IP Group plc - Signs IP commercialisation agreement with the University of Manchester

26 Feb 2013

IP Group plc (LSE: IPO) ("IP Group" or "the Company" or "the Group"), the developer of intellectual property based businesses, is delighted to announce that it has signed a commercialisation agreement with The University of Manchester ("the University") which will be operated by its technology transfer company, UMI3 Limited ("UMI3").

The University of Manchester, a member of the Russell Group, is one of the country’s major research universities. According to the results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the University is rated third in the UK in terms of ‘research power’, behind only Oxford and Cambridge. The University has a long history of innovation, having designed and built the world's first stored-program electronic digital computer as well as being responsible for the birth of ‘aeroacoustics’ (how to minimise sound created in jet engines). It is now also the home of the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials, the National Graphene Institute and the project office of the Square Kilometre Array at The University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory.

Under the terms of the agreement, IP Group will create a Proof of Principle ("PoP") funding facility for the identification and formation of new spin-out companies. The Group has agreed to make available an initial facility of up to £5 million to provide capital to new proof of principle projects intended for commercialisation through spin-out companies. In return, IP Group will receive equity stakes in such spin-out companies on pre-agreed terms. IP Group has the right to invest further in these companies as they progress. In addition, IP Group will provide access to its relevant experts, business building expertise, mentoring, coaching and co-investing networks, recruitment and business support.

The agreement, which is a for a minimum term of four years, or five years subject to certain conditions, covers the majority of the areas of materials and clean technology, electronics and communications and all non-therapeutic life, medical and human sciences and information technology.

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group, said: "Manchester has an outstanding reputation in research, ranking third in the UK, as well as an impressive track record of innovation. This agreement augments our existing partnerships while also giving the Group access to an additional source of extremely high quality dealflow. We have been impressed not only with the pipeline of opportunities at the University but also with the professionalism of the technology transfer team. We are pleased to have entered into this agreement and look forward to working with the UMI3 team and making our first investments."

Clive Rowland, CEO of the University of Manchester Innovation Group, said: "IP Group offers excellent access to public market funding and expertise in university technology transfer developed over many years, and at a significant scale, which will be very valuable to the University in continuing to expand its spin-out activities. A far horizon of proof-of-principle and connected follow-on funding is critical to the success of university propositions, as is a deep understanding of early stage technology investing which makes IP Group an ideal partner for us. Therefore we are very pleased to see IP Group as part of the University’s enterprise community. I’m sure that this arrangement will be successful in improving the scale, quality and speed of companies spinning out from the University."

For more information, please contact:

IP Group plc
Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive Officer +44 (0) 20 7444 0050
Liz Vaughan-Adams, Communications +44 (0) 20 7444 0062 / +44 (0) 7979 853 802
FTI Consulting (for IP Group)  
Ben Atwell, John Dineen +44 (0) 20 7831 3113
Clive Rowland, Chief Executive +44 (0)161 603 7750
Press office: Allan Prits +44 (0)161 606 7240

Notes for editors

About IP Group

IP Group is a leading UK intellectual property ("IP") commercialisation company, developing technology innovations primarily from its research intensive partner universities. The Group offers more than traditional venture capital, providing its companies with access to business building expertise, networks, recruitment and business support.

The Company's portfolio comprises holdings in over 60 companies including Oxford Nanopore Technologies, the DNA sequencing development company, Revolymer, best known for its removable chewing gum and Xeros, which has received many accolades for its revolutionary clothes washing techniques with a much reduced requirement for water.

The portfolio includes early stage to mature businesses and has exposure to five main sectors - Energy & Renewables, Medical Equipment & Supplies, Pharma & Biotech, IT & Communications and Chemicals & Materials. To date, fifteen of the portfolio companies IP Group has backed have listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and one on ISDX.

Founded in 2001, IP Group listed on AIM in October 2003 and moved to the Official List in June 2006.

For more information, please visit our website at

About the University of Manchester

Established in 1824, The University of Manchester is a member of the Russell Group and is one of is the most popular universities in the UK.

Key facts:

  • Four faculties, 20 academic schools and hundreds of specialist research groups undertaking pioneering multi-disciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance
  • Over 5,500 academic and research staff
  • Over £271 million in external research funding in 2011/12
  • 25 Nobel Prize winners amongst its current and former staff and students

According to the results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, The University of Manchester is now one of the country’s major research universities, rated third in the UK in terms of ‘research power’. The University had an annual income of £807 million in 2011/12.

About UMI3 Ltd

The University of Manchester Innovation Group (UMI3 Ltd) is the University’s innovation company. Since 2004, through UMIP, its technology transfer division, its achievements include:

  • Over 2,300 invention disclosures received
  • 30 spin-out companies created
  • Over 310 licences and assignments
  • £32M UMIP Premier Fund
  • £225M has been invested by venture funders in University of Manchester spin-outs
  • £55M + generated by IP Enterprises

The University of Manchester has over a 20 year history of IP commercialisation.