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25 September 2007 PR 07/123

First Loughborough University spin out launched with IPSO investment

Loughborough University and IPSO Ventures plc, the IP commercialization specialist, have created the first spin out company, Axilica Limited, under the joint Framework Agreement, concluded earlier this year.

Axilica has developed an electronic design automation (EDA) software programme which simplifies and speeds up the process of designing semiconductor chips. The Axilica product is a visual design language front end for the hardware design process that allows designs to be represented in the form of Unified Modelling Language (UML).

This results in a more efficient and automated flow process from specification capture to hardware design language. The programme accepts diagrammatic input and automates the subsequent design process, providing:

IPSO is leading an investment round of up to £500,000 into Axilica, which has been spun-out from Loughborough University’s Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department. The company has also received co-investment of £25,000 from the Lachesis Fund, the University Challenge Fund for the East Midlands.

The demand driven by the continuing need to upgrade and enhance consumer products and their features is increasing. Bringing new computer chips to market is time consuming and requires substantial expertise. Axilica’s EDA software product is designed to address this demand. It will not only speed up the process, but will allow it to be carried out with little or no knowledge of front-end hardware design. The reduced development cost and timescales will enable chip design companies to reap the benefits of increased profit margins and faster times to market for their products.

Simon Hunt, Executive Chairman of IPSO, said: “We are delighted to have created our first spin-out company under our agreement with Loughborough. The quality of the team behind Axilica is very impressive and the Company is clearly addressing the market’s growing need for quicker, cheaper chip design. We are also very pleased to have co-invested with Lachesis”.

Peter Winter, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise), Loughborough University, added: “We are really excited about this deal, which we believe will be an excellent demonstration of how university technology combined with the right funding partners can move technology from the laboratory to the market place. It is our first deal with IPSO in what we hope will be a long and fruitful relationship. It also includes the Lachesis fund with which the University, along with four other east midlands universities, has a long standing relationship.”

ENDS

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Notes to editors

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates
are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top five of UK universities in national league tables and was named winner of the 2006 THES award for the UK’s Best Student Experience. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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