New fund to boost research spinoff companies

A new investment fund aimed at taking research from the laboratory to the commercial world has been set up by the University of Wolverhampton and Caparo.

The £400,000 CIC Investment Fund is a jointly funded project designed to support the exploitation of University of Wolverhampton Intellectual Property to take to the market place.

The University and Caparo have a longstanding collaboration in the form of the Caparo Innovation Centre, based at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park.

The fund will make investments in return for shares in separate University spinout companies, with representatives from the University and Caparo sitting alongside the academic staff responsible for the creation of the intellectual property on each board of directors.

Each company will be independent and able to apply for further research and innovation funding in its own right, which makes it easier to develop new solutions or technologies commercially, with the potential to attract greater investment from bigger companies or backers.

Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton and founder of Caparo, Lord Paul of Marylebone, said: “This is another exciting project with the University linked to the Caparo Innovation Centre and it is something I am very proud of.

“This is a £400,000 technology investment fund, which will be a great opportunity for University researchers and will be extremely positive for the economic development of the region, through the support it will provide to new companies specialising in the science and technology sectors. 

“Interestingly, the idea for this venture originally initiated during my time studying at the MIT in America and I hope it will act as an exemplar in how new innovation and technological development can help drive business development and growth; particularly at a time when there is so much uncertainty arising from the recent EU Referendum decision.

“My company Caparo and the University have had a longstanding tradition of collaboration and I am delighted and proud of this partnership.”

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, Professor Geoff Layer, said: “As a Universty we are always striving to provide innovation and to foster an entrepreneurial way of working.

“This new partnership with Caparo will allow us to transform some of the fantastic research that goes on in the University into commercial realities to create both an economic and societal impact.”

The new initiative is being led by Professor Andrew Pollard, from the Caparo Innovation Centre.

For more information on the scheme contact Professor Pollard on 01902 321763 or email a.pollard@wlv.ac.uk

ENDS

For more information please contact James Allen in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003.

Date Issued: Wednesday 2 November 2016

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