research + innovation services annual report

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RIS Annual Report 2006 Report

“The objects of the University shall be to advance learning and knowledge by teaching and research, particularly in science and technology, and in close association with industry and commerce.” University of Bath’s Royal Charter

4 40 50 140

Years of innovation The University of Bath was founded in 1966 The University is prominent in research with around 50 specialist research centres and units – half of its departments are rated 5 or 5*, 2001 RAE 140 companies work with the University in research programmes and our Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme portfolio is among the top 5 in the UK Commercialisation of University Intellectual Property has generated a vibrant portfolio of spin out companies. To date, two have been floated on the Alternative Investment Market and two have been acquired by multinational companies


Welcome to Research and Innovation Services The University of Bath’s Research and Innovation Services department was formed just eighteen months ago, and in this short period we have made rapid progress. A full team of knowledge transfer professionals has been recruited and is delivering a programme of focused, high-value projects across a research to commercialisation continuum that spans Research Development, Commercial Collaboration, New Business Creation and Enterprise Education.

Our programme continues to gather momentum. Under the close management of this experienced team, the number of patents ďŹ led and technology disclosures made is climbing, and I believe that this is an early indication of an exciting pipeline of opportunities to come. These emerging opportunities have attracted a high calibre network of entrepreneurially-minded individuals both on the campus and from the business community, and our reach and proďŹ le has also been boosted by the SETsquared partnership of the universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey.

As we continue to learn from and work with each other, I sense that there is now a real opportunity to advance the spirit and intent of our founding Charter.

Malcolm Cross Director, Research and Innovation Services University of Bath


Research and Innovation Services News Highlights March ‘05 Knowledge West Six West of England universities joined forces with Business West to set up a new ‘gateway’ offering easier access to world-class knowledge for business and industry in the region. The Knowledge West consortium includes the universities of Bath, Bristol, Gloucestershire, West of England, Bath Spa and the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester, together with Business West.

September ‘05 Vectura’s Revenues Grow:

April ’05 Student Enterprise Centre Opens

Revenues of the University of Bath spin-out company Vectura grew rapidly during 2005. In the six months to the end of September, total revenues reached £3.6m - a 35% increase on the same period in the previous year. Vectura was floated on the Alternative Investment Market in 2004 and raised more than £20m.

The new Enterprise Centre, based in the Students’ Union, provides entrepreneurially-minded students with the computers, meeting rooms and dedicated business support professionals they need to get their ideas off the ground - BANTER, the Bath student enterprise society, was also established this year and has already signed-up 190 members.

Enterprise Centre: ‘open for business’

October ’05 Atlas Genetics ‘Spins Out’ The new company is developing rapid tests for serious diseases such as meningitis, chlamydia and the hospital superbug MRSA. The solution is based on innovative technology developed by a team of leading scientists from the Department of Chemistry - see p6 for full story.

October ’05 SETsquared Presents to London Investors Over 150 investors gathered at London’s Institute of Civil Engineers to see presentations from 19 top spin-out and emerging new technology ventures supported by the universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey’s SETsquared Partnership. Three ventures - Aardvark Innovations, Mirifice and NicheGnat - were selected from the University of Bath’s Innovation Centres.


October ’05 SETsquared Links to San Diego The SETsquared Partnership was awarded a £1.5 million Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) grant to expand its joint work with the top-ranked research and enterprise universities of California San Diego (UCSD) and California Irvine (UCI) in technology transfer, covering the high-growth research and industry areas of telecommunications, life sciences, the environment and new energy, nanotechnology and new materials.

November ’05 Winning Streak Fitronics, the electronic gym system company established by two Bath graduates has been on a winning streak this year. After taking first place at an inter-University Business Plan Competition against contenders from the Universities of Bristol and the West of England, Fitronics went on to win ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ in the Jaeger-LeCoultre Daily Telegraph Business competition. Fitronics attracted funding from the University’s Sulis Seedcorn fund and is based in the University of Bath’s Carpenter House Innovation Centre.

November ’05 QinetiQ Agreement Researchers and students were offered the chance to turn their work into commercial success by using the world-class facilities offered by QinetiQ, the defence technology and security company. Under a new agreement Bath becomes one of seven universities which will swap facilities and expertise with QinetiQ. The initial focus at Bath will be in the areas of physics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, IT and management.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year Alister Rollins MD of Fitronics

November ’05 Student Enterprise University students, mentors, investors and experienced entrepreneurs from across the UK kicked off ‘Enterprise Week’ with Student Enterprise ‘05, a national student enterprise conference held in the Students’ Union. Highlights included an ‘elevator pitch’ competition and drinks reception at the historic Roman Baths.

