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

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Funding A New Chemistry Laboratory

The biggest task during my tenure as the Chairman of Oxford University’s Chemistry Department was to build a new research laboratory. The department is the biggest in the Western world, but by the 1990s some of its laboratories were barely fit for the purpose and not up to current health and safety standards. The cost was the main impediment: at least £50 million would be required. This type of problem was widespread in Britain where many of the university facilities, created in the 1960s, were getting very tired, and our organic chemistry labs included parts dating back to the early part of the twentieth century.

In response to this need the UK Government, together with The Wellcome Trust, set up a generous ...

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