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Internal News - 08 September 2006

IP Group signs 25 year partnership with the University of Bath

IP Group plc (LSE: IPO), the intellectual property commercialisation company, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a long-term partnership with the University of Bath (“Bath”).

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. In 20 subject areas the University of Bath is rated in the top ten in the country.

Its research, which covers subjects in science, engineering, social science and the humanities, is extremely well regarded with around 70 per cent of Bath’s academic staff working in departments that received 5* or 5 rating in the Research Assessment Exercise. The value of Bath’s research portfolio is £76 million.

Under the terms of the partnership announced today, IP Group has agreed to work with Bath to identify and facilitate the formation of spin-out companies and to invest an initial fund of £5 million in such companies in return for equity stakes in them.

Where IP Group makes an investment from this fund or where it is otherwise actively involved in an opportunity, the Company will receive the greater of 20 per cent of Bath’s interest in each spin-out company and 10 per cent of the equity at the time that the company is established prior to investment.

Where IP Group does not make an investment or where it is not actively involved in an opportunity, the Company will receive the greater of 10 per cent of Bath’s interest in each spin-out company and 5 per cent of the equity in the spin-out company.

IP Group will also work on licensing opportunities across Bath and will receive a percentage of any income which Bath receives from licensing during the lifetime of the partnership. The partnership has a term of 25 years.

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group, said: “We are excited to have signed this agreement with Bath which brings the total number of our academic partners in the UK to nine.

"It is also the fourth partnership agreement that IP Group has signed this year, following similar collaborations with Queen Mary, University of London, the University of York and the University of Surrey.

"It is also the second in the region, following last year’s agreement with the University of Bristol.

"We are extremely excited by the prospects at Bath and are very much looking forward to working with the team there.”

Professor Glynis Breakwell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath, said: “We are pleased to have signed this agreement with IP Group which has had considerable success to date in commercialising opportunities in collaboration with its university partners.

"Bath has a strong track record of commercialising its research and this agreement will not only provide additional expertise in this area but will also offer alternative routes to market.”

The University of Bath collaborates with 140 companies in research programmes, and the University's Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme portfolio is among the top five in the UK.

"We have a thriving enterprise culture at the University of Bath. Working with IP Group will help to further innovation from the University of Bath's top research into the marketplace," said Dr Malcolm Cross, Director of Enterprise for the University of Bath.

"To date, two University of Bath spin-out companies have been floated on the Alternative Investment Market, and another two spin-out companies have been acquired by multinational companies."

With the completion of the University of Bath's contract, all four universities of the SETsquared Partnership, the universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey, are working with IP Group Plc to advance enterprise in southern England.

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Notes

IP Group Plc is an intellectual property (IP) commercialisation company that specialises in commercialising university technology. Founded in 2001, IP Group listed on AiM in October 2003 and moved to the Official List in June 2006. It has made two acquisitions to date – Techtran, a company set up to commercialise university intellectual property under a long term contract with the University of Leeds, in 2005 and Top Technology Ventures, an investment adviser to early stage technology venture capital funds, in 2004.

The group has formed long-term partnerships with eight universities – the University of Oxford, King’s College London, CNAP/University of York, the University of Leeds, the University of Bristol, the University of Surrey, the University of Southampton and Queen Mary, University of London.
As at 30 June 2006, 44 spin-out companies had been created among the group’s university partners. Of those, eight have listed on the AiM market of the London Stock Exchange and there have been two trade sales.

The SETsquared Partnership brings together the enterprise activities of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey. With 8% of the UK's research budget, the Partnership is situated in one of the strongest economic areas. A proven leader in the development of the UK's knowledge economy and the UK's largest collective of 6,500 researchers, the SETsquared Partnership advances enterprise in the UK. The SETsquared Partnership: * develops new businesses from university research ("spin-outs") and supports technology companies from the wider business community * collaborates with industry, providing access to university expertise and facilities, and * prepares new entrepreneurs with the business skills to be the UK's enterprise generation