February ’06 UK Tissue Regeneration Conference

An ‘enterprising’ promotion for Student

Over 120 delegates representing a dozen UK Universities, private companies and venture capitalists attended a conference organised by Research and innovation Services in Bath’s historic Guildhall, on emerging technologies, markets & commercial opportunities for tissue regeneration.

Jenni Solbé & Kevin Edge of the University of Bath open the conference

Enterprise ‘05


New Business Creation Commercialising our research and technology can result in licensing opportunities and ‘spin-out’ companies for the University to follow in the footsteps of previous commercial successes such as Sterix and Vectura. The exploitation of these opportunities engages legal, financial and market analysis expertise from across the Research and Innovation Services department - from the initial negotiation of research contracts, the protection of intellectual property, research of market opportunities, business incubation and funding, the department is focused on turning the right technology opportunities into commercial success.

Research and Innovation Services Creates New Business • Evaluates inventions for commercial potential & defensibility • Protects inventions & builds patent strategies • Develops & implements commercial strategies • Secures funding & assistance for commercial development from resources such as the Enterprise Development Fund, Sulis Seedcorn Fund & the Innovation Centres • Markets inventions to potential licensees, end-users & development partners • Negotiates licences & development deals • Oversees the formation of spin-out companies including business planning, championing, introductions to potential management & seed investors • Develops & maintains entrepreneurial networks

Case Study: The story of a spin-out - Atlas Genetics University spin-out, Atlas Genetics, was established in October 2005 to develop a series of rapid tests for diseases such as meningitis, chlamydia and the hospital superbug MRSA using a test cartridge inserted into a small, portable instrument. The basis of this sensitive and specific test is an electronic tag developed by the company that automatically indicates the presence of DNA from the bacteria causing the disease. Atlas Genetics’ key technology was developed with a team of leading scientists from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath, including Professor Laurie Peter, Dr Toby Jenkins, Dr Chris Frost and Dr Stephen Flower. This was in collaboration with companies now acquired by Osmetech Plc, which is also a party to the Atlas Genetics joint venture. Research and Innovation Services was responsible for the IP protection of the University’s technology, and the negotiations to secure the commercial agreements that underlie the joint venture. Atlas Genetics starts up with £500,000 seed funding


With a potential market for Atlas Genetics’ products valued at over £1.7 billion, Research and Innovation Services was able to access its network of commercial contacts to ensure that the new company was adequately funded from the start. In fact, launch funds of £500,000 were secured through the Sulis Seedcorn Fund and a private ‘business angel’ investor introduced via the South West Angel & Investor Network (SWAIN).

Innovation Centres Before Atlas Genetics was incorporated, one of its founders worked on the concept from the University’s Innovation Centres. Located in Bath and Swindon, the Centres have accelerated the growth of more than 40 start-up knowledge intensive businesses in the region, helping them raise over £4million of early stage funding in 2005 alone. Start-up companies in the Centres join a business incubation programme developed by the SETsquared partnership with the universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey. They also benefit from access to expertise and business contacts through the local networks we manage like Silicon South West, which has over 500 members from the region’s flourishing semiconductor design sector.

Graham Macleod & Simon Bond - part of the team incubating hi-tech, start-up businesses

Case Study: Demonstrating the opportunity – super-efficient motors Professor Dave Rodger and his team in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering have developed a new type of motor for fixed speed applications which offers significant operational cost savings over even the most efficient induction motors, without the need for expensive power electronics. Given the substantial numbers of motors that are sold every year, the efficiency savings also promise a remarkable reduction in carbon emissions. Recognising the potential, Research and Innovation Services invested in patent protection, and used its own Enterprise Development Fund to develop a proof of concept demonstrator. This has enabled the University to show potential licensees the simplicity and effectiveness of the design. With the proof of concept demonstrator available, Research and Innovation Services is researching the best market-entry points and securing further investment required to take the product to market. To assist with this, the department has recently engaged with the ANGLECarbon Trust incubator.

Research and Innovation Services’ Dave Coleman working with Dave Rodger to raise funding


Commercial Collaboration Research and Innovation Services translates the expertise of academics into services that are valued by business - providing consultancy, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships that place graduates in organisations, and securing industry-sponsored research and development contracts.

“KTPs are not just for business, public sector organisations make extensive use of the programme too.”

