Spinout success for Cardiff
13 September 2023
Cardiff University has placed 4th in a UK league table of universities’ spin-out success.
The ranking grades institutions for their ability to turn research into thriving high-value companies.
Only Dundee, Queen’s University Belfast and Cambridge University surpassed Cardiff in the chart compiled by Octopus Ventures, one of Europe’s largest venture capital funds.
The Gateways to Growth Entrepreneurial Impact Report 2023 notes the University’s strong recent performance.
“In 2021, Cardiff became the newest member of the SETsquared partnership,” the summary states. “The partnership works across six institutions in the Southwest to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem. SETsquared member businesses have raised £3.9 billion of private and public investment over the last 20 years, with 70% of this investment being in the last five years.”
Professor Wendy Larner, Cardiff University President and Vice-Chancellor, said: “Cardiff excels at turning research into innovation. The rankings highlight continuity in our ability to develop applications that make a lasting impact. This year, thanks to investment led by my predecessor Professor Colin Riordan, we have secured £174m in new research grants and contracts – a record total for the University. Our long-term investment in skilled people, bespoke research facilities and novel partnerships helps spin-outs to thrive, bringing economic benefits to Wales and the UK.”
The Entrepreneurial Impact Ranking is based on disclosures, patents, spin-outs created, and subsequent financial transactions associated with exits. The exiting of spinout companies is fundamental to how well universities perform in the ranking.
Professor Roger Whitaker, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research Innovation and Enterprise, said: “Our newly opened Innovation Campus – home to the Cardiff Innovations incubator in sbarc|spark and the Translational Research Hub – will underpin our future spinout success, helping leading experts bridge the gap between early-stage research and commercial realisation, bringing investment to the Cardiff Capital Region.”
The report notes the top two performers, and six of the top ten institutions, lie outside the ‘golden triangle’ of Oxford, Cambridge and London, highlighting that academic strengths needed for deep tech success stories are distributed across the UK.