Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
The University of Southampton

Commercialising research

We actively support our researchers in a number of ways; we enable them to not only commercialise their research, but also to make successful independent businesses out of their discoveries.

Following extensive consultation with academic staff, spinout founders, the University’s Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, investors and other key stakeholders, the University has created an updated Spinout Equity Guide .

The Guide reflects the decision to reduce the amount of equity that the University takes in spinout companies, from 33.3% to 10% in Knowledge Intensive Spinouts, and 5% in Software Spinouts.

The new Guide aims to:

Spin-out success

Since 2000, the University has spun out 13 successful companies in which we have taken an equity position. Four have floated on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) with a combined market value of £180 million. They are the oil exploration company Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping (OHM), the asthma therapy development company Synairgen , and the fibre laser manufacturer SPI Lasers and Ilika , a company developing new patentable functional materials.

But this tells only part of the enterprise story. At any one time, the University is working with over 1,000 external organisations; over 40 per cent of our research projects involve one or more business partners; more than 150 international businesses have chosen the University as a key partner for their research and development; and we have a rolling patent portfolio of more than 300 active patent families with an annual income of about £1m.

Our spin-out companies

Our spin-out companies

View a list of our current spin-out companies and find out more about them:

Ilika: Science-based materials discovery company, which uses high-throughput technologies.

Visit the Ilika website .

Karus Therapeutics: Novel drug treatment of cancer and heart disease through histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors.

Visit the Karus Therapeutics website .

Synairgen: Working to improve the treatment of lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Visit the Synairgen website .

Arkivum: Working to provide long-term, large-scale data archiving.

Visit the Arkivum website

BluPoint: Provides a physical access point to enable people in off-grid communities to both access free digital materials on their mobile phones and share digital content within their community Smart Space.

Visit the BluPoint website

Turning research into commercial enterprises

Our Research and Innovation Services help our researchers to patent their research and commercialise it
Patenting success

Taking a piece of groundbreaking research or an innovative idea and turning into a commercial product is not easy. Setting up a business, especially for the first time, is very hard to do without advice, support and collaboration. At the University of Southampton we understand this, and we also recognise how important it is to make sure that the work of our researchers gets out into the real world. That is why we have a number of services to support researchers hoping to take their work into the business world.

Research and Innovation Services

We offer opportunities for our researchers to go on courses or work with businesses to learn entrepreneurial skills
Learning business skills

Our Research and Innovation Services (RIS) team is dedicated to supporting our researchers personally and professionally.

We can help to set up Knowledge Transfer Partnerships between researchers and local businesses – an excellent way of learning how the commercial world works. We also encourage our researchers to become consultants, offering advice and guidelines on how to go about this. Our Professional Development Unit also runs a number of courses that can help you to expand your skills base. And once you make an innovation in your work that has business potential we can help you to license your intellectual property.

SETsquared business incubator

The University of Southampton is one of several universities who are part of the SETsquared business incubator partnership.

This business incubator offers a real kick-start to entrepreneurs and researchers who wish to set-up at business. SETsquared offers up to £50,000 of ‘get-started’ funding, access to free OpenDOOR Software, help with market research, support and guidance from InnovationUK, and a ‘Researcher to Innovator’ course. All of which gives you the resources, as well as the skills to create a successful business out of your research.

University of Southampton Science Park

Our Science Park , based close to our Highfield campus at nearby Chilworth, offers a flexible and convenient space for you to grow your business.

You can hire just one desk or a very small space, with no obligations to take on a long-term lease. We also offer mentoring and business support opportunities, as well as numerous networking events with other businesses on the Science Park.

Privacy Settings