The Reporter
Issue no 487, 27 January 2003
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Leeds outsources technology transfer


Leeds has become the first university in the country to outsource technology transfer – the process of taking ideas and inventions into the marketplace. Axiomlab plc is to take on the role of identifying University research with the potential for world-class products or services and help turn these ideas into successful businesses and licensing deals. Equity in the new companies will be shared between the inventor, the University and Axiomlab. The transfer is to take place as soon as possible.

University Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Wilson said: “All universities are facing the same challenge – of making their greatest possible contribution to wealth creation and the growth of a knowledge-based economy. We believe this is a unique response to that challenge. Our partners bring great strengths, qualities, knowledge and business acumen. Above all, they can operate in the market in ways not open to the University as a publicly-funded body with charitable status.”

Axiomlab will establish a new company – Techtran – based at the Innovation Centre. Axiomlab director Alan Aubrey said: “Our focus will be on developing and planning the implementation of a clear market strategy by generating early contact with potential customers to secure those significant first sales. We will also help the entrepreneur to identify management needs and secure hires for the company once funding is in place.”

Leeds has been setting trends in enterprise since the 1970s, when it became the first university in the country to establish its own technology transfer company. Over the years, dozens of companies have ‘spun out’ of university research, directly or indirectly.

See the full press release.


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