Has Brexit deterred investment in innovation and spin-out companies?

Has Brexit deterred investment in innovation and spin-out companies?
Investment in innovation, universities and spin-out companies has not seen the drop that had been anticipated following the uncertainties surrounding Brexit.

According to recent reports, university spin-out companies – such as those from the University of Oxford, UK – have received large amounts of investment despite fears over Brexit.

Investment in innovation, universities and spin-out companies has not seen the drop that had been anticipated following the uncertainties surrounding Brexit. One particular example is the University of Oxford. Since 2011, spin-out companies in Oxford have raised around £1.9bn (~€1.7bn) in external funding, £506m of which was in in the past 12 months.

As reported by BanburyCake, there has been major growth in the sector over the past few years, with a third of the 160 spin-out companies Oxford University Innovation has created over its 30-year history formed since 2015.

Oxford University Innovation and commercialisation

Dr Matt Perkins, CEO, Oxford University Innovation (OUI) said: “We’ve updated our vision, mission, strategy and corporate goals – placing impact right at the centre of what we do.”

Working towards commercialisation and uptake of innovation OUI launched three new spin-outs in the past three months, bringing the year’s total up to nine. Perkins continued: “We’ll soon be unveiling a new commercialisation option geared towards our colleagues in Humanities and Social Sciences divisions. We’re fully behind the proposed clarification on student IP which will help students feel secure that they can innovate with the full support of the university and keep their ideas. All of this and more is going towards our new goal of creating a world-leading innovation ecosystem with Oxford University at its heart.”

Innovation in the UK

This investment news follows recent reports of Britain’s world-leading researchers and entrepreneurs benefiting from an additional £780m to create the technologies of tomorrow. MP Philip Hammond will expand successful ‘catapult centres’ which are driving innovation across the country as part of the UK’s ambitious, modern Industrial Strategy.

The UK has a reputation for innovation and is building on this strength with the largest investment in research and development in 40 years. Hammond said: “It is by backing innovative British companies to grow and create jobs that we will continue this progress and build an economy fit for the future. Today’s £780 million investment will support innovators across the country to create the technologies of the future, and the better, highly-paid jobs we urgently need.”

Commercialisation in Europe

The European Commission promotes commercialisation and uptake of innovation through the Horizon 2020 programme and the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

With the budget of €80bn, Horizon 2020 will help bring innovative ideas to life. ESIF will dedicate around €110bn to innovation activities, ICT, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) competitiveness.

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