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Government To Invest £20m Helping Universities Turn Research Into Businesses

Universities will receive a £20m investment to help them “spin out” research into commercial businesses, the Treasury has announced ahead of the autumn statement.

The funding is intended to support the “next generation” of university “spin-outs”, which see academic institutions commercialise their research and raised £5.3bn in 2021/22.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “Innovative, globally competitive businesses like Oxford Nanopore are making a huge contribution to our economy.

“It’s critical that we harness this potential and give universities the tools they need to translate cutting-edge research into exciting UK businesses that start and grow in the UK.”

Biotech business Oxford Nanopore, founded at Oxford University in 2005, has been pointed to as a success story by the Treasury and is valued at around £1.7bn.

The £20m investment follows an independent review into university spin-outs which has recommended a series of policies to make such businesses easier to start and more attractive for investment.

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Vivienne Stern, chief executive of Universities UK, said: “We welcome this review’s recognition of the positive impact and important role that university spin-outs have on driving growth and supporting the national and local economy.

“We support the ambitions of the review for universities, investors and Government to come together and work collaboratively to maximise opportunities for university spin-out activity.

“University spin-outs create thousands of jobs across the UK and will play an important role in driving the economic growth and local regeneration that the country needs.”

Mr Hunt has accepted the review’s recommendations and intends to announce a package of measures in the autumn statement designed to support science and technology companies based in the UK.

These measures include an extra £50m for research and development firms and vehicles to support pension funds’ investment in science and technology businesses.

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