Case Study: KTP helps Bath schools make the grade

David Cockayne, Head of KTP & Consultancy Services

The University’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme is one of the University’s most successful programmes of collaboration, with over 100 projects completed for organisations that include Rotork Controls, Smiths Plc and Spirax Sarco. However, KTPs are not just for business, public sector organisations make extensive use of the programme too. Last year a partnership between the University’s highly-rated Department of Education and educationalists in the Bath & North East Somerset LEA was set up to identify ways of improving the standards of boys’ English in schools throughout the area, and to develop ways of helping students, teachers and schools achieve better results in the classroom. Overall the Bath & North East Somerset LEA performs above the national average with a significant number of schools in the top 25% in the whole country. However, there are a similar number of under performing schools in the bottom 25%, with fewer schools than might be expected performing around the national average. As part of the project, Emma Metcalfe from the University’s Department of Education, has been appointed as a Research Associate to examine student performance data across the region and identify anomalies between achievements in Bath & North East Somerset and similar areas elsewhere in the country. She will then work with the partner organisations to find the possible influences on student performance and work with the teachers to develop action plans for improvement. Emma will also compare the practice within the Bath & North East Somerset LEA with other LEAs and identify good practice to develop intervention strategies with specific cohorts of students at risk of underachievement.


Gary Hawley from the University’s Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre with Justin Furness of Consultancy Services. The Centre is a flagship for University collaboration with industry.

Case Study: Bath consultants step in to fast-track product development Research and Innovation Services’ Consultancy Services provide cost-effective access to the extensive knowledge, skills and expertise that are available at the University of Bath. Consultancy Services can also help provide access to sources of funding, particularly for small businesses. Wiltshire based company, Analytical Technology and Control (ATAC) specialise in on-line analytical instrumentation for oil, gas and other process industries. In 2005 they started a 2-year KTP to develop new control software to move their range of analysers ahead of the competition. It soon became apparent that there was a particular need to accelerate the development of one of their analysers, as a gap in the market was identified. A 3-month consultancy project was initiated with the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department at Bath to fast-track a new control interface and software. ATAC is delighted with progress to date, with the system working well under laboratory simulated conditions. The hardware will be fitted to the analyser later this year when full testing will start.

“Research and Innovation Services markets the University’s consultancy services to business”


Research and Innovation Development Research and Innovation Services is responsible for identifying research grant opportunities and managing the associated contracts, intellectual property considerations and administration for bids made by the University. Through the Research Support Unit (RSU), academics are provided with funding information and advice on preparation and submission procedures for proposals - furthermore, the RSU approves applications and awards. Research and Innovation Services also provides pre-award project management for high-value institutional research bids, particularly where the proposal is multi-disciplinary or involves multiple partners, such as government agencies or companies.

University of Bath Top UK Industry & Commerce Award Sponsors:

University of Bath Research Income 2005 Research Councils


UK Based Charities


UK Government Bodies


Microsulis Medical

EU - Government & Other


Johnson Matthey

UK Industry & Commerce






Sterix Airbus UK

Hydrogen Solar BAE Systems (Operations) BUPA National Grid Transco Unilever R&D Colworth Arima Optoelectronics (UK)



Case Study: Award helps develop low cost cockroach technology Julian Vincent from the Centre for Biomimetic & Natural Technologies received a prestigious award from the Royal Society to help develop a novel dehumidifier technology inspired by the desert cockroach. The £30,000 Mercer Award was to test the feasibility of producing the new device, which absorbs water from the air and transports it as a liquid in the same way as a cockroach. Professor Vincent was initially contacted by Research and Innovation Services, and following an assessment of the invention, a further £20,000 Enterprise Development Fund grant was made for a feasibility test.


Rod Scott’s Biology & Biochemistry post-

Enterprise Education Development

grads benefit from commercialisation classes

The success of the University in Research Development, Commercial Collaboration and New Business Development relies on a continued passion for innovation and enterprise among our students, research academics and partners - Research and Innovation Services’ programme of Enterprise Education aims to support this, and establish these values throughout the University. The programme provides a range of training courses in business skills and commercial awareness tailored to the specific needs of research staff and students. Research and Innovation Services’ Christine Hardisty (M) and Alison Evans (R) develop commercialisation masterclasses. They have worked with Alan Wheals (L) to deliver a Bioscience Symposium on IP & Commercialisation for postgraduate students from biology, biochemistry, pharmacy & pharmacology.

Case Study: The Commercialisation Masterclass One programme last year targeted scientists and engineers with a series of eight Commercialisation Masterclasses. The regular Wednesday evening masterclass and networking opportunity was a popular format and attracted senior academics and researchers. Each class was delivered by a specialist, and included academics who had commercialised research, business people, technology transfer specialists and entrepreneurs, including Dr Chris Blackwell, Chief Executive of Vectura and Dr John Clarkson of Atlas Genetics, both University of Bath spin-outs.


Research and Innovation Services University of Bath, BA2 7AY Telephone + 44 (0) 1225 383555 Facsimile + 44 (0) 1225 386950 Email

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