University launches ‘innovation factory’ to identify viable spin-offs
Designed to be one of Europe’s most effective University Technology Transfer offices, the University of Manchester Innovation Factory has built a new team and processes for commercialising the university’s innovations and intellectual property.
The new organisation’s core mission is to use this IP to create positive social and economic impact.
The Innovation Factory works with academic and student inventors to identify research that has the potential to create future value.
Access to innovations may be created via technology licensing or the formation of new spin-out companies.
The Innovation Factory aims to provide a world-class service to academic colleagues as well as important external stakeholders, including industry, entrepreneurs, licensees, VC and angel investors as well as corporate venturing partners.
The Innovation Factory has the objective of creating between 15 to 20 new spin-out companies each year based on novel ideas coming from the university’s three faculties: Medicine Biology & Health; Science & Engineering; and Humanities.
It also aims to generate significant incremental income and impact by signing deals with companies wishing to license the university’s diverse portfolio of intellectual property.
Previously known as UMI³., the organisation has recently been restructured to more effectively deliver its mission.
It now comprises four main functional groups: Operations; business development; finance, legal & asset portfolio; and information & digital marketing.
New processes are also being developed to ensure that ideas with potential value are identified, rapidly evaluated and built into assets such as patents or new businesses.
Andrew Wilkinson, the Innovation Factory’s chief executive said: “The University of Manchester is a truly global institution, with a reputation for education and innovation that resonates across the world.
“The Innovation Factory has the responsibility to take the world-changing ideas and technologies that are created at the university and commercialise them to be used for the benefit of society as a whole.
“We are building a team, processes and a culture in the new organisation that focuses, above all, on creating positive social and economic impact.
“We are also looking to create new funding models to support translational research and new spin-out businesses. These include The Ideas with Impact Partnership Programme.”