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University ownership holding back spinout growth, think tank finds

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Image credit: Sergii Figurnyi / Shutterstock

University ownership of research-based intellectual property is holding back the growth of British spinout companies, according to a business think tank.

In a new report from the Entrepreneurs Network, the group stated that a radical rethink of how academic research is commercialised is needed to achieve the government’s science and technology superpower goal.

The report said a model of “professor privilege”, in which academic staff retain full ownership of their research, would act as an incentive to commercialise intellectual property (IP) developed in their work at universities.

As it stands, universities typically own significant equity and IP rights for startups founded by staff.

The report pointed to analysis proving that UK startups’ likelihood of raising venture capital funding is majorly dependent on their control of the underlying IP and the level of equity owned by non-active entities, such as universities....

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