University of Dundee tops spinout rankings – report

University of Dundee spinout Image credit: Weho / Shutterstock

The University of Dundee has been named the UK’s top university for creating successful spinouts, according to a report from VC firm Octopus Ventures.

The analysis considered multiple factors and not just the total number of spinouts produced. The number of patents, level of commercialisation and exits were among the other factors assessed, with Exscientia’s £2.2bn public listing on the Nasdaq helping the Scottish university secure the top spot.

“The main foundations of our success are world-leading life and biomedical sciences research, and innovative researchers,” said Dr David McBeth, VP of enterprise and economic transformation at the University of Dundee.

“At a time when there is a lot of chatter about standardising spinout arrangements, we pride ourselves on fostering great relationships with investors and founding teams, and treating each company according to its individual circumstances.”

Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Cambridge came in second and third place, respectively. They were followed by Cardiff University in fourth, and University College London in fifth.

Separate research from data firm Beauhurst found that the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge are top for producing spinouts.

However, using Octopus Ventures’ criteria, universities based outside the so-called ‘golden triangle’ of London, Oxford and Cambridge accounted for six of the top 10.

Octopus Ventures’ report said there is a lack of lab space for deep tech spinouts that is hindering growth, and that there is a funding gap for spinouts.

Dr Amy Nommeots-Nomm, deep tech investor at Octopus Ventures, said: “Sustained funding for research and innovation, and consistent support for spinouts is vital if the UK’s universities are to continue generating globally impactful technologies.”

Beauhurst’s research also revealed that the University of Manchester and the University of Bristol are the fastest-growing spinout creators.

It comes amid a Treasury-issued review into the UK’s spinout landscape to identify best practice for universities and investors.

In July, business think tank Entrepreneurs Network published a report that university ownership of intellectual property is hampering spinout growth.

To find out more about university spinouts, read UKTN’s guide on the topic here.