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2 April 2007 PR 07/46

Loughborough University announces strategic partnership with IPSO Ventures

Loughborough University has entered into a strategic partnership with IPSO Ventures, a business which specialises in the commercialisation of University intellectual property (IP).

Under the terms of the agreement, IPSO has right of first refusal to invest in all new spin out companies set up solely with Loughborough University owned IP. Initially to run for ten years, this partnership covers all spin outs other than those relating to mobile and wireless telecommunications research.

IPSO can invest up to £0.4 million in each spin out company in return for an equity stake, on a predefined basis. IPSO is making available for investment at least £3 million over the first five years of the agreement and this funding has already been raised.

In return for share equity, IPSO will assist with the establishment of new spin outs by providing funding, business start-up experience, building management teams, business development and by utilising their corporate finance expertise including fundraising, mergers and acquisitions and achieving exits. Areas of research of particular interest to IPSO are healthcare engineering, optical engineering, chemical engineering, renewable energy technologies, sports science and polymer technology and materials.

Nearly half of Loughborough University’s income is for research, and its research partnerships and links with business and industry are unparalleled. World class research underpins Loughborough’s award of five Queen’s Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce (1994); for its work in developing countries (1998); for optical engineering (2000); for sports research, education and development (2002); and for evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes (2005).

Loughborough University has created more than 25 spin outs to date and its IP portfolio is managed by a specialist team within the Enterprise Office. Spin out formation is aided by Loughborough Innovation Centre, one of the region’s largest and most successful high tech business incubators, located in the heart of the University’s thriving research environment and currently home to 38 early stage companies.

IPSO’s Chairman, Simon Hunt, said: “Loughborough University has an outstanding industrial track record and strength in depth across its technology base. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Loughborough’s most promising technologies and aim not only to bridge the gap between laboratory and market-place, but improve the prospects of commercial success after spin out.”

Peter Winter, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise), Loughborough University, added: “We are delighted to be working closely with Simon Hunt and his excellent team at IPSO.  Having scanned the market place, we decided that IPSO was the best possible fit for us in this exciting project that will see some of the country’s finest university research commercialised. We look forward to a long and productive relationship.”

Further information about the IPSO strategic partnership is available at:
http://www.lboro.ac.uk/business/luel/pages/ipso.html

ENDS

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Notes to editors

Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough in the top five among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

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