Strong crop of new firms

The University has had another successful year of creating new companies.

In total, 35 new firms were created in the 2010-2011 academic year, further strengthening the University’s position as Scotland’s leading research institution.

The success follows on from the 40 companies created in 2009-2010, a record for a Scottish university.

In the past five years, the University has formed 143 companies, which together employ more than 300 staff.

The strong number of companies formed in 2010/11 is further testament to the University’s expertise in creating businesses, even in difficult economic times.

Derek WaddellChief Executive Officer, Edinburgh Research and Innovation

New companies

Firms created by Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI) - the university’s commercialisation arm - include:

  • Speech Graphics, which develops software that realistically creates speech-synchronisation for video games.
  • DestiNA Genomics, which has developed a chemical test that quickly detects genetic mutations.

In the past academic year, Old College Capital, the University’s new investment arm was launched. This will inject investment funding into some of the University’s leading spin-out and start-up companies.

In February, Old College Capital made its first investment of £200,000 into NGenTec, a renewable energy technology spinout firm formed from the University’s School of Engineering.

The high quality of the companies formed is a tribute to the entrepreneurship and creativity of the University’s staff and students. These firms have real potential to contribute to the economy of Scotland and the UK, creating growth as well as new jobs.

Derek WaddellChief Executive Officer, Edinburgh Research and Innovation

Long history

A research and commercialisation group - now known as Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI) - was first created at the University in 1969.

Since that time, the University has had great success at turning the business ideas of students and staff into reality.

The University's achievements include:

  • Developing the first genetically engineered vaccine against Hepatitis B
  • Creating the Smart Wheelchair for children with severe disabilities
  • Pioneering the use of amniotic fluid tests in pregnancy to detect birth defects

Major companies spun out from the University include:

  • MTEM, an oil surveyor - the largest firm created from a Scottish university
  • Wolfson Microelectronics, a leading supplier of electronic components to Apple
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