the discovery of new materials. It has developed many products that impact on broad and diverse markets, including the energy and healthcare sectors. For example, developing lithium ion batteries for use in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Professor Don Nutbeam, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, says: “In a tough economic climate, innovation companies of high quality generate real value and stimulate the economy. The University of Southampton has a global reputation for its spin-out creation and direct economic impact, having previously been recognised as one of the top three universities internationally for successful spin-out operations along with Stanford University in the US and Cambridge.

“The listing of Ilika shows that universities are contributing directly to growth in the economy with globally competitive companies born from international research excellence.”

In addition to Ilika’s success, Southampton spin-out companies across the board continue to thrive in a difficult economic climate. In the last year they have raised £37m combined in private and public investment.

Dr Tony Raven, Director of Research and Innovation Services at the University says: “University research and its commercialisation represent part of the UK’s investment in innovation, and innovation is the engine of our economy.

“This is another example of how the University of Southampton is getting its research out of the lab and into the marketplace. Not only is Ilika helping to develop the clean technologies of the future, which will power our cars, homes and businesses, they are a thriving, dynamic company that is creating jobs and having positive economic impact on the local and national economy.”

Graeme Purdy, Chief Executive of Ilika says: “The ongoing support of the University has been key to our success. We continue to work closely on collaborative research and business development as part of the University’s collaborative Business Incubation Programme.”

Three other University of Southampton spin-out companies have already been floated on AIM with a combined market capitalisation value of £160 million: oil exploration company Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping (OHM), asthma research company Synairgen, and fibre laser manufacturer, SPI Lasers.

Notes for editors

  • The University of Southampton has had considerable success in creating spin-out companies. In a Library House report, Southampton was placed in the top three worldwide for the quality of our spin-out companies. The report compiled a list of companies spun out from universities since 2001 and ranked them in terms of the level of venture capital attracted. It placed Southampton just below the world-leader Stanford and the University of Cambridge.
  • The last university spin-out to float on AIM was Nanoco, a University of Manchester spin-out company, in 2009.
  • Oxford spin-out Oxford Nanopore Technologies Limited raised the biggest private equity round so far this year of £17.4m and three university spin-outs were acquired in March for £230m showing that in a tough economic climate, high-quality innovative university companies are leading the way in the economic recovery.
  • The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for research and scholarship across a wide range of subjects in engineering, science, social sciences, health, arts and humanities.
  • With over 22,000 students, around 5,000 staff, and an annual turnover of almost £400 million, the University of Southampton is one of the country's top institutions for engineering, computer science and medicine. We combine academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, supporting a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of learning.
  • The University is also home to a number of world-leading research centres, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, and the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute.
  • For further information contact:

    Glenn Harris, Media Relations, University of Southampton, Tel: 023 8059 3212, email:

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