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Press Release - 08 September 2006

University of Bath and IP Group plc sign partnership agreement

Researchers at the University of Bath with an interest in turning discoveries into commercial enterprises will have access to additional expertise and investment, thanks to a long-term partnership between the University and the IP Group, the publicly quoted intellectual property commercialisation company.

University of Bath researchers have already created a number of successful spin-out companies including Vectura, a pharmaceutical company developing a range of inhaled drugs for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and asthma, which was floated publicly with a value of £60 million.

Now, through a 25-year agreement with the IP Group, Bath academics with marketable ideas will be able to seek seedcorn and early-stage finance from an initial investment fund of £5 million.

They will also benefit from the presence of IP Group staff working alongside the University’s own enterprise specialists, as well as from the company’s intimate knowledge of market requirements and its well-established links with investors.

In return, the IP Group will receive equity stakes in University spin-out companies. The share that academics traditionally retain when a company is established to commercialise their research will be unaffected.

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 is rated in the top 10 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 the University’s research portfolio is £76 million. The institution has also supported many other enterprises through its SETsquared Partnership with the universities of Bristol, Southampton and Surrey.

“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,” said Professor Glynis Breakwell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath.

Dr Malcolm Cross, Director of Enterprise for the University of Bath, said: "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.

"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."

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group, commented: “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, University of York and 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.”


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.

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