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Spin-Outs: Creating Businesses from University Intellectual Property by Graham Richards

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University spin-out companies are not new. Probably the first was the Oxford University Press, founded in 1478 and still going strong. Interestingly it has never actually been spun-out and remains technically a part of the University of Oxford, with no shareholders and no obligation to pay corporation tax.

Despite that early start, Oxford came late to the business of creating companies based upon the research being conducted as part of the normal functioning of a seat of learning. Universities are about teaching and research. Spin-out companies are a by-product, even though they may be important for a country’s financial health and major contributors to university funds.

Oxford Instruments was founded in 1959 by Martin and Audrey Wood but the ...

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