IP Group Plc.- Extends Agreement With the University of Manchester to Include Graphene
January 27, 2014 (Source: IP Group) — IP Group plc (LSE: IPO) (“IP Group” or “the Company” or “the Group”), the developer of intellectual property based businesses, is delighted to announce that it has extended its commercialisation agreement with The University of Manchester (“the University”) through its technology transfer company, UMI3 Ltd, to include Proof-of-Principle (“PoP”) funding for graphene projects.
The Group also announces that, subject to completion of its Capital Raising announced on 23 January 2014, it intends to commit a further £2.5 million of funding, bringing the total to £7.5 million, under the revised terms of the agreement which has also been extended to 2019. The Capital Raising is due to complete on 14 February 2014.
Sir Kostya Novoselov and Sir Andre Geim first isolated graphene at The University of Manchester in 2004 and their ground-breaking experiments on the material earned themthe Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010.
The University is also the home of the National Graphene Institute (NGI). The £61m 7,600 square metre building, which is due to open next year, will house state-of-the-art facilities. Funding for the NGI will come from the Government (£38m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), as part of £50m allocated for graphene research, and from the European Research and Development Fund (£23m).
Graphene, a two dimensional material consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb or chicken wire structure, is the thinnest material known and yet also one of the strongest. It conducts electricity as efficiently as copper and outperforms all other materials as a conductor of heat.
Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group, said: “The University is world famous for being the home of the isolation of graphene and we are delighted to have reached agreement with UMI3 around funding graphene projects. IP Group’s first graphene company, Applied Graphene Materials, floated on AIM in November and we look forward to making more investments in this exciting area.”
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Clive Rowland, UMI3 CEO, said: “The University has been developing a number of intellectual property projects which have now reached the stage where Proof-of-Principle investment is necessary to take them to the next phase and to bring on another set of inventions coming through our system. The University’s very active engagement with industrial companies is informing our understanding of which graphene areas are most relevant to develop and the possibilities for setting up intellectual property joint ventures with companies already in the market place means that our projects will be well placed for market adoption. We have been working with IP Group since last year and feel that its expertise, resources and investment capital adds significant and complementary value to our own well regarded innovation system and networks. A partnership of this nature achieves a critical mass necessary to succeed in an emerging technology field like graphene.”
IP Group signed its original agreement with the University, through UMI3, in February 2013. Under the terms of that agreement, IP Group agreed to create a PoP funding facility for the identification and formation of new spin-out companies and to make available an initial facility of up to £5 million to provide capital to new proof of principle projects intended for commercialisation through spin-out companies.
In return, IP Group receives equity stakes in such spin-out companies on pre-agreed terms and has the right to invest further in these companies as they progress. In addition, IP Group provides access to its relevant experts, business building expertise, mentoring, coaching and co-investing networks, recruitment and business support.
About IP Group
IP Group is a leading UK intellectual property (“IP”) commercialisation company, developing technology innovations primarily from its research intensive partner universities. The Group offers more than traditional venture capital, providing its companies with access to business building expertise, networks, recruitment and business support.
The Company’s portfolio comprises holdings in over 70 companies including Oxford Nanopore Technologies, the DNA sequencing development company, Revolymer, best known for its removable chewing gum and Xeros, which has received many accolades for its revolutionary clothes washing techniques with a much reduced requirement for water.
The portfolio includes early stage to mature businesses and has exposure to five main sectors – Energy & Renewables, Medical Equipment & Supplies, Pharma & Biotech, IT & Communications and Chemicals & Materials.
For more information, please visit our website at www.ipgroupplc.com.
About the University of Manchester
Established in 1824, The University of Manchester is a member of the Russell Group and is one of is the most popular universities in the UK.
· Four faculties, 20 academic schools and hundreds of specialist research groups undertaking pioneering multi-disciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance
· Over 5,500 academic and research staff
· Over £271 million in external research funding in 2011/12
· 25 Nobel Prize winners amongst its current and former staff and students
According to the results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, The University of Manchester is now one of the country’s major research universities, rated third in the UK in terms of ‘research power’. The University had an annual income of £807 million in 2011/12.
About UMI3 Ltd
UMI3 Ltd is the University’s innovation company. Since 2004, through UMIP, its technology transfer division, its achievements include:
· Over 2,600 invention disclosures received
· 30 spin-out companies created
· Over 340 licences and assignments
· £32M UMIP Premier Fund
· Over £225M has been invested by venture funders in University of Manchester spin-outs
· Over £60M + generated by IP Enterprises
The University of Manchester has over a 20 year history of IP commercialisation.
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