University of Manchester launches Innovation Factory

The new technology transfer office aims to create 15 to 20 new spin-out companies each year

The University of Manchester has launched a new technology transfer office after it significantly remodelled its existing knowledge exchange activities.

Manchester’s Innovation Factory will maximise the impact of the university’s intellectual property (IP) through technology licensing and new spin-out companies. The team will bridge the gap between academics and student inventors and the world of industry by finding investors, entrepreneurs and corporate partners for ideas developed by Manchester’s researchers.

The operation was previously called UMI3 and led by Andrew Wilkinson, its chief executive. Mr Wilkinson takes on the same role at the Innovation Factory, which unites UMI’s separate innovation centre (UMIC) and IP commercialisation centre (UMIP) into a single operation.

The Innovation Factory seeks to create 15 to 20 new spin-out companies each year.

Previous University of Manchester spin-out companies include leak-detection technology company Acoustek; diagnostic imaging tools developers Bioxydyn; NeuTec Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company that sprang from the university’s own Infectious Diseases Research Unit; and Manchester Imaging, which provides AI solutions for preventive dentistry.

“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,” Mr Wilkinson said.

“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 spinout businesses. These include The Ideas with Impact Partnership Programme.”

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