The University of Manchester has over a 25 year history of technology transfer

UMIP is the University’s agent for intellectual property commercialisation and, along with our Innovation Centre, UMIC, are operating divisions of The University of Manchester’s Innovation Company, UMI3 Ltd.

UMIP’s role is to bring as much of the University’s ground-breaking inventions and software, as is relevant, into the commercial world. This we do principally by attracting entrepreneurs, investors and corporate venture partners to our campus and Innovation Centre and then, through engagement with our academic colleagues, licensing or spinning out companies.

This is tremendously important and enjoyable work.  All of the brilliant ideas which are generated by the University’s researchers have the potential to save lives, improve health, increase efficiencies in industry and the environment, and otherwise enhance society and make positive contributions to our economy.


We’ve already seen a lot of this happening at Manchester over many years, as you might expect from a university in the world’s first modern city.  This is where the IT revolution was started, in 1948, by building the world’s first stored programmed computer and where Rutherford carried out his experiments on atomic theory and with Hans Geiger, co-invented the Geiger counter, and more recently the isolation of graphene.

Time has not stood still though.  University spin-outs have produced “firsts” in scale-up of technologies with commercial applications, from quantum dot manufacture (Nanoco
Technologies) to the treatment of radioactive waste (Arvia Technology). The University’s biomedical strengths in areas such as diagnostics, imaging, novel drug design, therapeutics and dermatology are reflected in spin-outs such as C4XD (which recently floated on AIM), Spectromics, Phagenesis, Bioxydyn, Opticin and Curapel.  

Looking to the future and the enormous potential of graphene, recent spin-out 2-DTech was acquired by Versarien plc earlier this year – it is busy forging partnerships with the commercial world and have become a partner of the University’s newly established National Graphene Institute (NGI).  Both Nanoco and 2-DTech have offices and laboratories in our Innovation Centre which provides high quality state-of-the-art premises for biotech and hi-tech companies.

These are indeed exciting times for Manchester with the recent announcement of the plans to build the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre and the Autumn Statement announcement of the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials Research and Innovation which will have branches in Leeds, Liverpool, London, Cambridge, Oxford and Sheffield. Manchester has also been named European City of Science for 2016.

UMI3 10 Year Anniversary


On December 10th, we celebrated 10 years of positive impact in technology transfer by hosting an event held in our Innovation Centre which was attended by over 80 delegates including members of the University’s Senior Management Team.

The day began with a summary of our activities and impact over the past 10 years by Clive Rowland, UMI3 CEO, and Professor Luke Georghiou, VP for Research and Innovation. There followed presentations by our two investor partners: the UMIP Premier Fund’s Dr Mark Rahn and IP Group’s Dr Cassie Doherty who gave overviews  on investing in early-stage technologies, and in particular investing in our technology projects and spin-outs from Proof-of-Principle and seedcorn to later stage investments.  

Delegates were shown around an innovation gallery which highlighted a selection of University technologies which have been commercialised by us since 2004.  
The displays represented both biomedical and engineering innovations and included spin-outs such as Phagenesis, Microsensor, Arago Technology and also social enterprises Ketso and HiSolar.

At the event we launched our new publication: ‘Nowhere Innovates Like Manchester’.  

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Posted on Thursday, 07 May 2015